Ah Spring, that time of year when we begin spring cleaning our homes, shedding the layers of our clothes, and getting outside for fresh air and a dose of sunshine! After a long winter of hibernation we may feel our energy shift with the warming temperatures and notice our food choices may also begin to change as well. Spring is a season of birth, new beginnings, renewal, and growth. So why not incorporate a little spring cleaning of our bodies through our yoga practice as well.
Why would we want to spring clean our bodies anyway? Well, we are taking in toxins such as preservatives, pesticides, stimulants, smog, and heavy metals through our food, water, and our air. Luckily our digestive, endocrine and circulatory systems do an awesome job of cleansing the body to eliminate these toxins. Winter typically creates a hibernation process which coupled with too much sugar, caffeine, processed foods, little to no exercise and stress can slow the body’s natural detox function.
Enter Parivrtta Anjaneyasana also known as High Lunge Twist, Crescent Warrior Twist, Prayer Lunge Twist, and probably a few others. Parivrtta Anjaneyasana stimulates the abdominal organs and can improve digestion and elimination. Yogic breathing while in the pose also plays an important role in promoting detoxification by helping to clear out carbon dioxide from the lung tissue and stimulates the digestive organs. High lunge twist also strengthens the quadriceps and gluteus muscles and develops stamina and endurance in your thighs while stretching the psoas and hips. It also helps to improve your balance, concentration and core awareness and can relieve sciatica pain. The pose can also be modified by placing the back knee down for stability or if you have had a knee or surgery or injury. Please use caution if you have high or low blood pressure or have any spinal injuries.