Saturday, February 8, 2014

Get Twisted! Detoxify Your Body with Yoga

by NativeR  
A funny thing happened the first time I ever practiced yoga. After a night out with friends, I went to the gym and not feeling particularly keen on getting on the treadmill, I decided join in on yoga class they were offering that morning. The only thing I was sure of was that I had no idea what I was doing.
After a couple of postures involving a twist, I looked down at my body and I had red blotches all over me. At first I was a little worried, and then I asked the instructor what she thought was going on with my body. She told me my red blotchy skin may be a sign of detoxification, and since I had a couple drinks the night before, I thought maybe she was right.
If you are new to yoga, you should know that a twist does not mean that you have to be extremely flexible to attain the benefits they provide. Yoga twist benefits include stimulating internal organs and improving digestion. When we stimulate the internal organs and improve digestion, detoxification of the body is inevitable.
Just like a dirty dishrag, twisting the body through yoga wrings toxins and tension from the body.  The twisting action helps muscles to relax and increases blood flow to areas of the body involved in the pose, thereby allowing nutrients to flow more freely. Twisting is also a great stress reliever and helps balance emotions.
Now that we know how beneficial twists are, now we must talk about safety because proper alignment is key to not injuring yourself. A couple rules of thumb while practicing twists, is to always elongate the spine by sitting up tall and lengthening through the torso. Use your abdomen to guide the twist instead of using your arms as leverage. Both of these tips will ensure you are completing the pose safely.
One of the best things about twisting poses is that you can practice them in a studio, at your house, or even at the office. So when you find that you have been out the night before, ate everything at the baseball game, or had a second helping at dinner, remember that a twist can be your best friend. As for me, after the first initial blotchiness in my skin that only lasted an hour, it never happened again.
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