Spring Cleaning

Appears in the March 2018 issue.


The goal Being present helps clear the mind of unnecessary chatter as these gentle twists, inversions and compressions all work to detoxify the body by stimulating internal organs and boosting the lymphatic system. These poses also strengthen muscles, encourage blood flow for better circulation and stimulate the thyroid gland, which aids detoxification.

The plan Perform 2 sets of the first 4 poses, holding each pose for 3 to 5 breaths. After you have completed 2 sets, do the bridge stand, both sides of the supine twist and end in savasana, or corpse pose.

Downdog Twist
Start in downward facing dog and walk your feet slightly forward to bring your heels closer to the ground. Take a breath in. As you exhale, reach one hand toward the outside of your opposite shin or ankle. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths, then repeat on the opposite side. Walk your hands back to your feet and slowly roll up to stand.

Cobra or Full Locust
From plank pose, lower your body to the ground. Set your hands alongside your ribs and gently inhale your chest off the ground as you gaze forward. Stay in cobra, or move to full locust, swiming your arms behind you with legs off the ground. Take 3 to 5 breaths and slowly lower your body.Press back to down dog.

Prayer Twist
Start with toes together, arms overhead and knees bent. Bring hands together at your heart, draw your abdominal muscles in and exhale as you twist to one side. Bring your elbow to the outside of your knee, and expand through your collar bones. Take 3 to 5 breaths. Inhale back to center and exhale as you twist to the other side.

Straddle Fold
Lunge your right foot forward between your hands, pivot to the left, then lower your torso into a wide-legged stretch. Rest your hands on the ground, or interlace them behind your back as you bend forward to the balls of your feet. Take 3 to 5 breaths and come back to a lunge. Alternate legs between each set.

Bridge Stand
From your lunge, step into to downward dog, then turn over onto your back. Bend your knees and set your feet hip-width distance apart. Inhale as you lift your hips up. (Option: interlace your fingers and gently press your arms into the ground.) As you exhale, bring your hips back down. Complete 2 sets.

Supine Twist
Laying on  your back, pull your knees toward your chest and drop them to the left. Open your arms wide and relax into the twist. Bring you knees back into your chest and twist in the opposite direction. Come back to center and rest on your back. Note: Supine twist releases low back and wrings out intestinal toxins.

Corpse Pose
Laying on your back, with arms by your sides, rest in corpse pose for several breaths. When thoughts stray, come back to the natural cadence of your breath as you silently repeat, “breathing in” and “breathing out.” If you find that it is less calming to focus on your breath, shift your attention to sounds or bodily sensations.