· Illustrations by Colin Hayes
Celebrated yogi Seane Corn offers tips on mastering this detoxifing pose.
Seane Corn is an acclaimed yoga instructor known for her inspirational teaching style of healing and empowerment. Corn teaches workshops in the United States and abroad, and is the cofounder of Off the Mat, Into the World, with DVDs available through Gaiam and Sounds True.
When most people hear the word “detox,” they think of cleaning up their diet, but another great way to rid your body of toxins is through exercise. And it’s not all about sweat: When you engage in physical activity, your circulation increases, which in turn activates your lymphatic system, a network of vessels that filter waste products out of the body.
Any type of exercise can spur this process, but yoga enhances it by incorporating folding and twisting movements, which gently massage your organs and increase blood flow, says yoga instructor Seane Corn. “The deeper you breathe, the more opportunity you have to release residual toxicity [as carbon dioxide],” says Corn.
She notes that while no single yoga pose will deliver magical detoxifying effects, a consistent yoga practice can powerfully support lymph-system activity.
“I’d recommend doing full-body and repetitive movements with deep breathing to warm up the body,” Corn says. “After that, specific poses can support the process of detoxification more efficiently and effectively.”
Twisting Triangle gently stimulates the organs of your abdominal tract. It also stretches the hamstrings, hips and spine, and it opens up the chest to improve breathing. Corn advises doing a series of half or full sun salutations (see ELmag.com/salutations) before practicing this pose.
- Starting with both feet pointing straight ahead, take a big step forward with your right foot and separate feet to hip width for balance. Turn your left foot outward to about 45 degrees.
- Rotate your torso to square your hips to the front of the mat.
- Inhale deeply, then exhale and fold forward over your right leg. Bend your right knee slightly. Use a yoga block for support.
- Place your right hand low on your right hip or into the crease between your hip and thigh. Keeping the right knee bent, gently pull back your right hip. Your back should be flat.
- Press the outside edge of your left foot into the ground, lifting the arch. This creates a strong base and will protect your ankle and knee.
- Press the bone of your right big toe into the ground to create a strong foundation.
- Straighten your right knee, if possible, and press down into your feet. Lengthen your spine forward.
- Rotate your right ribcage upward toward the ceiling, keeping your hips aligned.
- Raise your right arm up toward the ceiling, stacking your shoulders if possible. Press down into your left hand and reach up through your right hand.
- Turn your head to look up. If this hurts your neck, look sideways or down.
- Take five to 10 deep breaths through your nose. When complete, repeat on left side. To switch sides, look down and place your hands on the floor. Bend your right knee and come up as you inhale. Reposition block to inside left foot before bending.