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Cleansing The Mind and Body Through Yoga – Part 3 of My Cleansing Series

by | Jul 6, 2021

Part 3: Cleansing the Mind and Body Through Yoga

Yoga does a lot for our bodies, with each and every pose designed to stimulate an organ, open up a tight muscle, release stress, or simply calm the mind. I have been doing yoga for over 30 years and these poses are my go-to for wringing out the toxins in my body while at the same time cleansing my mind.

Below is a list of the poses with cues on how to perform them as well as the benefits of each. It’s best that you don’t try to do all of them at once though. I suggest you start with the 7-day challenge I mapped out for you below, as it is important to start slow and ease yourself into a routine.

Poses

Figure 1 – Happy Baby
Figure 2 – Wind Removing Pose

Wind Removing Pose

This is an excellent pose that compresses the organs on both sides of the body, wringing out toxins as well as moving your bowels if you are constipated.

Cues:

1. Lie on your back and grab the outside edges of your feet with your hand as in figure 1, Happy Baby.

2. Lengthen your tailbone and gently rock side to side for 5-10 breaths.

3. Keep the left knee into the chest and slowly lower the right leg until it is straight.

4. To the best of your ability, pull the left knee toward the left armpit, keeping the leg close to the body.

5. Hold for 5 long deep breaths. Inhale for a count of 2 and as you exhale for a count of 4 pull the knee even closer to your armpit.

6. Bring the right knee back into the chest and slowly lower the left leg until it is straight. Hold for 5 long breaths.

Figure 3 – Seated Meditation
Figure 4 – Seated Twist

Seated Twist

This is a great way to open the hips, the outer back, and wring out the liver and kidneys.

1. Sit cross-legged in a comfortable position you can hold for a few minutes, using a block under your butt, or a meditation pillow if your hips or low back are tight. Bring hands to the heart center in prayer and take a few deep breaths, figure 3.

2. Inhale and bring both arms overhead and exhale and you lower both arms to the side. Repeat 3 times.

3. Next inhale and bring both arms up and as you exhale twist to the left looking over the left shoulder, placing the right hand on the knee and the left hand on the floor behind your back or on the small of your low back., figure 4.

4. Holding this position, inhale and grow tall, and exhale and deepen the twist. Repeat this 5 times. And switch sides.

Seated Forward Fold

Figure 5 – Seated Forward Fold with Strap
Figure 6 – Seated Forward Fold

This is an excellent way to pump fluids into the pelvic area, stretch the low back, hamstrings, and side body, all while improving digestion and massing the heart.

Cues:

1. Sit with legs together and move the fleshy part of your bottom out of the way.

2. Bending from the hips, bring your torso toward your thighs. Exhale and try to grab the toes or simply place your hands on your thighs, figure 6. Use a strap around your feet if you cannot reach your toes, but would like a deeper stretch as in figure 5.

3. Hold for 5-10 breaths. Inhale as you lengthen and exhale and you bend forward.

Garland Pose

Garland Pose

Figure 7 – Garland Pose

fitness, people and healthy lifestyle concept – young woman doing garland pose at yoga studio

This squat position stretches the ankles, groin, and back, taking a great deal of pressure off the spine. When you add the twist, it also helps wring out the organs while toning the belly.

Cues:

1. Begin by standing with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Exhale and squat down, letting your spine round (let the heels come up if they have to). You can place a block under your buttocks if it is hard to get into the squat position, figure 7.

2. Place your hands in prayer position over the sternum and press the thighs apart with the outside of your arms, as in figure 7.

3. Be sure to keep your chest lifted and your eyes on the horizon.

4. Hold for 5 breaths or 20-60 seconds.

5. Once you feel loosened up, place your left hand inside or outside the instep of your left foot and twist to the right, figure 8. Hold for 5 breaths, inhaling as you extend, and explain as you deepen the twist.

6. Repeat on the other side.

Modifications:

1. To make this exercise easier, hold onto something firm, like a table, to help you find stability while you learn to press your heels down and lengthen your spine. This variation will also help you stretch your calves and ankles so that you can reach your heels to the floor. The object you hold onto should be fixed, secure, and high enough so that your arms can reach upward in the squat. 

Standing Squat with Twist

Figure 9 – Yoga Squat
Figure 10 – Yoga Squat with Twist

This pose can be hard to get into, so go easy. It is my go-to when my digestion is off or I have overindulged as it really gets the toxins moving out.

Cues:

1. Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Inhale and bring your hands into prayer at your heart center, thumbs pressed into the sternum.

2. Exhale and bend your knees, trying to take the thighs as near to parallel to the floor as possible without letting the knees pass the toes, as in figure 9.

3. The torso will lean slightly forward over the thighs until the front torso forms approximately a right angle with the tops of the thighs. 

4. Keep the inner thighs parallel to each other.

5. Firm your shoulder blades against the back. 

6. Take your tailbone down toward the floor and in toward your pubis to keep the lower back long. 

7. Stay for 10 seconds and get grounded.

8. Once you feel grounded,  twist to the left, bringing your right elbow outside the left thigh, figure 10. Try to keep your thumbs pressed into your sternum. Hold for 5 breaths.

