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Twist and Shout: How to Cleanse with Food and Yoga

By Danielle Diamond

If you spent the last weeks of winter hiding under thick wool sweaters and indulging in your favorite foods, then you aren’t alone in feeling warm … and, well, maybe a little heavier than you’d like to be. And if you overdid it to the point of messing with your digestion, and are dreading the fact that spring is here and summer is right around the corner, then I have a great video that will help you get back on track (and possibly shouting with joy!).

I’m going to show you how you can cleanse with food and yoga!

Iyengar, considered one of the foremost yoga gurus in the world, likened twisting your body in yoga poses to what you do when you’re wringing out a sponge. In other words, it releases all the bad stuff, such as toxins in the organs and stale breath in the lungs. Then, when you unwind, you replenish those stores with a fresh supply. Of course it’s much more scientific than that, but I prefer to just go with the metaphor.

To learn exactly how to do this, check out my 10-Minute Vinyasa Yoga Twisting video.

Tips For Vinyasa Yoga Twisting

When twisting, you want to really pay attention to keeping the hips square and not letting them get involved in the rotation. You want the twist to occur between the hips and shoulders for the best result.

When you twist, start from the ground up; so first rotating the navel, then the ribcage, then the shoulders, and lastly the head (if that movement is available to you. If not, it’s cool to keep your chin in line with your sternum.)

Tie in Healthy Detox Foods

Once you feel like you’ve “wrung out” winter, get back on track with healthy eating habits. You can start by adding certain cleansing foods that help you detox. These will clear your system of those last peppermint hot chocolates.

Cleansing foods generally are full of fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that will help to free your body of impurities and maintain liver health. (Your liver is the main detoxifying organ, so it pays to keep it healthy).

When I was studying to become a Nutritious Life certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach with Keri Glassman,  I learned that some of the most nutrient-dense cleansing foods are:

  • Artichokes
  • Avocados
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cruciferous veggies ( Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
  • Celery
  • Eggs
  • Greens such as Spinach, Kale, Romaine
  • Garlic
  • Green Tea
  • Green Apples
  • Lemon
  • Lentils
  • Salmon

There are many more foods than can assist in detoxing and cleansing, but this list is a great place to start. Start by adding one of these foods at each meal, and if you really want to boost your cleansing efforts, try to only eat these foods for a few days.

The upside to eating all of these nutritious, cleansing foods? You’ll notice increased energy, decreased bloating, and a loss of those unwanted pounds that are keeping you from feeling spring break or summer vacation ready.

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