Detox, detox, detox, you hear it a lot in the past couple of years and it seems like it’s a trend. However, detoxing or detoxification has been around for a while already. If you know already about the Shatkarmas, then you know that within yoga there are techniques as well to help you with detoxing. A lot of these techniques are a bit outdated so probably not the best to use anymore, which is why I’m not going to mention them. One that I can mention is Jala Neti, and you can read about this one here.
Of course, you have different kinds of techniques, but actually, our body detoxes on itself as well. Our liver, kidneys, intestines, etc. All of them are there to help you detox your body in a very natural way. But of course, time’s have changed a bit and during our lives, we accumulate a lot of toxins in our body, whether it’s by living in a polluted city from exhumes or just by eating processed food that is containing a lot of preservatives and other things.
This is why this is your guide to detox your body, and I’ll even finish off with some nice retreats to give you a guided detox treatment!
Starting to Detox
Starting to detox shouldn’t be taken lightly. And I advise strongly against an aggressive detox, this meaning that you start detoxing from one day to another, or detoxing with pills and other supplements. The latter can help, but it’s always best to get some guidance before you start your detox treatment. It’s even advisable to start detoxing under the supervision of someone who is licensed to give this guidance.
So, what I’ll be talking about here, are ways to help you detox gently and easily. Of course, this will take a bit longer and will mean that you need to have some persistence to go through it. But I’m sure you can make it. