I'm into Day 11 of my 108 days of yoga (read about that journey soon) and today's class was a detox class and full of twists. The purpose of twisting yoga poses is to detox your body. Scientifically speaking twisting yoga does not detox your liver or other internal organs, but it does detox the mind and opens the body up in ways not possible through other yoga poses. Twisting poses also stimulate blood flow which then help push toxins out. Yoga breathing, exhaling of carbon dioxide from your body, in combination with twisting poses are a great way to detox your body.
I've been using Travis Elliot's The Ultimate Yogi for my home yoga practice and as you all know, I absolutely love it. I've finally found a home program that is challenging, calming, fun, and has a great flow. I know Travis has classes in Santa Monica so if you're ever there I highly recommend seeking him out. I know I will the next time I'm in LA.
The Detox Class is part of the Ultimate Yogi Series and here's what Travis says about the class:
Here's a two minute preview of the class:
It starts out gentle and then suddenly you're involved in a twist, lengthening it out, your thigh on fire and you realize its one of those classes. Its intense and totally worth it.
Incorporating twists in your yoga practice is super important for all of us who sit a lot of the day or stand staring in front of a computer screen. Our posture weakens, our neck tightens, and we sit in awkward positions that can prohibit blood flow. I am definitely guilty of sitting with one leg tucked underneath myself awkwardly (guilty as I type this right now). Twisting yoga opens the spine and helps create flexibility while strengthening muscles and letting go of tension.
The part two to practicing twists is the breath. The most important thing I've learned from my yoga practice so far is the importance of my breath. I notice I sometimes practice yoga breathing during the day. When someone cuts me off in traffic instead of laying on the horn I try to take a few deep breaths. When I can't sleep at night I take a long five second inhale, hold for five, release for five, and hold for another five, repeating a few times while it calms my racing mind.
So, How Do I Feel?
Yesterday I didn't practice and I felt grumpy, on edge, and a bit overwhelmed from the moment I got in my car to drive to work to the moment I got out of my car and walked in my front door. It was rough. Today I woke up early and did the detox class from The Ultimate Yogi series and while it was very challenging it felt amazing. I felt like everything bad from yesterday was expunged from my being and I got to start today fresh, calm, and clear. And so far, its been a great day. No dark cloud hanging over my head, no irritability, no snapping to reactions. Of course there are a number of things that could help change my mood from day to day, but I've been noticing that even after 11 non sequential days of yoga I feel so much better on the days I practice yoga. I feel much more easy going, attentive, and open. I don't know why I'm not doing yoga every day, there's no reason not to, and it only helps put me in a good mood right from the start.