Our bodies and minds are naturally designed to serve us throughout our lives: We take in nourishment through food and drink, process information and sort through what is most important, and experience a deluge of emotions, which keeps life interesting. When we get adequate rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy whole foods, allow emotions to flow naturally, and keep stress levels low, we can manage what life presents us more easily.
In says in reality, most of us do not eat an ideal diet free of processed foods. Many of us do not drink the eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Some of us may have learned to block emotions and shut down rather than allow them to move through fully, so we stick to negative patterns or become numb. And while the body is designed to naturally remove toxins that enter through the air we breath, food we ingest, and experiences we face, today’s overwhelming pace of life and frequent ongoing stress make it difficult for the body and mind to do what they were designed to do.
“Toxins are everywhere: in our water, in the air, even in the foods we eat,” says Deborah, a certified Kundalini and vinyasa yoga teacher in Boulder, Colorado. “When we’re in good health and stress free, our bodies are designed to rid us of these chemicals through an intricate detoxification system.”
How Yoga Can Help Us Detoxify
Detoxification isn’t just about ridding the body of physical toxins. Yoga, an ancient system of pranayama (breathing exercises), asana (postures), and meditation (mindfulness) can aid the body and mind to cleanse both physical and emotional excess.
“All yoga is good for detoxifying,” Fryer says, “because all yoga incorporates movement, pranayama, and relaxation, which are all necessary. Yoga creates a safe space for emotional letting go as well, which has a huge effect on our ability to digest and be nourished by the food we eat.”
Yoga is an ideal practice to help the body and mind detoxify, according to Dr. Arielle Schwartz, a clinical psychologist and certified Kripalu Yoga instructor. “By stretching and squeezing the muscles of the body, yoga massages the organs, stimulates lymph and blood flow, enhances breathing, and invites release of blocked emotions. Schwartz says, “Yoga’s focus on the body and breath also help purge the mind of unnecessary thoughts.”
While all forms of yoga ultimately help the detoxification process, the following Kundalini kriyas (or exercise sets) and yoga postures are especially helpful. When practicing any form of yoga, stop immediately if you experience pain, modify the pose according to your body, move onto the next, or simply rest.
While we can’t always prevent stressful situations and harmful toxins from entering our systems, we can support the body’s natural detoxifying process through the age-old practice of yoga.
For more information, and to read the full length article, check out Lori Batcheller, a yoga instructor living in Colorado here.
*Originally posted from northwestpharmacy.com.