Detox Yoga

Top seven poses to stimulate detoxification

The body has its own systems that work to eliminate waste products and toxic substances. Three of these systems are as follows:

1. Circulatory system

Pumps blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen to and carrying waste products away from the cells of the body.

2. Digestive system

Processes food, separates nutrients from waste, and eliminates what the body doesn’t need.

3. Lymphatic system

Intracellular fluid is moved throughout the body and transported to lymph nodes, where harmful constituents are removed (such as bacteria and other contaminants) before the lymphatic fluid is returned to the bloodstream. Lymph moves around based on how much we move around. The only way to ensure proper lymph circulation is through exercise or massage.

These systems work well on their own in a healthy body, but if we don’t eat well or exercise enough, or if we’re stressed, then they don’t work as efficiently. This results in a build-up of toxic material, which can leave us feeling physically and mentally sluggish and sick.

The practice of yoga is one method that supports the functioning of these systems. Yoga postures systematically stretch, twist and compress all parts of the body to help eliminate impurities from different organs and to allow oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood to flow through the organs, detoxifying and boosting metabolism.

Benefits of a regular yoga practice include increased energy and mental clarity, improved sleep and digestion, clearer skin, fewer aches and pains, and less illness.


Stretches your lower back muscles and bathes the kidneys in fresh, oxygenated blood; it compresses the liver and abdomen, promoting digestion and elimination. Because the head is lower than the heart, circulation to the face is increased.


Forward-bending poses are a great way to invigorate the abdominal organs. The digestive system is stimulated, which helps with the elimination process and invigorates the entire nervous system.


Abdominal organs are squeezed during twists, stimulating the kidneys and liver and forcing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When the twists are released, then fresh, clean blood enters these organs, bathing the cells in nutrients and oxygen.


Twisted Chair pose helps increase circulation not only by using every muscle in your body, but also through the twisting motion, which awakens the internal organs and stimulates digestion, detoxification, and elimination of impurities and waste products from the body. Twist get the blood flowing and cleans stale air out of our lungs.

TWISTS HAVE A CLEANSING, REFRESHING EFFECT and help to detoxify the body by stimulating fresh blood flow through the abdominal organs, particularly the kidneys, liver and spleen. Standing and seated twists will help wring out toxins and bring fresh blood and nutrients to the spine, energizing the entire body. Any inverted pose, such as headstand, shoulderstand, or a simple “legs up the wall” pose helps to drain accumulated lymph fluid from the legs and re-circulate it through the body. This benefits the immune system, soothes the nervous system, reduces stress, and facilitates toxin removal.


Headstand is an energizing inversion. It stimulates the pituitary gland, which governs blood pressure; it also regulates water in the body, metabolism, sex organ function, and thyroid function.


Supported shoulderstand is an excellent way to stimulate the thyroid gland, thus helping to stimulate our metabolic rates. This inversion (legs above the heart) helps to reverse the flow of blood and stimulate the lymph system, promoting detoxification and rejuvenation.

TO MODIFY: Bring your back and butt against a wall, then twist around so that your legs are straight up the wall while you lie back on the floor. Press your thighs into the wall as you keep your feet parallel and slightly flexed. Hold for five minutes.




Halasana stimulates the spinal nerves, which increases blood supply; it provides healthy nourishment for your internal organs, which improves blood circulation within the body and assists in digestion and absorption of nutrients.


Grace Van Berkum offers Gracious Living Yoga Adventure Retreats that focus on detoxification of body and mind. They incorporate yoga, raw food workshops, meditation, breathing exercises, surfing, and volcano hiking at the stunning Aqua Wellness Resort in Nicaragua.

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