By Shannon Graf
If you’ve taken a class of mine before, then you have heard me speak throughout to the idea of using each practice as an opportunity to take in only that which serves you or others: a posture, deep breath, happy memory, an encouraging thought. In the same context, I speak to leaving behind anything else that does not serve you or others: negative self talk, fear, doubt, a posture that doesn’t quite feel right in your body that day. In essence: inhale nourishment and exhale hindrance.
Much like the transitions between seasons, each practice allows us the space we need for transition to take place in our mind and body. The term “detox” gets thrown around quite a bit, so let’s take a moment to dive into its meaning. We absorb toxins such as preservatives and stimulants through food, water, and oxygen. As well, our own bodies produce toxins in the form of waste due to digestion and respiration. Fortunately, a consistent yoga practice can help to aid the body with its natural detox functions (e.g. digestive, endocrine, and circulatory).
What many may not realize when they arrive to the mat for their first yoga practice is that, while it is a very physical activity, it also provides many mental and emotional benefits. In the same way we physically detox through postures, we also use the focused breath to release tension from the mind and deepen our practice of complete surrender to the mat.
Though we’re in Texas where all four seasons can exist in a week, we encourage you to find some Spring cleaning on your mat this season. The next time you find yourself on the mat, try the following nourishing postures to bring about a renewal of energy and enlightenment due to their detoxifying benefits:
Legs up the wall (viparita karani)
Downward dog (adho mukha svanasana)
Chair pose (utkatasana)
Warrior I (virabhadrasana I)
Locust pose (salabhasana)
Supine spinal twist (supta jathara parivartanasana)
We would love to hear your feedback on how incorporating these into your practice impacts you. As always, the Sun Yoga community is here to provide assistance before, during, and after class – come try something new, reacquaint yourself with a posture, or share a favorite posture with us!