Keeping the liver functioning and healthy is an important part of preventing disease and maintaining optimal health. A lot of yoga poses can help assist with liver detoxification and aid with healthy bowel movements and digestion. These poses also help to detoxify stagnant emotions and stored anger in the body, allowing for a release emotionally and physically. Next time you are having trouble releasing and are looking to aid your detoxification process, try these yoga poses.
Downward facing dog
Start by creating a firm foundation in downward-facing dog. Create an inverted “V” shape with the body by pressing into the palms and extending the spine. Tuck your toes under and extend the legs, keeping a small bend in the knees. Let the head hang heavy and relax your shoulders away from your ears. Invite in any gentle movement that feels good briefly then go ahead and hold for about 10 breaths, sinking deeply into the pose.
From your down dog, take a deep breath in, and on an exhale step your right foot in between your hands. On an inhale, come up into a high lunge, extending your arms by your ears, your left leg engaged fully. Take a deep inhale and on an exhale bring your hands together in prayer and place your left elbow outside of your right thigh, coming into a twisted lunge. Press into the palms to twist deeper. Hold for 10 breaths.
Inhale come out of your twisted lunge and cartwheel your hands open into warrior II position. Plant your back foot on the mat at a 45-degree angle and keep a 90-degree bend in the front knee. Extend the arms forward and back at shoulder height and relax your elbows away from your ears. Gaze over your front middle finger and engage your core. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
On an inhale, slide your left palm down your left leg and reach your right arm behind you by your ear, hand reaching toward the back of the mat. Breathe into the side body and rotate your chest toward the ceiling. Hold for five breaths.
On an exhale, slowly come out of your reversed warrior and gaze at the mat in front of your right foot. Place your hand an inch or two ahead and out to the pinky toe edge side of your right foot as you slowly lift your back leg off of the mat. Open up the left hip and flex your left toes as you extend your arm toward the ceiling, gaze toward the hand. Keep your core engaged and hold for up to 10 breaths. Slowly come down when you are finished and transition through down dog to repeat the sequence on the other side.
Come down to your knees on the mat. Keep your hips level over your knees and tuck your toes under. Place your hands fingers facing down on your sacrum. Take a deep breath in and on an exhale begin to open up through the heart, pressing the hips forward as you arch the spine, maybe dropping the head behind you. Hold for around five breaths, then slowly come up, core engaged, and head coming up last. Sit down on your heels and take a few breaths, then repeat the process one more time.
Come to lie down on your back. Bring your knees in toward your chest and scoot your hips out a few inches to the right. On an exhale, drop both knees to the left and extend your arms out at shoulder height, gazing over the right shoulder. Hold and breathe for 10-15 counts. Come back through center when you are finished and go ahead and switch sides.
Gabrielle Marchese is a certified yoga instructor.