As a New Yorker and lover of the outdoors, I’m mourning the end of summer, but there are some simple ways I cope with the seasonal change. Summer is notoriously a time of indulgences, from frozen margaritas, to ice cream, to fried dough on the beach boardwalk. While I make a point to never deprive myself, come Fall, my body starts to feel the strain of all those treats. Yoga is a practice of cleaning the slate. Twisting poses are great for stimulating the digestive system, helping eliminate waste from the body. Try these 3 twisting poses to and jump start your fall detox.
Begin sitting up tall with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot to the ground outside of your left hip. Bend your left knee and bring your left heel outside of your right hip. Place your right hand onto the floor behind you as close to your sacrum as possible. Inhale deeply and lift your left arm straight up. Exhale and cross your left elbow over your outer right knee or thigh. Sitting tall with shoulders relaxed, take 4 more deep breaths, lengthening your spine with each inhale, and gently increasing the twist with each exhale. Be mindful to twist from your navel, rather from your neck, so you rotate your spine in one unit. After 5 rounds of breath, release the twist and counter twist your torso to the left. Straighten your legs out in front of you, then switch sides and begin again.
Stand with your feet together. Bend knees and sit your hips back as if you were sitting back into a chair. Tuck your tailbone under to take any excessive arching out of your lower back. Shift the weight out of the toes, distributing it into the midfoot and heels. Look down and make sure your toes are not being hidden by your knees. Join your hands together at center of chest, shoulders relaxed. Inhale deeply to lengthen through spine, and as you exhale, twist to the right, hooking your left elbow outside of your right knee or thigh. Stay in the twist for 4 more rounds of breath, working to move your thumbs away from your right armpit, closer to your sternum with every exhale. Switch sides and being again.
Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest, gently pressing your tailbone down towards the ground. Relax. Extend your arms onto the ground into a “T” shape in line with your shoulders, palms facing upwards to allow the shoulders to soften down the back. Breathe in, and as you breathe out, allow your knees to fall to the right side, being mindful to keep them in line with your navel, or slightly higher. You can keep your neck neutral or, if it feels good, look over your left shoulder. Stay here for at least 5 deep breaths, then switch sides and begin again.
AUTHOR: Dina Ivas