The silly season has officially hit! During this time of year, we’re all busy scheduling last minute trips, organising holiday parties and perhaps even (over) indulging in sweets and treats. It’s easy to let yoga and fitness fall to the bottom of your to-do list. But did you know you could actually release toxins and get digestion moving with twists? At Kula we’re all about efficiency; here are three different poses you can practice at home to detox during the busiest time of the year.
Chair Prayer Twist
What? A variation on our traditional Chair Pose, adding a twist engages and tones the core while squeezing out anything that doesn’t serve the body.
How? Stand with feet together or hip-width distance if you’re still working on stability. Bend deeply into the knees and imagine sitting down into an invisible chair behind you. Spread the weight evenly through the feet, shift the shins backwards until you can look down and see the toes. Gently tuck pelvis under the body to elongate the entire spine. Bring hands to heart centre and press palms against each other firmly. Lean chest forward and from the core, twist to one side. If accessible, press the outside of the elbow into the outside of the knee. Once you make the knee/elbow connection, drop shoulders away from the ears to lengthen the neck. Stay here for 5-10 breathes, then switch sides.
Bonus: To take this pose further, you can “open your wings” by extending the bottom arm straight down and lifting the top arm straight up. Aim to get wrists in one line.
High Lunge Prayer Twist
What? High Lunge is an awesome pose for strengthening the entire leg. Here we add a twist to rinse and detoxify.
How? Begin standing tall in Tadasana feet together. Step back with the right or left leg to start and find High Lunge. Ground down through the front foot, front thigh and shin form a 90-degree angle with knee stacked directly over ankle Bring the hands to heart centre lean chest forward. Whichever leg is forward in your lunge, twist towards that side, hooking elbow against the knee. Once you make that connection, take a big inhale then lengthen the spine and a deep exhale to deepen the twist. Stay here for five breathes, then switch sides.
Bonus: To intensify this pose, open up your arms.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
What? This seated twist allows you feel grounded and make space by twisting.
How? Sit down on the ground and extend legs in front of you. Take the right foot and place it on the left side of the left knee. Ground down through the ball of the right foot and connect sitting bones with the earth. Option to bend the left heel next to the right hip. Bring the right hand to the ground behind your back, lift the left arm towards the sky and then twist to the right. Bend at the elbow and push outside of elbow into outside of knee to deepen the twist. Stay here for 5-10 breathes, then switch sides.
Bonus: Try a half bind in this pose by taking the weight out of the back hand, and wrapping the back arm behind you, aiming for the crease between hip and thigh.
About the author: Miranda Raimon is a yoga instructor, Kula studio manager and freelance health & wellness writer from the San Francisco Bay Area.