Simple Yoga for Detoxing After the Holidays

This was first published in the Limerick Leader 5/1/12…..

Simple Yoga for Detoxing After the Holidays

Early January, after holiday dinners and New Years’ celebrations (not to mention winter weather) can be a recipe for poor digestion and a tendency for the body to hold toxins. Toxins are pollutants found in the body such as chemicals in food, alcohol, or body by-products that don’t get flushed out by the lymph and digestive systems properly. When the body isn’t at its best, we feel increased stress, retain weight, and have less energy.

Yoga is practiced by many to help bring the systems of the body back into balance and working at their best. Sara Cory, Vinyasa yoga teacher at Sásta Yoga Studio outside Corbally, offers here a few simple yoga postures you can do at home to help stimulate lymph and digestion, and get you feeling refreshed, de-stressed and ready for what’s to come in the New Year!


10 Minute Detox Yoga

For best results, allow at least 30 minutes after a meal, or first thing in the morning. These postures should feel good, so respect your limits. Spend at least 5-8 full breaths in each pose.

Seated ‘Cat & Cow’

Sit tall at the edge of a chair, hands at your sides or on knees. With every inhale breathe deep into the belly and up through ribs as you look up and arch the spine. With every exhale, curl the back, look down and contract the abdominals. This will gently get the spine moving, activate core muscles and deepen the breath.

Shoulder Opener/Lateral Stretch

Have a belt or scarf handy. Standing tall, hold belt/scarf in front of you with straight arms, and little wider than shoulders.  With an inhale, lift arms overhead, opening the chest and shoulder joint. Keep a gentle pull on the belt. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths.  If this feels good, on the exhale arch to the left, and feel the entire right side of the body stretch open. Keep looking up, rolling the right shoulder back, and press feet into the floor. If you can, hold for 5 breaths then switch sides. Otherwise, switch sides slowly on every breath. This posture stimulates the flow of lymph, allows for deeper breath by stretching the ribcage, and strengthens the core (deep) muscles.

Seated Twist

Come back to the edge of your chair with feet set firmly under knees. With an inhale, sit as tall as you can. On the exhale, rotate to the right. Bring left hand to right knee, and wrap the right hand gently around the back of the chair. Keep the face lifted and the neck long. Look in the direction of your twist, and try not to let the chest drop to the floor. This posture stimulates digestion, like wringing out a sponge; you are flushing and massaging the internal organs.

For more on yoga, detoxing, or any questions about these poses, Sara Cory can be contacted at 085 7371953, or





2 Replies to “Simple Yoga for Detoxing After the Holidays”

  1. I do weight trinaing 4 days a week and I have been trinaing in a fasted state a few times. I also know of several people who’ve done the same while fading for more than 72hrs. The general concensis is that if you are not losing strength in your lifts then you are not losing muscle. You might lose some size because your muscle will be less inflated as you are not eating but that is purely temporary and superficial. You will lose a ton of fat really fast as you will be forcing your body to use the energy that you have been storing. As the article states; your lymphatic system is driven by muscle contraction, therefore weight trinaing is better for fat loss than cardio. So my advice would be to drop the cardio completely and do an hour of weight trinaing.

    1. Good advice Marina, thanks! Yes, it’s my understanding that short duration but intense bursts ramp the metabolism way faster than sustained cardio…. The sequence given here would be a great way to settle in before your reps. Our of curiosity, do you find stretching benefits your weight training? I would imagine so, but other than a little kettlebells I don’t lift.

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