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There are a lot of different beliefs and opinions about yoga and its effects on the body. I personally love yoga, and strongly believe in its benefits, as long as it’s not taken too far (it’s not about competition people!). I also believe that yoga can have a beneficial impact on a detox.
To explain this I’ll give a quick rundown of how a detox works in the body. There are three main systems in the body that take part, those being: the circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic. The circulatory system pumps the much needed blood throughout the body. The digestive system processes food, and eliminates the wastes Lastly the lymphatic system collects intracellular fluid from throughout the body and transports it to the lymph nodes. Here the fluid is sifted through and anything harmful (such as bacteria or other contaminants) are removed before the fluid is returned to the bloodstream.
Any type of vigorous exercise will stimulate all of these systems to an extent, which in turn will help the body to detox naturally, however many of the typical exercises, such as running, bike riding or weight lifting won’t necessarily reach all the deep tissues of the body that need to be cleansed as well. A well rounded practice will push, pull and twist the body until all of those obscure crevices have been reached.
The pulmonary is another system that is crucial to the body that should be regularly cleansed. And how you ask? It’s rather simple, breath; deep, long, slow and steady breaths, as you would in yoga. Yoga teaches control of the breath and it forces the practitioner to reach deep down into each teeny tiny orifice of the lungs filling it with oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide and other unnecessary gasses. It forces your diaphragm to move fluidly in and out massaging the internal organs and the muscles that surround them.
Lastly yoga helps to cleanse the soul. I cannot tell you how many days I have come to the matt miserable and frustrated and left feeling happy and rejuvenated. Yoga teaches us to focus on the present, the practice at hand and leave the world behind, calming the chaos of the mind. I have learned how to control the unending tide of daily stress that continues to haunt my conscience, and I’m only taking basic yoga!
For the week of this cleanse I am going to try to start each of my days with a set of sun salutations and a little vinyasa flow. I hope this is a habit that I can keep.