Liver in need of a detox? Do these poses.
Did you know your liver is the second largest organ in your body? It has many different functions and plays an important role in our health. Its most important job is to keep harmful toxins and carcinogens from getting into our bloodstream.
When you practice yoga, you can actually assist your liver in the process of waste removal. This is done through poses that allow you to stretch, twist, expand and contract, removing wastes like lactic acid, lymphatic fluid, toxins and carbon dioxide from the deep tissues and extremities of your body.
By Charmie Stryker
1. Revolved Half Moon
Starting in Triangle Pose, begin to lean forward, placing your hand 6-12 inches above the pinky-toe side of your foot. Option: use a block under your grounded hand for added support. Keep the other hand on your top hip for balance as you lift your back leg hip-level.
Once you are stable in your Half Moon, gaze straight down toward your standing foot and begin to rotate your body until your chest faces your mat. Revolve the hands: hand from the hip now reaches for the floor or block as the other extends skyward bringing you into a Revolved Half Moon. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
2. Seated Spinal Twist
Find a comfortable seated position, sitting with spine tall and core engaged. Inhale as you raise your arms and lengthen your spine. As you exhale, begin to twist your torso towards the right as you gaze over your right shoulder.
Right hand plants behind you like a kickstand, as you bring left hand to right knee, deepening your twist. Stay for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
3. Marichi’s Pose
Find a comfortable seated position, with legs straight in front of you in Staff Pose. Lengthen the spine and engage the core. Bend your right knee, and plant the sole of the right foot on the outside of your extended left knee.
As you inhale, lift arms and spine towards the ceiling and as you exhale, start to twist over your right shoulder. Right hand follows your gaze behind your back as your left elbow presses against the outside of your right knee to deepen the twist. Stay for 5 breaths and repeat on both sides.
4. Revolved Hand-to-Big-Toe
Start by standing tall with hands on your hips in Mountain Pose. Ground down through your feet and raise your right knee to a 90-degree angle. Keeping your hips square to the front, place your left hand on the outside of the right knee as you twist your torso right, bringing your gaze over your right shoulder.
Extend your right arm behind you allowing your gaze to follow. Stay here for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Once you feel more stable in the pose, you can explore straightening your right leg (it’s ok if your knee remains slightly bent). Whether your lifted knee is bent or straightened, be sure to keep your spine tall and abdomen engaged as you twist (no rounding in the upper spine).
5. Revolved Side Angle
Start in a Crescent Lunge, hips square to the front, front knee aligned directly over front ankle (if the knee overextends, just widen your stance), and back leg straight with back heel lifted off the mat.
Sink low into your Crescent Lunge and bring your hands to prayer position. Keeping spine straight, lean forward towards your front knee and as you exhale, begin to twist over your right shoulder. You can deepen the pose by sinking lower and pressing left elbow against the thigh for a deeper twist.
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All images courtesy of YogiApproved.com.