WHAT IS YOGA DETOX?
Simply put – Lifestyle is Medicine!
Yoga Detox is a safe and effective way to rid the body of harmful toxins that have built up over time. This is achieved through through juice fasting, yoga asana’s, sauna and mud treatments, massage, meditation, and followed with highly nutritious super foods. All of these tools aid to restore the body to its optimum health and then build vitality through lifestyle changes.
A juice cleanse and yoga detox program is a powerful combination of intentional actions that may reduce stress, strengthen digestion, and eliminate harmful toxins from the body. Many people today have discovered the great health benefits juicing has on the digestive system and the stress relieving effects of yoga. And when you combine both these healing modalities, you will soon be on a life-changing path toward increased health and harmony.
What Is a Juice Cleanse?
During the most common juice cleanse programs, you enjoy various fruit and vegetable juices for a period lasting from a day up to three to 10 days, or even up to 30 days. The main purpose of a juice cleanse is to provide the body with alkaline superfoods while giving the stomach and digestive organs a chance to rest. During this resting period, the body cleanses itself of various toxins and restore its optimum life-giving functions. Other juice cleanse diets, such as intermittent fasting, lets you fast for one day a week, or you simply skip one meal in your everyday routine and have a healthy juice drink instead. Studies have shown that a juice cleanse lasting only a few days can result in significant health improvements.
But we are not talking about the kind of pasteurized juice you get in a sealed plastic bottle from the store. The best juices for your cleanse are those freshly made from organic fruits and vegetables. You can make these at home with a juicer, or you can buy them from a reputable fresh juice company.
What Is a Yoga Detox?
Yoga detox is not the same as a drug or alcohol detox. A yoga detox program uses yoga exercises (asanas) to support the body in eliminating toxins that build up through the course of everyday life in the body’s digestive, endocrine and lymphatic systems. Specific yoga asanas are used to place the body in various positions to stimulate and support specific organs in regaining health and balance, or in naturally assisting your body in detoxing the lymphatic system. A combination of the yoga exercises shoulder-stand and fish may be used, for example, to harmonize secretions from the thyroid gland, and the twist may be practiced to activate and detox the liver and pancreas. Other yoga exercises are used to optimize functioning of the stomach and intestines, while others will relax the nerves along the spine. Since scientists have determined that 70 percent of our immune system is in the gut, these kinds of exercises can greatly improve your immune system and thus your overall health and well-being.
Why Do A Juice Cleanse?
Detoxification on a fundamental level, simply means to eliminate toxins from your body. There are many health benefits gained from juice fasting, intermittent juice fasting, and a yoga detox program. Most people have a particular motivator that leads them to pursue those benefits. They may have a chronic health problem, or they may feel like something is “off” in the body, or they may simply have a specific result in mind. Whatever the reason, it serves as a motivator to shed the toxins and create more balance in life.
Common reasons people pursue a detox cleanse include:
- Stress: Stress is a major part of modern life. Constant stress can feel overwhelming, and even moderate stress can have a strong negative impact on overall health. When you are stressed, you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, which are often packed with fat and preservatives, which can cause distress in the digestive system. This is why stress can also affect your immunity. People who are feeling overly stressed may decide to pursue a detox to create greater mental balance and lower stress levels.
- Health changes: For many, the motivation comes from the need or desire for a health change. Maybe you want to have more energy or maybe you would like to shed a few pounds. Perhaps you are dealing with poor digestion and want to have a more healthy digestive system, or perhaps you’re seeking to improve your diet and need an opportunity to begin. For others, the health changes may be more significant, such as reduced blood pressure, or long term weight loss. Some seek out these cleanses because they have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition, and they want to minimize or repair some of the effects.
- Chronic issues: Some who pursue a detox may even have a chronic condition. They use the detox process as a way to reduce or eliminate chronic pain, or for greater balance and to improve day-to-day living.
Whatever the reason for doing a detox, you may find benefits from it that you had never before imagined. The benefits and effects differ for everyone, so it is a good idea to talk with an expert about your personal goals so that you can make the most of your juice cleanse and yoga detox.
Where Do Harmful Toxins Come From?
