I love a good “detox” workout after the holiday madness. The sweets, the rich meals, the snacking, the drinks can all add up to equal one bloated and sluggish feeling body! The reason this yoga sequence is great for detoxing is that it focuses on twists that you may not normally do – this brings movement and energy to parts of your body that need it most to help you cleanse your system. Of course, feel free to modify however you may need to feel comfortable (this is meant to help not hurt after all!), but focus on moving slowly, deliberately, and moving with your breath to get the most out of this detox!
1. Swaying Arms
- Stand on a mat with your feet facing forward about hip distance apart with relaxed, slightly bent knees. Let your arms hang to your sides with dead weight and use your core to move your body side to side as far as you are able to go. Your arms should flop along as well. Do this for about a minute.
2. Forward Fold
- Stand back upright and bring your feet together. Still with a slight bend in the knees, bend forward from your hips (try to maintain a flat back). You can place your hands on the floor or backs of your ankles, or clasp your hands and lift them behind your back towards your neck, and hold for 30 seconds.
- From the forward fold, place both hands on the ground and gently step back one foot into a lunge and the other so you are in plank. Engage your core and try to hold for 1 minute.
4. Lunge Twists
- Bring your right foot forward to meet your feet (lunge). Open your right arm up and point your fingers to the sky, twisting into the right side of your body. Hold for 30 seconds. Move your foot so you are back in plank and then repeat the twist on the left side.
5. Chair Twists
- From your left side lunge, bring your right leg up to meet your left so your are crouching with hands on the ground. From here, sweep your arms up to the sky while keeping the rest of your body in a squat position (this is called chair pose as though your are sitting in an invisible chair). Hold for 10-30 seconds (great workout for your legs!); then still in the chair pose, twist your top half to the right and hook your left elbow to your right knee as you twist to the right. Hold for 10-30 seconds, return to chair, and then repeat on the left side.
6. Frog Sit (Malasana)
- Keep the core engaged and step one foot up at a time to meet your hands and then stand up tall. Widen your stance so your feet are about shoulder width apart and point your toes OUT at a 45 degree angle. Slowly squat as far as you can go while pushing your elbows into your knees and place your hands in prayer pose at your heart. Hold for 1 minute (you will feel this in those hips!)
6. (Optional) Wheel
- If you are new to yoga or unfamiliar with this one, feel free to skip or modify this one! Lie on your back and bend your knees so your ankles are nearly touching your butt. Then bring your elbows to the sky and plant your hands on the ground right above shoulders. When you feel stable, use your core and glutes to lift up into a back bend and hold for 10-20 seconds. Again, do not attempt this if you have not done it before – instead lie on your back and bend your knees so your ankles are up by your butt. While keeping your shoulders on the ground, squeeze and lift your glutes so your lower back is lifted off the ground.
You can repeat these or stay in the poses longer, however you want to do it is the right way because it is YOUR practice. Happy detoxing, happy organs, happy 2023!
Written by GUADS Staff member Kate with contributions from ekhartyoga.com