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With the Canucks Playoffs Run over now, it is safe to say that most Vancouverites are in need of some poses that can help them to remove toxins from the body and mind. In general, gentle twists can help speed up recuperation after a night of “celebrating” shall we say. Twists in yoga stimulate our inner organs, especially the liver and kidneys. Digestion and digestive processes are improved, therefore easing the movement of foods (and drinks) through the digestive tract. Since I don’t recommend practicing twists for the first time without the guidance of a Yoga Teacher, I will give you other suggestions that you can practice on your own safely and provide the same effect! You can improve digestion any day of the week by massaging the organs that process and work hard to rid the body of excess toxins, in this case – grease and alcohol. This is a 15 minute practice – Start off with Cat Cow and end with Supported Child’s Pose.

Cat Cow

• begin on all fours with wrists directly under the shoulders and knees directly under the hips
• Inhale into cow looking up, arching the back and bending the arms slightly – push your chest through your arms lifting the sternum
• Exhale into cat pushing away from the floor, really rounding the back and pulling the belly button towards the spine
• Inhale back into cow
• Repeat 8-10 times
• Rest in child’s pose for 3 breaths

Benefits

• Gently stretches the neck, back and shoulders
• Mobilizes the spine
• Gently massages the digestive system
• Opens up the front chest (pectorals)
• Strengthens the mid and lower trapezius (upper back muscles)

Cautions

• be aware of not throwing the head back when doing the “Cat Cow” flow – move slowly, gently lifting the head

Supported Child’s Pose

• Stuff a bolster (or pillows) between the legs
• Place 2 blocks (or cushions) at the end of the configuration allowing space for the face
• Lie on the support and place the hands under the forehead
• Stay for 10 to 15 minutes
• Breathe evenly and quietly and gently

Benefits

• Relieves breathlessness, dizziness, fatigue and headaches
• Reduces high blood pressure
• Stretches and tones the spine, relieving pain in the back
• Reduces acidity and flatulence

• Soothes the sympathetic nervous system
• Alleviates menstrual pain and depression associated with menstruation

Cautions

• Do not practice if you have osteoarthritis of the knees, bronchitis or diarrhea
• Never stay in a restorative pose that does not have enough support…adjust!

Read the instructions carefully before practicing the poses on your own. If you have any questions regarding these poses please e-mail me at sharan@yogaontheflow.com.

For more information on all things yoga visit www.yogaontheflow.com or follow @YogaOnTheFlow on twitter.

Namaste

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