9. Release the pose and come back to standing with hands in prayer at the heart center. Inhale and exhale and slowly move back into the squat position.

10. Repeat on the other side taking the left elbow outside the right knee keeping the hands in prayer position.

Standing Forward Fold

Figure 11 – Upward Salute
Figure 12 – Standing Forward Fold

This pose will stretch your whole back body, calves, hamstrings, and hips. It stimulates the liver and kidneys, improves digestion and reduces fatigue and anxiety. Research has also shown it can help relieve headaches and insomnia as well as calm the brain and release stress.

Cues:

1. Stand in mountain pose, hands-on hips, and inhale as you bend backward as far as you comfortably can, figure 11. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist, as in figure 12. As you descend, lift the knee caps and turn the inner thighs back.  Place hands on the floor or shins.

2. Continue to lengthen through the torso and the backs of the legs.

3. Hold for 5 breaths.

Bridge Pose (Hip extension)

Figure 13 – Hip Extension
Figure 14 – Hip Extension with Hand Clasp

Hip extensions help open up the heart and the hips and release toxins built up in the body. It is also a great way to tone the buttocks.

Cues:

1. Lie on your back, palms facing the ceiling, feet shoulder-width apart, and neck long by pressing the back of the head into the floor, figure 13.

2. Start the movement by pressing your hips up, using your buttocks, keeping the chest open and neck long, figure 13. 

3. If it is comfortable, open your chest and clasp your hands under you to get a deeper stretch in the chest and shoulders, figure 14.

4. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Spinal Rotation

Figure 15 – Spinal Rotation
Figure 16 – Spinal Rotation with Block

This final pose opens the back and gently massages the organs, getting all the final toxins out of the body.

Cues:

1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet placed wider than your hips.

2. Drop both knees to the left, as in figure 15 and look right, keeping the shoulders on the floor.

3. Hold this pose for 5 breaths.

4. Repeat on the other side.

Modifications:

1. Place a yoga block between your knees if this bothers your low back, as in figure 16.

7 Day Challenge

Try this easy-to-follow 7-day challenge using the YouTube video I created for you to follow along. https://youtu.be/F39EOe8ndag

You will notice a big difference in how your body feels immediately.

3 Changes To Look For:

1. Reduced Stress

2. Better Sleep

3. Less bloating with more consistent bowel movements.

Day 1

Fit these two yoga poses in at least once if not twice during the day.

1.     Wind removing pose

2.     Seated head to knee forward bend

Once during the day perform a breathing meditation, pick one

1.     Wim Hof

2.     Alternate nostril breathing

Day 2

Fit these three yoga poses in at least once if not twice during the day.

1.     Wind removing pose

2.     Seated head to knee forward bend

3.     Seated twist

Once during the day perform a breathing meditation, pick one

1.     Wim Hof

2.     Alternate nostril breathing

Day 3

Fit these three yoga poses in at least once if not twice during the day.

1.     Wind removing pose

2.     Seated head to knee forward bend

3.     Seated twist

Once during the day perform a breathing meditation, pick one

1.     Wim Hof

2.     Alternate nostril breathing

Day 4

Fit these four yoga poses in at least once if not twice during the day.

1.     Wind removing pose

2.     Seated head to knee forward bend

3.     Seated twist

4.     Garland pose

Once during the day perform a breathing meditation, pick one

1.     Wim Hof

2.     Alternate nostril breathing

Day 5

Fit these four yoga poses in at least once if not twice during the day.

1.     Wind removing pose

2.     Seated head to knee forward bend

3.     Seated twist

4.     Garland pose

5.     Squat with twist

Once during the day perform a breathing meditation, pick one

1.     Wim Hof

2.     Alternate nostril breathing

Day 6

Fit these five yoga poses in at least once if not twice during the day.

1.     Wind removing pose

2.     Seated head to knee forward bend

3.     Seated twist

4.     Garland pose with twist

5.     Squat twist

6.     Standing forward fold

Once during the day perform a breathing meditation, pick one

1.     Wim Hof

2.     Alternate nostril breathing

Day 7

Fit these five yoga poses in at least once if not twice during the day.

1.     Wind removing pose

2.     Seated head to knee forward bend

3.     Garland pose with a twist

4.     Squat twist

5.     Standing forward fold

6.     Bridge pose

7.     Happy baby to Spinal rotation (spinal rotation can be hard for some, so if you have low back pain and trouble rotating stick with happy baby).

Once during the day perform a breathing meditation, pick one

1.     Wim Hof

2.     Alternate nostril breathing

Excellent job!

Here are the links to all the Cleansing YouTube Videos.

Still looking to further your knowledge on cleansing? Check out the links below to get expert guidance on cleansing through breath work and nutrition, as well as a breakdown of another one of my favorite cleanses out there!

Cleansing The Mind and Body Through Breath Work – https://youtu.be/fC9ahWF_5IA

Cleansing The Mind and Body Through Yoga – https://youtu.be/F39EOe8ndag

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