The goal of a detox is to remove harmful toxins from the body, but where do these toxins come from? The sources are varied, and sometimes unavoidable, but they often relate to your habits, choices and lifestyle. There are many aspects of your everyday lifestyle, which may expose you to a significant number of toxins, from the foods that we eat and from the environment. These toxins can build up in the body and have harmful effects.
Some common causes of harmful toxins in the body include:
- Processed, sugary foods and caffeine: The modern diet is full of processed foods, sugar and caffeine. The ingredients lists on many food products often include chemical preservatives, food colorings and other harmful items. When you feed your body those unhealthy foods, you create a build-up of toxins the body will have a tough time naturally detoxing. These foods also create an acidic blood stream, which can also be harmful to the body. Osteoperosis, for example, is caused by too low pH. When blood pH is too low, calcium and magnesium are moved from the body into the blood to raise blood pH, which of course causes bone loss.
- Stress: Stress is another common denominator in many people’s lives leading to harmful bodily toxins.h It may be hard to escape given the common pressures of everyday life, such as work, family, relationships, moving, etc. The point is, no matter the stressor, it can affect your body in a very real, harmful way.
- Everyday toxins: Throughout the day, you encounter many different potential sources of toxins. While your skin typically acts as a barrier, it is not impenetrable. Chemicals can be absorbed into your skin from things like lotion or beauty products. Often times, you are absorbing chemicals from things you are using on a daily basis, such as computers and cars. We also run the risk of ingesting or inhaling different toxins from common products, such as cleaning products and clothes. When these toxins accumulate in the body, they may be harmful and cause various chronic conditions, including cancer. Some sources of toxins are within our control to reduce or avoid, while others are not as easy to remove from our lives. Intermittent fasting and yoga will aid in eliminating many of these toxins, or help your body to reduce their negative effects by functioning more optimally.
So Why Are These Toxins Harmful?
While the word “toxin” has a negative connotation, many people may not fully understand the effects of these toxins on the body. These toxins may just generally make you feel different, or off, or they could seriously after your physical and mental health. The toxins can also cause significant health problems. By detoxing your body, you can minimize or reverse some of those effects.
Potential harm to the body due to toxins includes:
Fatty liver disease
- Chronic Pain
- Skin Rashes
- Digestive issues
Benefits of an Intermittent Cleanse Detox
An occasional detox can have a very positive impact on your body. On a basic level, an intermittent detox can help create a sense of balance in life. That balance, in turn, will help improve your overall health in many ways.
Many people do not have a full picture of their own health or habits. One woman was convinced that her weekly pint of ice cream was her main health problem, but in reality, it was her diet itself that was out of balance. Instead of ditching her weekly ice cream, it was suggested that she simply work on her overall diet by balancing her foods to achieve a better alkaline balance. She could then enjoy her weekly ice cream guilt free as a reward and still improve her overall health.
A one-day intermittent juice fast every two weeks can significantly improve your overall health. Some of the possible effects may include lower blood sugar, weight loss, or, with the help of your doctor, wean yourself you’re your medication for heart disease. A longer fast, for five to 10 days a couple of times per year, is also often recommended for long-term optimum health.
A juice cleanse can decrease your heart rate, make your eyes and skin clearer, improve your memory and concentration, and improve your body’s digestive processes, according to Mark Hyman, MD. As your overall health improves, you may find yourself feeling calmer with a clearer mind to help you continue on a healthier path in life.
Intermittent fasting is an important part of the detox process. It gives the digestive system a break by eliminating the need to process large meals. Juice fasting gives the body a rest while supplying nutrients that support an alkaline environment, which scientists have found to be more conducive to good health. The juice is easy for the digestive system to process. The body then receives a rest period, which can help rejuvenate the digestive system, so it is better able to eliminate toxins.
Fasting may also improve health in a much more significant way. Studies show that short, intermittent periods of fasting may support the immune system in fighting off disease. A study conducted at the University of Southern California considered how fasting affected mice with breast and skin cancer. The study showed that fasting caused the cancer cells to become more vulnerable to chemotherapy. The T-regulatory cells that typically protect cancer cells decreased during fasting, making the cells weaker and more susceptible to damage. At the same time, it seems that the body is better able to identify and fight those cancerous cells during fasting.
