After an over-indulging holiday like Thanksgiving, you may be feeling a little sluggish and lacking energy or maybe you feel a little bloated from all the excess food. There are conflicting opinions on how and most importantly IF you actually can assist your body in the detoxification process.
How Our Body Detoxifies:
Our bodies are designed to get rid of waste. The organs of detoxification include the colon, liver, lungs, kidneys, skin and lymph glands. The body cleanses itself of environmental pollutants, food waste, poison, harmful bacteria and other substances such as alcohol, medications and parasites on a daily basis.
The liver is our primary filter. It processes virtually everything we eat, drink, breathe in or rub on our skin. Our colon and kidneys filter the food we eat and detox our bodies everyday through urination and bowel movements. Our lungs filter the air we breathe. Our skin eliminates toxins through sweating.The lymph collects unwanted “debris” in the body such as fats, bacteria and other harmful materials and filters them through the lymph nodes.
How We Can Help The Process
Regardless of all the debates on various methods of detoxing, there is one way FOR SURE that will enhance our body’s natural detox process. It’s not through a special diet or juicing (they may help), it’s through exercise. This is something that can NOT be disputed. It is truth.
Exercise helps flush out toxins by increasing sweating and circulation. The lymphatic system needs help to circulate lymph through our body. It has no “pump” and relies solely on our body’s movement for circulation. Exercise increases circulation in our bodies which improves the effectiveness of the liver and lymph nodes at cleansing and purifying.
Exercise also helps eliminate toxins over a long-term because toxins are stored in our fatty tissue. Once we reduce our body fat, we can release the toxins and our cleansing organs can eliminate them.
Yoga is a great way to enhance our body’s natural detoxification process.
3 Reasons WHY Yoga Works Best:
1) Twists & Bends
A flow of yoga poses that consists of twists and bends and forward folds will compress and squeeze the internal organs which will improve elimination of waste by enhancing digestion and improving bowel function.
2) Inversions & Heart Rate
The simplest inversions (such as legs up the wall) will improve circulation. Inversions use gravity to “pump” the blood back up to the head and heart. As we know increasing circulation is key for the detoxification of our lymphatic system.
Also, Yoga (along with most forms of exercises) increases your heart rate and as such induces sweating – another way your body cleanses itself.
3) Para-Sympathetic Nervous System
Yoga has a unique way of inducing our para-sympathetic nervous system. In our busy world we often live in a state of “fight-or-flight” (triggering our sympathetic nervous system), it’s important to purposefully induce the “rest-and-digest” state so that our bodies can heal and detoxify. Living with constant stress keeps our cortisol levels high which interferes with the detoxification process.