Yoga is the ancient practice of connecting mind, breath and body to find true health and well-being. While yoga dates back around 2,500 years, it is more popular now than ever, and there’s a good reason for it; a yoga workout is unlike anything else you will have ever tried before. There’s no need for expensive equipment, or special skills. It’s just about you being you.
When it comes to detoxing, a yoga workout can help in a multitude of ways. Not only do the postures help detoxify the body, but specific breathing techniques and meditation help to rid the mind of unwanted ‘toxins’ too, creating beauty from the inside-out.
We spoke with Emma Newlyn a trained yoga instructor, who writes for various health and well-being websites and is the manager of the Brighton Yoga Festival. Emma has trained with acclaimed teachers such as Kathryn Budig, Doug Swenson, Stephanie Snyder, Max Strom and Shiva Rea. With her love of yoga philosophy she has shared some amazing yoga tips to help you be a yoga bunny too!
Twists are said to aid in detoxifying internal organs such as the liver. (Useful if you’ve over-done it after the festive season!) They can revitalise the spine after hours spent hunching over at a desk, and create space in the muscles surrounding the lungs so you’re able to breathe more fully. Simple seated and supine twists help you unwind after a long day, and standing postures like revolved chair pose and Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle) can be stimulating, warming and reviving.
It’s easy to tell how much is on our minds by how challenging we find simply balancing on one foot. When the mind is busy and full, we’re much more likely to wobble and fall, but if you’re calm and collected, you’ll notice balancing becomes a lot easier.
Either way, balancing isn’t about being perfect and ‘getting it right’, it’s about training the mind to focus on one thing at a time – hopefully a skill we can then bring with us into daily life. Practice postures like Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) and Tree Pose to find focus!
These postures bring a breath of fresh air to the mind and body by opening the lungs and stimulating the nervous system. You’ll certainly notice a change in your energy levels after practicing them. Full Wheel and Ustrasana (camel pose) open the heart and lungs, and counteract any hunching in the shoulders and spine.
The focus and attention we practice within a Yoga class benefits us most when we’re able to translate it into every day life. By paying attention to the breath in a posture, we practice being present in that moment. Take just a minute every now and again throughout the day to become aware of your breath; slowing it down and focussing on it entirely. Practicing this will stop the mind from racing and you’ll begin to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of life too.