Tag Archives: SKIN

DETOX WITH YOGA

DETOX WITH THESE VERY SIMPLE YOGA ASANAS!!

 

Do you want to start your new year with a clean slate?

People love to start each New Year with something new. If you are looking to kick off 2014 on a healthy, fresh, positive note, try yoga. Yoga helps you to remain in the present, moving forward, never looking back.

The right yoga routine can also help you detox your body and mind.

 

How detoxification works

There are three main systems of the body that play a crucial role in the elimination of wastes —

  1. Circulatory system: pumps blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen to and carrying waste products away from cells.
  2. Digestive system: processes the food we eat, separating nutrients from waste and eliminating anything the body doesn’t need.
  3. Lymphatic system: collects intracellular fluid from throughout the body and transports it to the lymph nodes where anything harmful (such as bacteria or other contaminants) can be removed before the lymphatic fluid is returned to the bloodstream.

It’s a robust system that works well on its own. But to cope with the heavy demands, thanks to the modern lifestyle (increased stress levels, poor diet, increased pollution etc.) we need something else to be part of our lifestyle. Most forms of vigorous exercise stimulate all three systems of elimination to some extent, thereby helping the body in its quest to cleanse and detox. But yoga’s inside out approach gives it an extra edge.

How yoga facilitates detoxification

  • Focus on systematically stretching and compressing every part of the body, is particularly well-suited to keeping the waste-removal departments of the body functioning well. This facilitates the removal of waste products such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid and lymphatic fluid from the deep tissues and extremities of the body that other forms of exercise just don’t reach.
  • Yogic breathing also plays an important role in promoting detoxification. Sitting with poor posture obstructs the lungs from inflating fully, and our chronic state of low-grade stress often leads to a clenched diaphragm. As a result, we don’t take in as much life-sustaining oxygen when we inhale, or expel as much of the potentially hazardous carbon dioxide when we exhale.
  • Yogic breathing helps clear out carbon dioxide from the lung tissue, stimulates the organs of digestion and can, over time, retrain the diaphragm to move freely. And when the diaphragm moves with its natural fluidity, the abdominal organs are massaged and the lungs are fully emptied with every breath — not just the ones you take on the yoga mat.

Clear mind, clear body

In addition to its physical benefits, yoga aids in mental detox as well.

  • Slowing Down: Reducing stress and mental over-activity is perhaps the most important element of a successful detox plan. Habitual rushing, multitasking, and dealing with information overloads are the main reasons of toxicity. And like an overtaxed liver, an overtaxed mind and nervous system can lead to a host of health issues, including adrenal fatigue, insomnia, irregular menstrual cycles, indigestion, and unwelcome weight gain.
  • Inward focus of  Yoga practice teaches us how to say “no” to the outside influences that pull your attention and energy in so many directions—and replacing them with healthier choices—you’ll begin to tune in to your body’s natural rhythms and detox more effectively.
  • Heightened awareness of a yoga practitioner helps purge toxic thoughts by teaching you to move your awareness away from the chaos of the mind and back to the present moment.

Yoga poses to detoxify the body

Specific yoga pose/practices can help expedite the detoxification process. The heating and twisting sequence designed for this plan can help move toxins from your tissues through your lymphatic and digestive systems so that they can be eliminated from the body.

 

Kapalbhati

Easily the best practice to cleanse your lungs off the residual carbon dioxide. This could also be your start up practices as it exercises abdomen muscles and massages inner organs.

 

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Twisting postures : Squeeze the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion and elimination.

  • Marichiyasana 3 (Marichi’s Twist)  :

Sit up tall with your legs straight. 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 right hand on the floor behind your back for support.

Reach your left hand up so strongly that your ribcage lifts up. Rotate your torso to the right and bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Stay for 5 deep breaths, gradually and gently using the sensation of your left elbow pressing into to your right leg to encourage your torso to twist further to the right.

Either look behind you, over your right shoulder or straight ahead, depending on what feels best to your neck. Repeat on the other side.

