detox

All Levels Yoga Sequence for a Post-Christmas Detox

  Does your belly have the post Christmas Blues? Jump start your metabolism with this short yoga sequence.

1. Kapalabhati or Cleansing breath

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Begin by sitting in a comfortable crossed legged position on a blanket or two so that your spine is upright. Take a few relaxed breaths. Take an inhale then exhale and draw your abdomen in. Concentrate on taking 20 short, forced exhalations as your abdomen continues to draw in and up. With the last inhale pause at the top and hold for as long is as comfortable without strain. Exhale slowly and take several relaxed breaths.

 

In Kapalabhati, each exhale is aiding in the elimination of the metabolic wastes from the lungs. The heat created from the forced abdominal breaths will begin to stoke the digestive fire, Agni, massaging the internal organs and prompting them for elimination.

 

2. Ardha Matsyendrasana or Seated Spinal Twist

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From your crossed legged position, draw your left foot closer to your groin and cross the right leg over placing the foot on the floor. Take an inhale and reach your right arm overhead and place it on the floor behind you. Keeping the spine straight cross your left elbow over the right knee and gently twist to the right on exhale. Inhale, lengthen the spine. Exhale, twist from the belly revolving the torso to the right. Repeat for several breaths. Unwind and repeat on the other side.

 

In twists, always begin with your chest opening to the right and then follow with the left side. This will stimulate the ascending colon then the descending colon, which will move the contents of the intestines in a clockwise fashion to help promote proper elimination.

 

 3. Surya Namaskar A or Sun Salutation A

Sunsalute 

Come to a standing position at the top of your mat with your hands at your heart. Take an inhale and reach your arms overhead as you gaze between the hands. Exhale and hinge from the hips as you forward fold. Inhale and lengthen the spine as you come up half way with your hands on the floor or props. Exhale and step back into plank and slowly lower the body with control to the ground with the elbows drawing into the body and the legs strong. Inhale and open the chest as you straighten the arms and root through your feet for upward facing dog. Exhale as you press your hips up and back for downward facing dog. Take 5 breaths here. Inhale and come high to your toes and exhale step or jump the feet between the hands. Inhale, bring the chest up half way again and exhale forward fold. Inhale with a flat back reach the arms up to the sky and exhale the hands back down to the heart. Repeat for 5 cycles.

 

Sun Salutations are a great way to build the heat in the body and get the cardiovascular system working in the body. Coordinating the breath and the movement will further help to eliminate metabolic wastes from the blood and lungs.

 

 4. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge pose

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Lie down on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and your place your feet hip width apart and parallel. Press down into the mat through your feet, hands and shoulders as you lift your hips off the floor. Interlace your hands and walk each shoulder blade underneath you so that you’re not resting on your cervical spine.  Lengthen your tailbone to the back of your knees and spin your inner thighs down. Breathe here for 5 breaths then release the hands and slowly lower down.

 

Bridge pose is a great tool for stimulating the thyroid which is responsible for boosting your metabolism. With the backbend you will also tone the kidneys aiding in further elimination of wastes from the body.

 

5. Salamba Sarvangasana or Supported Shoulderstand

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Place 2 blankets with the folded edges on the end of your mat. Fold the end of the blanket on top of the blankets for traction. Lie down with your shoulders on the edge of the blankets and the head on the floor. Hold the edges of the mat with your hands and bend the knees drawing them into your chest rolling your hips off the floor and placing the feet behind you. Place your hands on your lower back and walk the shoulder blades underneath you. Press down firmly into your elbows and lift one leg at a time to the ceiling.  Stay here for several breaths then lower your legs to the floor and slowly roll the spine and hips back down. Inch back off the blankets until your shoulders are off and the arms have a little bend in cactus arms. Take a few breaths here and then remove your props and rest in Savasana.

 

Inversions are a great way to assist in the venous flow from the lower limbs and internal organs to the heart and lungs. Metabolic wastes are removed from the blood via the lymph nodes and the exhalation of the lungs.  Shoulderstand in particular also will continue to stimulate the thyroid for increased metabolism, just as in bridge pose.

4 Steps to Take a Digital Detox Without Losing Friends or Followers

[wp_ad_camp_1] Let’s face it; we live in a digital world. Maybe back in 1985 when Back to the Future was released, we thought the year 2014 would bring flying cars and hover boards, little did we know that instead we would be living in a BEYOND digital world. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram just for starters. We follow, tweet, like, social share, selfie, snap chat, post on walls, tag and share our locations with our friends and strangers.

When you walk down the street, you so frequently see people either talking on their phones or walking while texting, that seeing people phone-free can be almost shocking. We are very connected. Sometimes, being so caught up in the digital world and other people’s lives can become toxic. Seeing every single amazing moment of your friends lives and judging yourself is a real problem.  What do you do when all of this constant bragging seems too much to bear? We need a digital detox!

 

So what is a digital detox?

Long story short, it's taking a time out from all things, or specific things, technological. Taking time off from technology can be a very freeing experience. You can re-learn how to appreciate the small things in life, or reorient yourself around the things that really matter, like three-dimensional friends and family, pets, books made of paper, fitness and most importantly, yourself.

If you think a digital detox might be right up your alley, you might be wondering “How do I digital detox without losing my friends or followers?” Luckily, the answer is more simple than you think: create a plan of action, explain, unplug and experience.

 

How to Take a Digital Detox - Yoga Travel Tree

Plan of Action

You need to have a plan in place before you decide to take a digital detox. Decide exactly which digital things you’re going to give up, and how long you’re going detox for. Think about the social media platforms that cause you the most stress. Can't stand another photo of food porn on Instagram? Sick of hearing about your friend's honeymoons on Facebook? Maybe these are a good place to start.

Explain

Explain to your friends and followers that you’ve decided to take a digital detox. When you let them what you’re doing and don’t just disappear off the face of the digital world, the likelihood you won’t lose any friends or followers is great. Believe me, they will know and understand where you’re coming from and even support your efforts!

If you want to be super sneaky about taking time off, there are great websites that allow you to schedule posts ahead of time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out Hootsuite if this sounds like the best option for you.

Unplug

Disconnect yourself physically and emotionally from everything digital. Take a break! Relax! Totally addicted? Have a trusted friend or family member change your passwords. Try using your phone as just a phone. If you want to go one step further, ask around for an old cell phone that doesn't have internet options. Reactivate it, and deactivate your smartphone. Once your week, month, or even year of tech-free is up, just reactivate it! Until then, keep the internet where it belongs: on your computer.

Experience

 Depending on how hooked you are to your cell phone and social media, this may be a very difficult challenge! Take this time away from your digital world to explore and try new things. Spend time outdoors, take a yoga class, learn new healthy recipes, read a book…do something new and exciting! You might find that being disconnected is harder than you think, which is why it's probably a really good idea to stick with your detox! Enlist a friend as a help-tool in case you need to talk about what you're going through, or even better, enlist a friend who's just as hooked as you are and get each other over the hump!

Technology today is truly amazing and it benefits us in numerous ways, but you also miss beautiful things when your life revolves around your cell phone, websites and social media. Instead of reading about it and seeing what your friends are doing, you should be out creating your own life of adventure!

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Kelly Diane is an Intuitive Soul Coach and owner of soulsermon.com. Kelly's mission is to navigate women back to their souls...where the magic happens! Through years of internal struggles with false belief systems and anxiety, she has discovered many methods to re-wire negative thought patterns, find forgiveness and learn many valuable lessons to connect to the soul.

Images via: @alyssarivera_yoga, @missmelissadawn