For your Monday morning, a detox yoga pose that you can do right now; prayer twist or parivrtta utkatasana. Allow the accentuated breath to help eliminate carbon dioxide from the lungs, twist and “squeeze-out” the organs to help aid in digestion and elimination, as well as a “ringing-out” effect similar to ringing out a wet towel for the abdominal organs. Allow the body and the mind to come back to a place of balance and health to start off the week!
Bring your feet together on the earth, bring the big toes to touch. Leave a slight space in between the heels for balance (option to open the feet wider, hip-width distance, if more comfortable). Lift the arms up over the head on an inhale. Exhale and sit low in an imaginary chair and bend the knees a lot (Utkatasana, chair pose). Allow the weight to be in your heels. Gaze down towards the toes, if you cannot see the toes, shift the hips back. Squeeze the inner thighs towards one another and slightly tuck the pelvic.
Bring hands to heart center and actively press them together in prayer mudra. Inhale to lengthen the spine, and exhale bring the right elbow to the outside of your left knee. If bringing the elbow outside of the knee is too much challenge, bring the right elbow in between the knees. Gaze down at the knees to see if they are in a straight line. Pull the right knee back in line with the left, to square-off the hips.
Focus on the micromovements that will enhance the pose. Inhale to lengthen the spine, and exhale to twist a little deeper and spiral the heart up towards the sky to experience further opening in the chest and shoulders. Bring the left rib cage back.
If accessible, lift the gaze over the shoulder, towards the ceiling, it will help to accentuate the twist and further detoxify in the posture. Option to also gaze at the floor or side-wall, whatever feels best on the neck. Shoulders are stacked in one line, work to bring the palms closer to your heart to experience more opening in the chest.
Do not rest too much weight on the thighs. On an inhale, lift the belly off of the thighs and exhale to twist and sink a little lower in the imaginary chair, keeping a small space in between your belly and thighs. Option to open your arms to fly, one hand to the earth and one hand extended to the sky.
Stay in the posture for at least three full-rounds of steady breath, inhaling and exhaling. Keeping the breath at a steady pace, helps to keep a steady posture, and a steady mind. Repeat the posture on both sides. Come back to center and fold-forward to release. Take a slight bend in the knees and tuck of the chin to uncurl the spine one vertebrae at a time and roll up to standing. Bring the palms to your heart.
Thank yourself for taking the time to detoxify in prayer twist, and potentially bringing you back to a place of balance and health in the body and the mind. Feel rejuvenated and strong in the mind and the body in preparation for the rest of your week.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
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