Another study at USC focused on the effects of fasting on multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease. Mice that were put on the fasting diet showed a reduction in disease symptoms. Researchers also noticed an increase in white blood T cells, which help with immunity. The diet also appeared to promote regeneration in the myelin sheath, which insulates nerve fibers in your spine and brain. Autoimmune disorders, such as MS, damage the myelin sheath.
The study showed that the bad immune cells causing damage died during the fast. After returning to a normal diet, the body showed regeneration of the good immune cells, which helped minimize the symptoms of MS.
Even if you do not have a serious medical condition, boosting the immune system can have a positive effect on the body. The common denominator in these studies is that fasting gives us a “reboot” of the stem cells that generate new white blood cells, making the immune system stronger against diseases and health issues.
Benefits of a Yoga Detox Retreat
Can people just do this at home? Yes, you can. It is actually quite simple. Drink juice and do yoga. However, a lot more goes into the process to ensure you reap the benefits of a yoga detox, juice cleansing and intermittent fasting. Here are some of the main reasons why a yoga detox retreat is so beneficial:
- Group support: Doing a yoga detox retreat puts you in a group setting that is full of support. Everyone is there with similar goals: to rid the body of toxins while making healthy changes. Being supported by a group and by the teachers at the retreat, will make the process feel less overwhelming. You are also in a safe, accepting environment. This helps put you at ease without any judgment from others. Finally, it takes discipline and planning to do a yoga detox program, so coming to a retreat makes it so much easier to accomplish.
- Experienced coaches: A huge part of the group support is your access to experienced health coaches. You can read information on the internet, but it can be difficult to decide what is accurate. You often find varying information that can leave you confused. At a yoga retreat, you are supported by people who can help you understand intermittent fasting, how to properly do a juice cleanse, and how yoga exercises can support the detox. This helps your detox experience go smoothly, while you are supported with all the information and tools you need.
- Away from everyday life: You’ve likely run into this issue in the past. You try your hardest to make healthy choices, but you are surrounded by unhealthy choices, people who do not eat healthy, other negative stimuly that can derail the best of us. On the other hand, people often buy juicers with the best of intentions, only to let them collect dust with a collection of other kitchen appliances and exercise equipments. When you are away from everyday life, you are better able to focus and make healthier decisions without the stress and pressures that may lead you astray. Many people start their journey at a retreat to establish healthier habits so that they can then have greater success at home.
- Lack of awareness of healing symptoms: When toxins are released from your digestive organs, your blood and your skin, you may feel symptoms and not realize they are actually healing symptoms. You may experience headaches or bloating. Your mind may feel a little fuzzy at first as the toxins leave your body, only to be followed by an experience of a significant increase in mental clarity. You may feel fatigued before suddenly feeling more energized. When you attend a detox retreat, the experienced coaches can help you identify those healing symptoms, so you know what to expect. They can also help you work through those symptoms much quicker, so that you can enjoy the immensely positive effects of the detox.
- Educational opportunities: A yoga detox retreat has many different elements, each working together to create a successful experience. Online resources, on the other hand, may lack in certain areas, leaving wide gaps in your program. It also takes time to sort through and digest all of the information available. When you work with professionals at a yoga retreat, you can jump right in, letting your coaches provide you with the information you need. You learn about how much water or herbal tea to drink, what to drink and when to drink. You learn about nutrition, including which foods are alkaline or acidic, and which foods are nutrient-dense. You learn how to use and include yoga and meditation as part of the detox process. You also learn about other holistic treatments, including water and mud therapy, tongue cleaners, and how and when best to use a loofa sponge to detox the skin. These educational aspects are all things you might miss when you detox on your own.
- Optimized experience: A yoga retreat helps you optimize the experience. You get the most out of the detox in a relatively short time.
- Individualized yoga asanas: Experienced yoga retreat coaches can help you customize the yoga asanas to fit your individual needs. For example, experienced coaches may steer someone who comes to the retreat with a certain type of chronic pain toward or away from particular asanas. An asana that is usually recommended for detox may need to be replaced with something more suitable for your specific situation. If you try to do a yoga detox on your own, you may not be aware of the most optimum poses for your body type or condition.
