Thursday, June 3, 2010

."YOGA & DETOX” A Good Way to Go says Health Ambit Consultancy.

Koh Samui is well known for being a haven for wellness with its plethora of resorts focusing on detox & rejuvenating program to cleanse and revitalize oneself. Many people think that to cleanse their bodies they need to go through fasting programs, a period of colon cleansing or taking supplements or detox shakes. However, our bodies actually have an in-built natural cleaning process and to aid that process a simple regular yoga practice can be done.

Yoga presents one of the best ways to detoxify your body as the key principle of yoga is working with your breath, and one of the ways to detoxify your body is to simply breathe. Yoga postures aid in detoxification by stretching & loosening muscles and joints which flush out “bad” blood and toxins whilst bringing a fresh supply of oxygenated blood enriched with nutrients. The practice of yoga also helps people feel better emotionally, physically and mentally thus promoting a positive flow of energy within that helps detox the body. Yoga breathing exercises known as Pranayama also help to release stored up toxins from the respiratory system. Styles of yoga such as Hot and Hot Flow Yoga involving Hatha Yoga postures done in a room heated to a temperature of 35 – 37 degrees are especially beneficial for detox. The heat-loss process at work during a hot yoga practice is stimulating and cleansing on many levels. The increase blood flow during a class speeds up the metabolic process of vital organs, and glands, mobilizing toxins for elimination. Many toxins are encapsulated in fat and stored in the body. Heat stimulates fat receptors, activating fat stores and facilitating fat loss and releasing these fat-soluble toxins. Naturally in a hot yoga class, one would sweat buckets and the skin being the largest organ in the body plays an important role in detoxifying through the process of sweating. In many traditions, inducing sweat for detoxification purposes is an ancient practice. Besides aiding in detox the heat has healing properties as it stimulates white blood cell production boosting one’s immune system and speeds up the healing of injuries. A regular hot or hot flow yoga class can certainly contribute in helping the body detox.

For those unable to stand long hours in the heat or can’t get access to a hot yoga class, some simple postures can help. Postures such as Bharadvajasana (Seated Side Twist), Lying Spinal Twist or Garudasana (eagle pose) that involve twists help squeeze out stale blood & when released help fresh blood flow in. Restorative poses such as Supta Baddha Konasana (Lying hero’s Pose), Viparita Karani
(Legs up the wall pose) & Child’s Pose that open up the chest, abdomen & back, help to massage the organs that detox the body such as the kidneys, liver & intestine. Breathing exercises such Kapalbhati breathing involving quick bursts of breath burns up toxins and stimulates the metabolic rate due to the rapid exchange of air in the lungs.

Yoga is not just limited to postures or breathing exercises, hand gestures or mudras are also part of a yoga practice and can also help in detoxifying the body. A simple mudra that can be done after a meal wherever you are is the “pushan mudra” which influences the energy currents that are responsible for absorbing and utilizing food as well as energies of elimination and detoxification. Sit comfortably with thumbs & index fingers touching, other fingers extended. Place back of palms on knees, close eyes, focus on your natural breath and relax for 1-2 minutes.

Wherever you are there is always a simple yoga posture, breathing exercise or hand gesture you can do to help in eliminating toxins from the body. However to reap the full benefits, a regular class will go a long way in helping your body detox itself.

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