Thinking of doing a cleanse this summer? Consider adding some detoxifying yoga poses to help the process.
While juicing and fasting can offer a quick flush of built-up toxins in your system, it can also cause fatigue and irritability.
Some restorative yoga can support the detoxing process as you clear your body of metabolic wastes and pollutants for a cleaner, healthier and more vibrant body.
The following poses are specifically included for their cleansing and recharging effect. Whether a gentle twisting pose like Spinal Twist that promotes digestion, or a more aggressive pose that works directly on pressure points to enhance qi circulation and drain lymph like the Peacock, you’re sure to get an invigorating and revitalizing workout that will leave you refreshed, relaxed and feeling lighter.
There are many variations on these basic poses. As with all exercise, be kind to yourself. Stretch as deeply as you wish and hold the pose for whatever length of time feels good to you. These poses should be challenging yet enjoyable. Alignment is important for preventing injury and keeping balance, but otherwise, go as far as you are comfortable or can endure to get the most benefit.
Intestinal Massage & Lymph
Seated Full Spinal Twist
Chair Pose Twist
Lymph & Circulation
What does it mean to ‘cleanse’ the bloodstream and how can fasting with juices help? We ingest a lot of chemicals in our food, water and air. Pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs and cigarette smoke are ever present in our environment. If they are not properly or regularly eliminated, these body polluters can accumulate in our fat cells. The cumulative load is thought to cause hormonal imbalance, impair immune function, nutritional deficiency, and sluggish metabolism. Signs that you may benefit from a cleanse include poor digestion, constipation, skin rashes and acne, inability to concentrate, headaches, bad breath, fatigue, and muscle pain. Some naturopaths recommend fasting one day per week, while others advise to fast for three days to one week only twice per year. As always, consult a physician to rule out any underlying conditions that a fast may worsen, and take wise counsel from your own body.
Below is a list of the most popular cleansing drinks or juices for fasting and their benefits. Choose the ones that most appeal to you. Salud!
Most Popular Cleanses
Hot or cold, a glass of fresh squeezed lemon water is a super blood cleanser and detoxifier for the bloodstream. Just like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice is acidic, but when ingested it actually alkalizes your body’s pH. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra metabolism boost and antioxidant. Some experts recommend room temperature water for optimal effects. You can drink lemon water in the mornings and evenings on a daily basis as part of your health regimen. Or, if you are fasting and need to keep your blood sugars level, mix lemon juice, cayenne pepper and organic maple syrup, honey or blackstrap molasses for a mineral rich drink.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is high in enzymes, alkalizes the body to reduce congestion of fatty buildup, flushes the liver and kidneys and boosts metabolism. Mix a few teaspoons in spring water. Add a pinch of cayenne, organic honey and/or lemon for a calorie burning energy boost morning and evening.
Between the nutrients, chlorophyll, dulse, kelp and other seaweeds all are rich in phytonutrients and can help your body excrete heavy metals, making them an excellent detoxifier.
Constipation can occur while detoxing, especially when juicing, as fasting slows down the digestive system. Psyllium fiber is a gentle, effective fiber supplement that absorbs excess water and stimulates bowel function. It’s best to mix it in juice or water, stirring thoroughly, and drinking it down quickly as it thickens quite rapidly.
Among the well known cleansing herbs, red clover, burdock root and licorice make a potent tea that not only detox and purify but can help organs heal. Prepare a hot or cold infusion and sip through the day for a bracing pick-me-up when you feel your energy wane.
Peppermint tea in particular calms the nerves, improves digestion, quells nausea and helps eliminate gas. Peppermint is soothing to the colon and also helps relieve headaches. An easy way to have access to gallons of peppermint tea is to pick fresh leaves, cover them in spring water in a large pitcher and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Milk Thistle and Dandelion Tea
Milk thistle’s and Dandelion’s compound silymarin is well-known for its liver protecting properties. Both plants act as a decongestant to rejuvenate the liver and cleanses the bloodstream, making it a perfect support for flushing toxins.
Ginger facilitates detoxing through perspiration and soothes stomach irritation occasionally experienced when using cayenne pepper.
Pineapple & Papaya Juice Pineapple and papaya contain papain, an enzyme that breaks down proteins and is an aid to digestion. It is also high in manganese, Vitamin C and B1.
Aloe Vera Juice Aloe is sweet and pulpy, meaning it has mucilage, making it a demulcent that soothes both the colon and the throat and promotes healing by reducing inflammation. Aloe contains Vitamins A, C, E and the B vitamins, is loaded with amino acids and fatty acids which can help lower blood cholesterol, boost immunity and aid digestion.
Raw Cabbage Juice Cabbage is high in Vitamin C and the amino acid glutamine, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Fermented cabbage such as kimchi and raw sauerkraut are enzymatic powerhouses that have long been used in treating ulcers, colon problems and certain cancers.
Carrot Juice Famous for its high Vitamin A content and eye health properties, carrot is also rich in minerals, fiber and antioxidants that has been used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites and constipation.
Beet Juice Beet juice should include the greens. Beets are one of the top liver healing foods. Beets are high in iron, calcium, Vitamins A and C and the greens can help balance cholesterol, lower blood pressure and boost immunity.
by Kim Steffgen