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  • Supine Twist:

Lie on the ground, hug right knee into chest, “T” arms out to either side, and allow right knee to fall to the left.

You can stay with a neutral neck or, if it feels good, look to the right.

You can also take left hand to right thigh to allow its weight to ground right leg.

Stay here for at least 5 deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

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Downward Dog

Getting the heart higher than the head reverses the pull of gravity and aids in the circulation of blood and lymph. Also gently tones the abdomen, which stimulates digestion.

Start on your hands and knees with the entire surface of your palms pressing into the floor and your toes tucked under. Slowly lift the knees and straighten the legs. Press equally into the hands and feet and lift your sitting bones up as you move the thighs back. Allow the head to hang. Stay for 5–10 deep breaths.

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Legs Up the Wall

Bathes the abdomen in fresh blood and stimulates the digestive organs. Soothes the nervous system.

Sit in front of a wall with your right hip and shoulder touching the wall. Bend your knees and roll onto your left side, so your feet and seat are touching the wall. Roll onto your back and extend your legs so that they rest on the wall. Either rest your hands on your belly or let your arms lie on the floor, palms up. Stay for at least 10 deep breaths.

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Do these poses in order any time you feel like you need a cleansing. As you do these moves, use each inhale to lengthen and each exhale to wring yourself out like a sponge, getting rid of anything you no longer want or need. One must practice on an empty stomach.

 

By-SUJATA NERURKAR

 

GET THE GLOW WITH YOGA……….

What’s In a Face?

 

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. Appearance predicts behavior in surprising ways—some of the time. “I am a big believer in the fact that if you focus on good skin care, you really won’t need a lot of makeup” a quote by the beautiful Demi moore. It’s easy to spot a yoga practitioner. If there’s one thing seasoned yoga practitioners are known for it’s great skin.

 

What’s a great skin? A mirror of great health! A healthy skin is smooth, soft, evenly toned and appropriate for natural aging. It makes sense, right? And what’s most important is that these external factors symbolize that your skin is functioning properly in that it protects your body from the sometimes unkind effects of the environment, prevents harmful germs and bacteria from penetrating your body, and preserves the skin’s natural waterproof property.

Ever wonder why yoga instructors always have a natural glow to their faces, and their skin seems so relaxed? Is it the deep, restorative breaths and meditative state that keep wrinkles at bay, or is it the focused flows of movement that increase circulation or is it the yog nidra, the deep relaxation? Well, it is known that practicing yoga can reduce the signs of aging and give your skin a natural, clear and beautiful glow.

 

  • Yoga postures increase circulation in your body, which helps to smooth your skin.
  • Inversions are especially wonderful, as being upside down sends blood to your brain, which nourishes your face with vital nutrients at the cellular level.
  • Yoga postures also help to balance your chakras, which stimulate your hormonal systems that are responsible for slowing down the aging process.
  • Yoga in general improves the skin by reducing stress (a common catalyst to breakouts and fine lines) and removing toxins from the body.
  • Yoga practise balances your hormones and boosts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your skin. This naturally keeps your skin resilient and prevents dryness as well as excessive sagging.
  • Yoga tones the muscles of your face and neck.

Though certain practices like Surya Namaskar, forward bending postures like uttanasan or adhomukh shwanasan, or inversions and seated twisting postures are especially beneficial for the skin regular yoga practice is what it takes to get that healthy glow.

 

So here we go for a practice which will help flush out the entire toxin content from our internal organs.

 

Kapalbhati: 

 

This has been practiced by yog gurus and saints for ages and has been referred to as the sanjeevani medicine because of its multilevel benefits. It clears your body of all toxins leaving you feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Kapalbhati infuses a new life into you.

