Do you find yourself affected by “lifestyle” health issues caused by stress and nervous disorders? Your body reacts negatively to stressors, building up toxins and chemicals and causing illness. A critical step in turning around your physical health is through detoxification, or by removing the harmful elements from your system. You may have seen advertisements for “detox wraps” or “detox health drinks,” but in truth, the most natural and straightforward method of detoxifying yourself is to engage in a healthful yoga program. Yoga not only cleanses your system, purging it of toxins; it also enables you to de-stress and addresses the underlying causes of your body’s symptoms. In addition to reducing the toxins in your system, you’ll find your mind clearer, your body more relaxed, your weight more stable, and your health more positive all around.
Why your Body Needs Detoxification
In its natural state, your body is an amazing instrument of chemical and physiological balance. Your digestive system breaks down the food you eat and filters out the nutrients your body needs to function, passing along the “extra” or waste matter to be excreted. Your circulatory system (blood-flow) delivers the nutrients, along with oxygen, to all your body’s cells, and “takes out the garbage,” removing waste products from those cells. The liver takes those waste products and processes them for the body to release through urine, feces, and sweat. All together, these systems can keep a body healthy IF they’re not overburdened by extra work. In actual fact, though, modern lifestyles make it a hard job for our body’s systems. Modern foods are laden with chemicals (and poor in nutrients), and a lack of exercise and increase in stress can keep the body from functioning as it should. Yoga can come to your body’s rescue by assisting the liver in its natural detoxifying functions, increasing the flow of blood (which carries waste away from the cells to be processed and excreted), and flushing the body’s systems.
How Yoga Poses Assist your Body with Detoxification
Keep in mind that your liver is the main organ which functions to detoxify your body, so any activity which assists or increases liver function will also accelerate the detoxification of your system. Many of the basic yoga poses (asana) have a direct effect on the liver. The liver itself is located beneath the ribcage at your back, so the movement of any forward-bend actually causes the ribcage to massage the liver as you move. Similarly, twisting poses and deep breathing (movement of the diaphragm-muscle in your chest) both apply gentle pressures on the liver. Imagine yourself (gently) squeezing a water-laden sponge. The massaging motion on your liver has a similar effect, moving the toxin waste products onward to be excreted, and allowing your liver to bring in fresh blood to process and detoxify (just like that sponge, soaking up more liquid after you’ve wrung it out). Because the yoga poses accelerate this process of processing toxins, it’s important for you to drink large amounts of water to help flush those toxins out of your system. The more sweat and urine your body can produce, the faster it can carry away those toxins your liver is processing. For this reason, “hot yoga” is also a wonderful tool for detoxification. Participants practice yoga in a heated room (around 100 Fahrenheit degrees), increasing the body’s blood flow and perspiration. The combined effect of your liver’s accelerated toxin processing, along with your body’s accelerated flushing of those toxins, results in a healthy detoxification process all around.
How Pranayama (breathing) Aids in Detoxification
Another aspect of yoga as it relates to detoxification is the practice of breathing exercises. Deep breathing increases your metabolism, burning more calories and speeding up blood circulation and the body’s other processes. A guided practice of breathing, therefore, can also enhance your body’s ability to process the toxins in your system, and to remove them from the system as excrement or sweat. Mindful breathing, in conjunction with the practice of your yoga poses, provides your body with all the help it needs to regain the chemical balance which it naturally tries to maintain. Additionally, the practice of Pranayama is a key component of stress-management as it applies to your daily life. The increased blood-flow and oxygenation, along with the calming effects of steady breathing, can help you block your body’s negative physical reactions to the stressors you encounter. As you go forward with your practice of yoga, you will find that it eventually ceases to be a detoxifying process, because your body is regularly processing those toxins out of your system. At that point, your continued practice of yoga will be a way to maintain that healthy balance you’ve achieved.
Visit HolisticYoga.Info to find out how to improve your life whether you would like to know how to get started with yoga or have been doing for years.