Yoga to Cleanse the Body…
Doesn’t that sound delicious and simple?
What I love about bringing my body to the mat is that it’s a practice. Sometimes there is noise, interruptions, animals, loved ones, timers, ambulances…things we can’t control. But that is why we practice. To deepen our ability to respond more and react less.
Our go-go mentality and lifestyle creates a constant build up of toxicity in the body.
YES emotional stress, drive thru’s, multi-tasking, sadness, highs and lows, good stress and bad stress, all create toxins in the belly and get stored at the cellular level. We need to clean out the emotions just as much as we need to clean out the toxins from our environment.
It’s also the reason that even healthy people with clean diets, detox. It’s just a way to reset the body and allow the digestive tract to take a break from moving toxins out on a daily basis.
I wanted to share a quick tip for those of you finishing a cleanse or considering a fall cleanse this season. Whenever you do a cleanse or a detox, the first thing to come off is water and glycogen, so the first few pounds can come quite easily.
I share this so you don’t get discouraged…the goal is to find your ideal size and shape.
We can’t find our baseline weight by making healthy food choices alone, nor by just adding exercise.
For total wellness, you have to look at the other pillars of health such as community, spirituality, stress management, good sleep hygiene, and mindset.
Let’s explore a few of these further:
Community: How do you feel supported day to day? Do you have people you love to call on? Furry friends? Spouses? Partners? A lack of support can cause stress in the body and emotional stress. And it is vital to fill your own cup with self-love, but also to be able to reach out to others when times become more than you can handle on your own. That’s what friendships and community are for…to have your back when you feel like you may fall down.
Spirituality: What do you believe in at the end of the day? Do you have faith in a higher power that is on your team and supporting your every move? It isn’t important WHAT you believe in or whether it is right or wrong, just that you have a belief system that can also support you in the dark nights of the soul that we all must bear at some point in our lives.
Mindset: There is positive momentum and negative momentum. How do you start your day? Is it CNN or Facebook? Or is it moving your body, deep breathing, and gratitude? Either way. you will have momentum in your day. Media and news can be stressful on the body because the brain cannot differentiate between reality and non-reality, so stressful news creates stress in the body. But if you start your day with positive momentum, you develop resilience to whatever life throws your way. You have space to respond to the stress that shows up during your day rather than react.
One of the best tools my participants started implementing this past detox was good sleep hygiene. Just simply choosing to read a book instead of watching any screens before bed created a more restful night’s sleep, and notably more energy in the morning.
The best way to play the “long game” of health is to understand the importance of good sleep hygiene and stress management. You simply can’t find your ideal shape and size if you are slacking off in either of those areas.
My favorite yoga pose for balancing my stress is sleeping swan pose, a form of yin yoga. If you haven’t tried this yet, you must, and I have included a great resource here! This is my favorite ritual to settle into before bed.
So go ahead and indulge in self-care, your best self is just waiting to feel spoiled and ready to shine. You will experience deep relaxation, more flexibility, and a calm breath in this pose.
Yin Yoga is a less active style of yoga where the poses are held for 3-5 minutes, or even longer, and typically resting on the floor. You may only do 4 poses in an hour class. Yang Yoga would be any style of flow yoga using more energy and postures are mixed with both standing up and sitting down.
The intention behind the yang poses is to work the muscles whereas the intention behind the yin poses is to release the muscles and work deeper into the tissues.
Pigeon pose (also called sleeping swan in yin yoga) is a popular hip opener pose because we store so much of our stress in the hips. Pigeon is very similar to swan pose but pigeon is more active (yang), and swan is less active (yin).
Sleeping Swan pose stimulates the gallbladder and liver meridians and can release emotions such as anger stored in the body, as well as enhance deep breathing, reduce stress, and create a deeper connection to your body.
A few benefits of sleeping swan and activating the gallbladder and liver meridians:
- Releasing feelings of anger
- Feeling more compassionate to others
- Prevent cramping, muscle weakness, fatigue
- Supporting muscles and tendons in the area
- Improving vision because gallbladder meridians affect the eyes
- Preventing vertigo and dizziness
- Nourishing the liver
- Bringing blood flow to the groin and pubic area
Here is the video again that would be a great ritual you could bring into your morning or evening ritual.
Here’s to breathing deep, managing stress, and detoxing the body thru yoga.
I would love to hear your thoughts on sleeping swan, email me or leave a comment here.
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