It's a new year. And while that doesn't necessarily mean a brand-spanking-new you, it does mean that an ideal opportunity has arisen to let go of a little bit of the old you in order to make space for something else – hopefully better – in your life. Start by physically stimulating your body to let go of accumulated waste, and watch as that affects your mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. After all, it is all connected.
The body has three systems that work to get rid of waste – circulatory, digestive and lymph. And yoga is designed to touch on all three. A well-rounded yoga practice will facilitate cleansing of your body, and I could not recommend incorporating a thrice-weekly yoga class into your undoubtedly jam-packed schedule more. But, on days when things feel sluggish, toxic and the need to wring out arises but a full on practice is not an option, give this one yoga pose the spotlight: Ardha Matsyendrasana, or Seated Spinal Twist.
Why It Rocks
This pose has the power to help clear up accumulated toxins, emotional waste and mental garbage. It squeezes the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion and elimination.
This twist squeezes your body's most important detox player, the liver, hastening an inner clean up of all the junk we cosume. There's also a transverse squeeze happening that works on a number of other organs and glands of elimination and excretion, including the entire uro-genital system, the spleen, kidneys and the adrenals (involved with stress management). One thing yoga twists work magic on: Constipation. Let's free things up!
How to Rock Ardha Matsyendrasana
Sit up tall with both legs long in front of you. Step your left foot over your right knee, placing it on the floor beside the right knee, sole of your foot planted on the earth. Bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot to the floor just in front of your right sitting bone. Rest your left hand on the floor behind your back for support. Reach your right hand up to the sky, searching for some major length, lifting your ribcage. Rotate your torso to the left and bring your right elbow to the outside of your left knee (or hug your knee in). Look over your shoulder only if that feels good for your neck. Stay for 5 deep breaths, gradually and gently using the leverage of your elbow and knee to encourage your torso to twist further. Slowly unwind and take a counter twist by bringing your forehead towards the earth on the opposite side. Rise. Repeat on the other side.
You can also rock out 1 Pose for Sustained Energy.
image: lululemon athletica