Autumn has arrived, and Mother Nature is preparing to cleanse the earth. There’s no better time than this to take a leaf out of Nature’s book. Before the indulgence of the holiday season begins, start a detox routine of your own!

Your body is a veritable factory. It deals with the intake, breakdown, and distribution of everything that you eat, breathe and touch. Your digestive system, circulatory and lymphatic systems are working tirelessly every day. They’re also responsible for disposing of the left over waste products.

A thorough detox will include a cleansing of your emotions, as well as your body. Every cell is being affected by every thought that passes through your mind. Your autumn detox is a time to let go of bitterness, resentment, and guilt. It’s a time to breathe new life into your cells for a natural body boost!

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An effective way to detox your mind and body together is with the practice of Hatha Yoga. Yoga practice helps to calm the mind, and to relax the muscles of the body; internal organs are stimulated, and waste products are more efficiently released. Yoga poses can be a gentle and enjoyable practice for your autumn detox routine.

The following are 5 effective detox yoga poses for a natural body boost:

1. Ardha cakrasana: half wheel pose

Half wheel pose aids in your detox by improving respiration and circulation. Practicing this pose stretches the thoracic area, and strengthens the diaphragm and intercostal muscles.

– Stand tall with your feet a shoulder width apart. Place your hands on your hips, with your fingers and thumbs facing forwards.

– Pull your elbows back towards each other, and down. Take in a deep breath as you gently arc your upper body.

– Breathe out and lift your ribs up off of your hips, holding the arc. Keep your hips over your heels, and your scapula pulled back and down.

– Look up at the ceiling, keeping your shoulders relaxed. There is to be no pain or discomfort. Feel the stretch in the thoracic area, and in the muscles of the neck.

– Hold the half wheel pose for five deep relaxing breaths. Then return slowly to the starting position.

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2. Pavanamuktasana: wind releasing pose

Wind releasing pose helps to remove gas trapped in the bowels. It stimulates the large intestine, helping to improve waste elimination. This position also stretches tight lower back muscles for tension relief, and improved blood flow.

– Lie down on your back, and hold your right knee up to your chest with your hands. Curl your chin up to meet your knee.

– Keep your shoulders down as you hold the curl, and slowly circle your extended left leg five times in each direction. When the circles are – completed, stretch out both legs and relax.

– Repeat with the left knee curled up to the chin, and right leg making the circles. When the circles are completed, stretch out both legs and relax again.

– Finally curl both knees up to the chest, and bring your chin up to meet your knees. Keep your shoulders relaxed as you gently rock your body from side to side five times. Stay within your comfort level.

– Finish by stretching out your arms and legs on the ground, taking one more deep relaxing breath.

3. Eka pada adho mukha svanasana: one legged downward facing dog pose

One legged downward facing dog promotes good circulation, which helps to remove toxins from your tissues. It also encourages the lymph nodes to drain; another excellent way to detox your body. This position has the added benefit of strengthening your arms and shoulders.

– Begin on your hands and knees, with your shoulders over your hands, and your hips over your knees. Lift your hips up to the ceiling forming a triangle with your body and the ground. Keep your legs straight, but not locked. It’s okay if your heels don’t touch the floor; don’t move your hands closer to your feet to compensate.

– Bring your arms alongside your ears, and your scapula pulled back and towards your waist. Gently press your navel back against your spine.  This will keep your back in a straight and neutral position.

– Lift your left foot up off the ground, extending the left leg behind you. Stretch up through the hip and torso. Keep the top of the foot and the knee of the extended leg facing downwards.

– Take five deep breaths as you press the heel of the extended leg back and up. Keep your arms engaged and alongside your ears. Your weight is to be evenly distributed on both hands.

– Return to the starting position. Repeat with the right leg lifted.

4. Vakrasana: simple twist pose

Simple twist pose is a gentle way to relieve constipation, a major cause of toxic build up. This pose also promotes healthy bowels, kidneys, and pancreas. All of these organs are vital for freeing your body of toxins.

– Sit down on the ground with your legs extended, and your spine straight. Bend your left knee, and place your left foot alongside your right knee.

– Take in a deep breath as you raise your arms above your head. As you breathe out, bring your right elbow onto the outside of your left knee, and your left hand on the ground behind you. (If you cannot reach across with your right elbow, just wrap the right arm around the left knee instead.)

– Take in another deep breath, and as you breathe out draw your left shoulder back into a gentle twist at the waist.

– Close your eyes, and continue with ten more slow deep breaths. Relax the muscles of your face and shoulders as you breathe out. Feel the weight of your body, and surrender to the ground.

– Return to the original position with your legs extended out front, and your spine straight. Bend your knees and fold forward gently for two deep breaths. Now repeat the simple twist pose on the other side.

5. Pascimatanasana: posterior stretching pose

Posterior stretching pose not only promotes a healthy spine, it also stimulates the liver, pancreas, and intestines for healthy function. Although primarily a lower back stretch, this posture can also relieve tight hamstrings, improving cleansing blood flow.

– Sit on the ground with your legs extended, and your spine straight.

– Breathe in and reach your hands up to the ceiling, lengthening up from the tailbone.

– As you breathe out, engage your abdominal muscles to fold forward from the hips. Keep your chest up, and your back as straight as possible.

– If your hamstrings are tight then bend your knees slightly, rather than round your back to reach further. Keeping correct form is more important than touching your toes.

– Take ten deep relaxing breaths, allowing yourself to release into the stretch with each out-breath.

When you’ve completed your routine, relax for five minutes in Savasana (Corpse Pose). Lie down on the ground where you won’t be disturbed. If you find it difficult to lie on the ground, you can lie on a firm bed instead. Place small pillows, or rolled up towels, under your head and knees if necessary for comfort. Take deep belly breaths, and allow yourself to surrender to the moment.

You can enjoy these 5 detox yoga poses every day, and give yourself a natural body boost!

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