Kapalbhati literally is ‘that which shines or brings a glow to the forehead – kapaal’. In Sanskrit, ‘kapaal’ means ‘skull’ or ‘forehead’, and ‘bhati’ means ‘luminous’ and ‘perception’. Kapalbhati is the practice that brings a state of luminousness, or clarity in the mind as well as the body by

–          cleansing the nasal passageway and the sinuses

–          removing carbondioxide gas which is toxic to body and mind

–          supplying the brain with fresh oxygen rich blood

It is essentially a voluntary abdominal breathing practice with focus on forceful exhalations. In normal breathing inhalation is active but exhalation is passive. In Kapalabhati, exhalation is active while inhalation is passive. It is done in quick succession with the help of the abdominal muscles, while the chest is more or less quiet and unmoved. The abdominal muscles are made to contract actively with force, so that the forceful upward movement of the diaphragm expels the air out. The diaphragm then descends easily, creating a slight reduction in the pressure in the lungs, and the atmospheric air rushes in.

Kapalbhati is a rapid diaphragmatic breathing that cleanses and energises. It is the kriya that cleanses the respiratory tract and destroy all mucous disorders. Broadly speaking, it stimulates an all-round activity in the body. It expels the stagnant air in the lower lobes of the lungs, (which remains there due to shallow breathing). It also clears out the air passage, the lungs and the nostrils.

With the practice of Kapalbhati the lungs are cleansed of carbon dioxide – the toxic end product of metabolism. Kapalbhati not only cleanses the lungs, but also rids the tissues and blood of toxic waste products, most of which ultimately get converted to carbon dioxide. This brings a sense of lightness to the body and alertness in the mind. The practice brings a glow to the crown and lightness to the brain; hence the name Kapalbhati.

Technique

–          Sit in a comfortable pose with an erect spine, and maintain its natural curve. The position must be such that the belly muscles are relaxed and able to move freely and actively, keeping the body steady and comfortable.

–          Place your palms on the thighs or knees. This helps lift the spine and pushes the shoulders back.

–          Relax the nose and soften the face with a gentle smile.

–          Begin with a chest-expanding inhalation and maintaining it, start the practice. Use your stomach muscles to perform active forceful exhalations, followed by passive soundless inhalations.  All breathing is done through the nose.

–          During exhalation propel out the air through a strong flapping movement of the abdomen in an upward direction. At the end of each exhalation allow the abdominal muscles to relax as the inhalations happen passively, recoiling from the force of exhalation. Inhalation is smooth and effortless and prepares the practitioner for the next thrust of the abdomen.

–          A correct practice of Kapalabhati produces a crisp sound as one exhales out without any facial contortions. The sound is produced by the volume of air being pushed up by the forceful action of the diaphragm and not the muscles of the chest, shoulders, neck or the face.

–          To start with do 10-20 expulsions per round, resting between the rounds. One can increase the speed gradually and the number of expulsions to about 60 per round With regular and sustained practice, one can achieve a speed of 100-120 strokes per minute. It is vital not to sacrifice the force of the abdominal contraction to achieve a greater speed.

–          Exhalations should be regular and consistent like the ticking of the clock. Jerky and erratic breaths will lead to air hunger in the form of gasping for breath intermittently. The rhythm should be slow and steady initially, allowing enough time for spontaneous inhalations to occur.

–          At the end of one round, take a short rest. Sit very still and observe the body and mind and experience the feeling of peace. There will be an automatic suspension of breathing. This is called Kewala Kumbhaka. The urge to breathe stops for a few seconds. Simultaneously the mind experiences a deep state of stillness, silence, calm and peace. Enjoy this state of deep rest and freshness.

–          Wait until the breath automatically resumes and then go on to the next round.

–          How much to practice – If you feel fatigued, dizzy or experience discomfort in the abdomen or the back during the practice, slow down or stop for a while. Stay within your capacity as it is not a competitive activity.

 

Its better done early in the morning with an empty stomach. Pregnant women and high blood pressure patients should not do the practice without consultation.

And so let’s usher in the festive season and the NEW YEAR with a little yoga…..what say folks????

BY

SUJATA NERURKAR