Yoga is a miraculous system that can be designed to provide healing, clarity and peace in the mind, body and soul. It can also empower and strengthen you and provide numerous other health and life enhancing benefits. I designed this simple seated yoga detox sequence for all levels, so whether you have never tried yoga before, or if you’ve been practicing for decades, you can benefit from this. It goes especially well with Green Smoothie and Juice cleansing.
This is a short excerpt from the 90 minute yoga detox sequence I offer as part of the 10 workshops of the Prasha Method. Try this on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours after eating, and make sure you have a satvic (peaceful) environment surrounding you. I suggest finding music that soothes your soul to play here as well. Some of my favorites are from Snatam Kaur, Wah!, Deva Premal and Donna De Lory.
1). Start seated – simple cross-legged position, also called “easy pose”. Take a few gentle twists to each side to open and warm up the spine.
2). Gentle spinal undulation, to get the spine prepared for the sequence. Placing your hands on your knees, round the spine, pressing the back of your heart toward the wall behind you, chin into the chest, hollow out your belly as you exhale.
3). Inhale, arch your spine, lift your heart, look back and/or up. Repeat this several times moving with your breath.
4). Side stretches to lengthen and open the side body. Reach both arms up toward the sky and clasp right and around left wrist as you pull the left arm up and over your head toward the right side to stretch the left side. Keep both hips firmly rooted into the earth. Draw your left shoulder back slightly and keep your neck soft. Repeat on both sides several times, breathing deeply.
5). (other side)
6). Rabbit pose, compresses the internal organs and massages them against each other. Start in a kneeling position, place your forearms on the floor in front of your knees, elbows shoulder distance apart. Place the crown of your head between your arms and begin to lift your hips toward the sky, rolling your chin in toward your chest. This will open up the cervical and thoracic spine (neck and upper back). Take 5-10 breaths into the back of your heart and all the way down into your belly. Focus on sending love into your internal organs from your heart.
7). Alternate position; reach your hands back toward your ankles if you feel your neck is safe and strong.
8). Coming back to a seated position, in cow face pose (knees stacked on top of each other in a seated position, really opens your hips. If you have extra tight hips, you can also place a block or pillow under your hips to make this pose more comfortable). Place your palms in a prayer position at the heart. Take a few deep breaths as the hips begin to release.
9). Arms will now come into eagle arm position, wrapping right arm under left arm and winding them around each other until you can touch your palms together in a prayer position again. This will open the shoulders and upper back. If your palms don’t touch, that is ok. Just do the best you can and your shoulders will open up more as you practice this sequence more. Lift your fingertips toward the sky and press your elbows away from your chest. This intensifies the stretch. Focus on your breath.
10). Advanced variation is to fold forward and keep the spine nice and long, hips flat on the earth (or block/pillow) and neck is soft.
11). Lifting your chest, prayer at the heart center, place your right elbow on the outside of the left thigh (if left leg is on top in cow face pose) and lengthen your spine as you twist to the left. Inhale to get a bit of length and exhale as you twist. Visualize all toxins and negative emotions being released on the exhale. Repeat 3 times on each side.
12). Advanced variations: fold forward as you twist to the side (intensifies your hip stretch).
13). Advanced variation: half bind – reach your right arm and hand toward your left foot as you lengthen your spine and twist. Use your straight arm as leverage against the thigh to go deeper into the spinal twist.
14: Advanced variation: full bind – if you shoulders are open enough, reach the right arm through the hole between your left knee and other leg and reach the left arm around the back of your body – binding the right hand clasps the left wrist as you draw your left shoulder back and exhale with the twist. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
15). Optional – Sliding the top knee to the side, and placing knee over foot, foot under knee, shins stacked in double pigeon pose. Use your elbow or forearm to massage the arch of your foot to release tension. The reflexology points in the arch correlate to the digestive organs, so this will be like performing a stomach massage. Repeat on both sides.
16). With shins stacked, or in a more comfortable seated position, fold forward and relax as you breath and release any and all toxins and negative emotions that have been stored in your body. Repeat on both sides if shins are stacked, to balance yourself out.
After this sequence, you may feel emotional, or you may feel tired. That is normal, as toxins are being eliminated. Be sure to drink plenty of alkaline water, green juice and smoothies and take some magnesium supplements before bed, which will help you release excess waste from your digestive system and get proper rest so your body can heal and restore. You may wish to take an Epsom salts bath as well. Any tender loving care you can provide for yourself is wonderful during this time of detox, cleansing and releasing negativity and stress from your body. As you release, you create space for new vibrant health, joy and happiness to fill your body, mind and soul! And don’t forget to find time to laugh, dance and play today, as those are also part of the process to heal and restore perfect health
Blessings to your great health and happiness.
Love and Namaste,