When most people set out to do a detox, they generally start the process by radically changing their diet. What people seem to forget is that in order to properly detox we must make sure we are efficiently eliminating the toxins that get awakened in the process. If the toxins remain in the body they will eventually go back into the bloodstream, defeating the purpose of a detox and making us feel pretty lousy. Yoga is one of the great additions to a successful detox to help us achieve mental strength, focus and ensure that we are eliminating toxins effectively.
A key element of Yoga is the ability to gently and safely detoxify. When our bodies accumulate waste products such as carbon dioxide or lactic acid, we can sweat these toxins out through deep sweating. This type of deep sweating happens on a cellular level, and penetrates deep within the cells to pull waste products out for elimination. (Infrared saunas are also excellent for this purpose.) Although there are many ways to work up a sweat, most of the time it’s only surface sweat and does not dig into the center of the cell quite like yoga. It is also the safest form of exercise during detox, and is best practiced on an empty stomach.
Detox Yoga has three main body systems in focus, and their proper function is integral for an effective detox. The postures and breathing techniques used during yoga can stimulate and increase the depth of detoxification in these systems.
- Yoga revitalizes our circulatory system by increasing circulation and fresh blood through breath and movement, which means fresh oxygen into our body and waste out.
- Yoga improves our digestive system by stimulating our metabolism, reducing bloat and increasing elimination. This element of yoga alone is so important in detox, and can aid in weight loss and increase energy levels.
- Finally, our lymphatic system is getting a serious boost thanks to all the deep breathing and sweating. Our lymphatic system is essential to the health of all of our body’s systems, and poor lymphatic health which can lead to a host of conditions from cellulite all the way to cancer.
Breathing is a critical component of yoga, but it is also to everyday life. Although breathing seems like nothing more than a simple bodily function, we often take for granted the benefits deep belly breathing can have on our body and mind. In yoga we also put emphasis on a detoxifying breath called ‘Ujjayi’ breath. This breathing technique produces internal heat, which can boost our immune system, allow for increased energy, and ease digestion.
Postures used in conjunction with detox are deliberate. Particularly those involving twisting which massages our digestive system, and assist internal organs in the detoxification process. Think of a washcloth where we are literally wringing out toxins from the insides. Inversions also have a whole host of benefits to the body in detox. Having the heart higher than our heads while inverted reverses the pull of gravity, which promotes circulation of our blood and lymphatic system, helps tone our abdomens, and assists in digestion.
The great purpose of detox is that through the removal of toxins we can achieve greater immunity, overall health, energy, weight loss and the list goes on. Most importantly the cleaner our insides the easier our bodies have the ability to absorb nutrients. Detoxes do not need to be a painful, depriving or a starving experience. At Chi Junky we believe detox to be a rewarding and inspiring experience full of delicious food to leave you satisfied and glowing from the inside out!
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