- Can-do attitude: When you attend a yoga detox retreat, you experience a, “Wow! I can do this!” feeling that carries you through the process. This feeling can remain with you as you transition back to regular life, helping you stay on track in forming healthier habits.
How Does Yoga Detox Help the Body?
Yoga detox includes a series of specific yoga asanas, or poses, designed to support the body’s detoxification process. These poses typically involve the digestive organs, including poses such as the supine twist, cobra, bellows pose, and many more.
The various asanas help improve your circulation, compress and twist your organs and produce a relaxing feeling, all things that help the body detox. The poses can spark lymph and blood circulation to drain fluids from the legs and pelvis and initiate new blood flow to provide energy to organs that help with detox, including the liver and kidneys.
Twisting and compressing organs helps squeeze the tissues, which is believed to remove blood and impurities from those tissues. This causes a fresh supply of blood and nutrients to arrive in those organs. Twisting motions can also help loosen particles in the colon.
The asanas can help improve circulation and improve the digestive process. This supports organ functioning and can greatly help improve the detox process.
Relaxation is also an important part of the detox process. It helps to reduce stress, which can interfere with detoxing. When you feel relaxed, you suppress the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can slow down the detox process significantly. When you reduce your body’s cortisol levels, it is better able to remove toxins by improving the functioning of the digestive, lymph and circulatory systems.
Does a Juice Cleanse and Yoga Detox Actually Work?
Many are skeptical about the actual health benefits of a juice cleanse and yoga detox. People often ask “does yoga detox work?” You may hear arguments that the body naturally detoxifies itself or that a juice cleanse causes you to take in too many carbs or sugars.
Technically, the body does detoxify itself, but only up to an extent. The digestive system takes the nutrients it can use and expels the toxins that the body doesn’t use. However, a modern diet of preservatives, pesticides, and processed foods make it difficult for the body to detox itself properly and efficiently. Moreover, overeating on unhealthy foods is one of main reasons why people need to detox on a regular basis.
Filling the body with unhealthy, processed foods creates an excess of toxins. Sugar, saturated oils, animal fats, and caffeine, in particular, can be very harmful to the body. Stress and lack of exercise can also affect the natural detox process, causing the function to slow down significantly. The digestive system often cannot keep up with the toxin overload created by typical modern habits.
Yoga detox is an effective way to support your body’s natural detox process. It combines yoga asanas and intermittent fasting using a juice cleanse to “reboot” the body. You give your digestive system a rest while boosting your immune system to create greater balance and improved immunity.
Do I Have to Completely Change My Diet?
While you don’t have to become a strict vegan or vegetarian, you may want to make some changes in your diet. Your goal is to create an alkaline environment in your body. To do this, you should follow food writer Michael Pollan’s simple formula: eat whole foods, mostly plants, but not too much. This diet, when followed in the specific way you will learn during the yoga detox program, is also an alkaline diet. However, simply being a vegetarian, vegan or someone mostly eating plants, is not enough to ensure an alkaline body.
By following the unique guidelines for an alkaline diet, you minimize or eliminate the unhealthy foods that cause toxins to build up in your body. After the detox, you want to maintain the benefits of a detox by continuing to feed your body nutritious, whole, alkaline foods. This supports the body’s efforts to detox naturally.
Even if you follow the formula for an alkaline diet, you also need to work on other areas of your life to achieve a balance. Stress, in particular, can cause health issues even if you follow the alkaline diet. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, which slows the natural detox process. If you are stressed all the time, working to reduce that stress will better support your dietary changes.
If you are ready to make a healthy lifestyle change, or simply reap the benefits of a juice cleanse retreat with yoga detox, check out the upcoming events at Prama Institute and Wellness Center. We offer retreats of varying lengths and focuses, to fit your schedule and budget. At our retreat center, you will experience cleansing, vegan foods, fresh juices, yoga, and meditation. You can also take advantage of our cedar sauna and endless pool, which is also part of our holistic approach to better health and wellness. Join us as you start or continue your journey toward improved health and relaxation.