Friday, January 28, 2011

Clean Mind, Clean Body

I admit it. The holidays really did a number on me. It was the first year I have every really worked consistently part time since I had kids and I still wanted to do everything I had done before so my children had those traditions to look back on. There was the baking, and the shopping, and the tree... so all of this left little time for me to eat well. And it didn't help that Ornish is located right next to a Dunkin' Donuts (those jelly donuts just call my name during Channukah!!!). Then I got sick. By the time January rolled around everything about me felt heavy. My gut felt heavy. My heart felt heavy. My energy felt heavy.

Enter Leah Shannon, owner of Full Well, and Holistic Health Counselor Extraordinaire (not to mention a dear friend of mine!). She emailed me and mentioned that she was going to be offering a Winter Cleanse and asked if I could provide a 10 minute detoxifying yoga sequence. I said, "Sure! But I want to do the cleanse too!"

Yoga is an excellent way to encourage detoxification in the body. The main systems that cleanse the body- circulatory, digestive, and lymph- are all stimulated in a balanced yoga practice. Yoga facilitates the proper workings of these systems by lengthening, pulling, stretching, contracting, compressing, and twisting every bit of you so that even the deep tissues are stimulated and encouraged to release waste. The deep breathing of yoga not only helps to expel excess carbon dioxide, but also stimulates organ function and massages those organs so that they can better do their job in detoxifying the body. Most importantly, the practices helps to calm and cleanse the mind of toxic thoughts, bringing together a more cohesive mind/ body connection.

So here I am- Five days under my belt and feeling pretty damn good! My sugar and caffeine cravings are gone and I'm confident going in to my second week. I've also developed a soothing and cleansing practice that you can use too!

10 Minute Yoga Detox

Try to hold all postures for at least five even and steady breaths, unless otherwise indicated.

1. Sukasana (Easy Pose) with breath awareness (30-40 breaths) and Full Yogic Breath (5-10)

2. Cat/ Cow flow (10 breaths)

3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

4. Plank Pose

5. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

6. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

7. Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Twisted Head to Knee Pose)
Twist the body towards the knee and open the arm (same arm as straight leg) up behind you.

8. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes)… this twist can be done with bottom leg straight

9. Paschimottanasana (Intense West Stretch-- Seated forward bend)

****Repeat steps 7-9 on opposite side before continuing on.****

10. Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclined Twist)
Practice this on both sides.

11. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

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