Often when we hear the word ‘detox,’ we think of crazy concoctions mixed up with some water and slugged in excess. In a world of fad diets and crash course weight loss advice, it’s hard to know what is actually good for your body and what really makes a difference.
Yoga is a natural way to work on your health and it can be done from home — no blended meals required. Check out the list below to learn the detox benefits of yoga and what benefits different poses can provide.
What Is Detox?
Detoxification is a market that continues to grow. Consumers spent over $100 million on detox products in 2010 and the trend has only grown since. With commercials flashing promises like “lose 30 pounds in five minutes by drinking this tea,” you can get caught up in the momentum of the movement without really stopping to think about what it means. To clear up any confusion, let’s look at detox in its simplest terms: ridding the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.
How does yoga get rid of toxic substances? It stimulates different systems in your body that help clear it of waste. The lymphatic system, digestive system and circulatory system all work around the clock to keep your body in tip-top shape. Yoga can give your body a little extra push to do its job.
Yoga Aids Digestion
The digestive system processes food we eat into waste and then eliminates it from our body. Sometimes out digestion gets out of whack which can make you feel sluggish or bloated. Just 15 minutes of yoga can be enough to help stimulate your digestive system and get everything running smoothly again.
If a night of overindulgence has left you gassy and uncomfortable, break out your yoga mat and try something like a seated twist or reclined twist.
Yoga Encourages Circulation of Lymph
Lymph nodes are an important part of your immune system. Lymph is moved through your body and helps carry away infection. As a major player in your immune system, lymph nodes can become swollen and tender when you’re sick — that’s a sign of your body doing its job to move infection through your body and destroy it.
Circulating lymph helps your body make sure it’s healthy and not under attack from bacteria or infections. To give your lymphatic system a jump start you can use an easy pose such as legs up the wall to get that lymph moving. A massage can help move 78 percent of lymph back into circulation. Moving is integral to keeping your body healthy.
Yoga Stimulates Your Organs
Stimulating your organs pushes them to function as they should and can even help destroy buildup that could lead to kidney stones. Each organ has a purpose, so to be healthy and happy you need every organ working as it should be. Folds stimulate the organs well, so a pose like open side fierce is perfect for this purpose.
Yoga Increases Blood Flow
Your heartbeat is what pushes blood through your body. Increasing your heart rate through exercise helps get your blood pumping to remove toxins.
Yoga Helps You Sweat Out Impurities
Anyone who says yoga isn’t exercise has never been to a good yoga class. A good workout should get your heart rate up and have you sweating. Sweating can get rid of toxins such as heavy metals and other troublesome things like BPA and phthalates. A more intense flow with lots of downward facing dog is great for getting the sweat rolling.
Yoga Increases Liver Function
Your liver plays a huge role in detoxifying your body. It purifies your blood and helps your body create bile which is necessary for digesting fats. Your liver also turns sugar into glucose. For a healthy liver you should try something like cobra pose.
Yoga Helps Fight Urinary Troubles
Urination is a process that helps remove toxins from the body, and it’s another important aspect of detoxification. Camel pose is perfect for urinary health. Issues such as incontinence or urgency are signs that something is wrong in your bladder or urinary tract. Yoga can be just what you need to combat these problems and get your health back on track.
Yoga isn’t a cure-all but it can go a long way towards keeping you happy and healthy. Given these detox benefits, you have more reasons than ever to create a yoga routine and stick with it.