Holiday Detox: A Yoga Flow to Get Back in Your Groove
The new year is upon us and we are embarking on a new decade. New years resolutions are set and we are off to the races but might be feeling a bit groggy from all the holiday fun and food.
Instead of bringing the past into the new year let’s both literally and metaphorical make room for new positive things to come into our lives with some detoxifying yoga poses. These simple poses will help stimulate digestion which is key to getting our minds feeling sharp, positive, and clear.
A 2020 Yoga Flow to Detox from the Holiday Season
These poses will gently warm you up and even if you feel super sluggish right now, you’ll find you start to recover your energy just by doing some easy movement. If you’re still feeling stuffed or feeling the aftershock of holiday sweets and bubbly, give yourself the gift of this detox flow which will help you feel much better. You want to bring all the good vibes to 2020 so this will get you back in your groove.
Also, the deeper you breathe while you’re doing this, the more benefit you will receive and the better you will feel. Oxygen helps you detox and energizes you. Let your breath restore you to your awesome self!
Note: Be sure to drink lots of water to assist in the detox process!
Start by sitting on your heels and bring your forehead to the ground. Reach your arms forward with your palms on the floor and your fingers spread. Take slow deep breaths in and out of your nose five times. Try to expand your back ribs then slowly walk your hands back and come up to your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
Pose Benefits: This position elongates your spine to reduce compression that can cause lower back pain. It reduces gas and gently stretches the shoulders and hips.
Gently move between cat pose and cow pose by first rounding your spine to come into cat pose and bring your chin to your chest. Pull your navel in towards your spine. Inhaling through your nose lift your chin stretching the front of your neck as you arch your back and drop your navel towards the ground. Point your tailbone up as well.
Then exhale return to the cat pose. Move back and forth five times at a comfortable pace with deep breathing and then come back to a neutral position.
Pose Benefits: This helps flush the kidneys while massaging the other internal organs to help stimulate their function. It adds a burst of energy by loosening up the spine.
Downward Facing Dog
Tuck your toes under you and lift your hips so you create a triangle shape. Keep your heart pressing towards your thighs and work on straightening your legs. Sink your heels towards the ground and keep your neck relaxed. Spread your fingers wide to take the pressure out of your wrists as you take five deep breaths through your nose.
Then slowly walk your feet towards your hands and raise your chest to stand but very slowly so you don’t get light-headed.
Pose Benefits: This pose brings circulation to the brain to improve mental clarity. It stretches the hamstrings, calves, and ankles to improve circulation and reduce stiffness. This helps strengthen the immune system to fight colds.
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Bring your feet hip-distance apart and on an inhale, raise your arms in line with your ears. Then as you exhale, bend your knees and lower your hips as if you’re sitting into an invisible chair. As you inhale, bring your palms together in front of your heart and twist to the right placing your left elbow outside your right knee if possible. Use your stomach muscles to twist. Take three deep breaths before returning to the center.
Do the same thing twisting to the opposite direction and maybe placing the right elbow outside the left knee if that’s accessible to you. Take three more breaths and then come into a gentle forward fold with your head folded towards your knees and your hips up.
Pose Benefits: This pose stimulates digestion and helps reduce stiffness in the spine. It helps stimulate the internal organs and flush the intestinal tract.
Upward Facing Dog
To get into position for the pose, bend your knees so you can place your hands on the ground, and walk your feet back so you can lay on your stomach. Place your palms on the ground under your shoulders as you zip the legs together. As you inhale press into your palms and lift the chest arching your spine. Straighten your arms and bring your shoulders down away from your ears as you take five slow deep breaths in and out of your nose.
Feel the stretch across your chest as you breathe. Slowly lower back onto your stomach and to prepare for the next pose, roll onto your back, hug your knees into your chest, and then rock up to a seated position with your legs crossed.
Pose Benefits: This pose helps awaken our energy to restore our vitality by stretching the entire spine. It will help stretch the stomach and stimulate the internal organs. This helps stimulate healthy lungs and stretches the ankles and hips.
Remain seated in a cross-legged position sitting tall. Cross your left hand to the outside of the right knee and bring the right fingertips to the floor behind you. Engage your stomach to twist starting from the lower back. Allow the mid-back to follow, then the shoulders, then the head.
Take three slow and deep breaths as you keep the spine tall and then repeat the same thing in the opposite direction.
Pose Benefits: This helps flush the intestines while stimulating internal organs. This will help clear negative emotions and reduce fatigue.
Deep Yoga Squat
Transition slowly into a low squat with your feet wider than your hips and your hips lower than your knees. Keep your heels on the floor and press your palms together with your elbows pressing into the insides of your knees. Lift your chest and take five slow deep breaths.
Then to transition to the next pose gently sit onto the ground and lay onto your back.
Pose Benefits: This helps digestion and elimination while stretching the spine to alleviate lower back pain. It stretches the hips and is a great pose to do after sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Laying on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet on the floor so your heels touch your backside. Press your palms down on the floor next to your hips and lift your hips. If it’s accessible, interlace your hands underneath you with straight arms by scooting your shoulder blades towards each other.
Take five slow and deep breaths in and out of your nose and then unlace your fingers and lower your hips. To prepare for the next pose hug your knees into your chest and rock yourself up to a seated position.
Pose Benefits: This calms the mind, improves the strength of the immune system, and is good for improving blood pressure.
Seated Forward Fold
With your legs together straight out in front of you in a seated position, on an inhale, lift your arms up in line with your ears, and then as you exhale, lean forward keeping your spine as straight as you can. Reach for your toes as you lengthen from the base of the spine and pull your chest forward.
Then round the back and bring your nose towards your knees. Take five slow and deep breaths in and out of your nose and then come back up to seated as you inhale.
Pose Benefits: This helps stimulate digestion, calms heart rate, soothes lower back pain, and stretches the legs.
Forehead To Knee Pose
In a seated position, bend your left leg so the bottom of your left foot presses up against the inside of your right thigh. Turn your torso towards your right foot and lean over your leg reaching both hands towards the foot.
Bring your forehead towards your knee and take five slow deep breaths in and out of your nose before coming up to switch sides.
Pose Benefits: This helps stretch the legs, hips, and spine. All forward folds help calm the nerves.
Lay on your back and completely relax for seven minutes. Do not try to control your breath but let it just happen naturally. Close your eyes and consciously relax your entire body.
You may want to cover your eyes to block out the light or cover yourself with a blanket to stay warm. Don’t think about anything, just allow yourself to be held up by the floor.
Pose Benefits: Restores your energy and helps calm anxious nerves that can block digestion.
Yoga is a great way to start your new year’s health goals and to help you have the energy to pursue your other new year’s goals as well. You can do yoga at home and tailor it to fit your needs whether that means doing ten minutes here and there, doing some more relaxing poses that can help you manage stress or stretching gently because of an old injury.
If you’re interested in learning more about yoga, we have some introductory articles about some of the main types to help you find your style. Check out our articles on vinyasa yoga, kundalini yoga, hatha yoga, ashtanga yoga, and yin/yang yoga. If you want to try some more poses, check out these sun and moon salutations. We also have lots of articles that can help you find a form of meditation that will carry you into the new year so you can stay focused on your goals and use your mind to create an empowered life in this new decade.
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