Your body has all it needs to invigorate processes that aid in detoxification. The yoga poses stimulate the circulatory system, endocrine system, and associated organs to cleanse the body and remove toxins and tension.
Yoga stimulates three primary systems through specific poses to detoxify and rid the body of waste. The three systems include the digestive, lymphatic, and integumentary systems (the skin). Poses such as twists and inversions increase the heart rate through vigorous movement, and pranayamas shift the body into a rest and digest mode to decrease the amount of stress hormones released into the body.
Read on for a closer examination of how specific poses and pranayamas benefit the body through detoxification.
Poses and Practices to Remove Toxins
Explore the yoga and collections on Practice with Clara that stimulate the removal of toxins from the body.
The digestive system is affected when we twist. Twisting affects the large intestine and stimulates blood flow around the muscles of the abdomen. The large intestine is where your body forms feces to excrete from the body.
B.K.S. Iyengar referred to twists as the squeeze-and-soak action, as the twist creates an intra-abdominal compression. When the twist is released, the digestive organs receive blood rich in oxygen and nutrients. Twisting to the left compresses the descending colon, which pushes everything in the direction to relieve digestive stress and assist in the digestive process to remove waste and excrement.
The circulatory and lymphatic systems are affected whenever we invert. Inversions allow fresh blood to be transported to the liver and kidneys to shift the blood cycle to the body’s tissues and organs. Inversions also change the cerebral spinal fluid flow, stimulate the lymph system, and flush the adrenals to promote the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters that make you feel good.
Yoga Sequences that Increase the Heart Rate
The circulatory and lymphatic systems are affected by vigorous movement. The circulatory system consists of the heart and blood vessels. The lymphatic system consists of the spleen, tissues, and organs that remove toxins and transport white blood cells throughout the body. Lymph nodes are points in the body that filter the lymphatic fluid.
Through vigorous movement, the heart rate increases and stimulates blood circulation, including blood and lymph fluid. As our heart beats faster, we may begin to sweat. Sweating is the release of toxins exiting the skin. Muscle contraction also triggers the lymphatic system to move fluids to remove bodily waste and carry white blood cells that fight and prevent infection.
The integumentary system, the skin, is cleansed through sweating. As we sweat, hopefully, we drink more water to produce urine and clear the kidneys.
When the body is in a constant state of fight or flight, aka stress, this is very hard on the systems that promote good health and vitality. The digestive system, circulatory system, and immunity are all affected by hormones released when we’re feeling stressed. Cortisol is the stress hormone we experience during fight or flight and triggers the release of more glucose (sugars) into the bloodstream when we may not need it.
Stress shifts our energy and refocuses the body’s vital processes on keeping the heart rate elevated to keep us alive when we’re in fight or flight.
Shifting the body’s energy into rest and digest mode benefits the digestive, circulatory, and lymphatic systems and maintains proper function. Focused pranayamas (breathwork) in yoga shift the body into rest and digestion mode. Deeper breaths slow down the heart rate and the body’s essential systems. Focused pranayamas such as kapalbhati, ujjayi, and 4-part breathing have a specific purpose and benefit overall relaxation.
Yoga to Incite Physical Transformation
We call on Shiva when we want to transform and shift our current state. As the God of Destruction, Shiva is the warrior who appears when we need to let go, surrender, or fight to release whatever it is we’ve been holding on to.
Shiva is the patron saint of yogis as his practice is that of meditation and dancing the tandava, the dance of destruction.
Yogis seek to connect with the Oneness of the universe through meditation and are interesting in transforming themselves by doing their own tandava.