First things first: Place your feet on the ground… Sit up straight… Good… pull the muscles of your core in towards the spine and up towards the heart (great!). Feel your body here. Now, take a slow even breath in and a slow even breath out…(feel free to continue these slow steady breaths as you read). Now that you are breathing, thank you for reading! In the next few newsletters we will discuss how adding a yoga practice of focused breathing, twists, folds and core strengthening to your self-care routine can help assist your body and more directly your liver, kidneys and digestive system in removing and cleansing itself of toxins.
Often times when we think about and discuss diets, work, health, exercise…or find our mind jumping from thought to thought we forget to breathe causing our bodies to tense, which then can add light to heavy stress on our body systems. (Is it happening even now at the mention of the above? Try those even breaths again) Whether you are working towards detoxing the body or going through your day to day we can improve our health by becoming aware of our breath and making a conscious effort to notice when we stop breathing or when we hold our breath so we can change those breathing habits. When we encourage ourselves to breathe slow and steady breaths we relax our nervous system and give those adrenals Dr. Della tells us about the rest and relaxation they need as well as allow the rest of our body systems to do their best job. Developing a focused breathing practice or meditation practice will improve your overall health both mentally and physically but it can be challenging to start (those pesky brains and this high stress culture of ours!). So, to start a breathing practice my recommendation is to find a comfortable place somewhere in the morning, afternoon (Maybe even at the stop light or waiting for school pick-up) or evening each day for 10 slow breathes in and out. You may fall in love with this idea and take those 10 breaths to 10 minutes of slow breathing… and it may take you a long while to get there, and that’s totally normal and totally OK. The single act of being aware of your breath is already putting the best foot forward.
When after you practice those 10 breaths and decide it’s time to take your breathing practice a little further, check out the links below. These are two of my favorite breathing, or as we yogis call them Pranayama and meditation techniques (grab those earbuds and have a listen!):
This 5 minute breathing meditation is great place to start for beginners and a helpful practice for all of us; the instructor teaches us the subtle cues of both body and breath.
This 7 minute breathing meditation is great for all. The instructor teaches us how the mind moves and how to relax the mind so we can experience counting our breath in meditation as well as teaches us how to harness that “monkey mind.”
Stay tuned for how yoga can continue to help detox our bodies! In our next newsletter we will be discussing yoga poses that help stimulate detoxification in our liver.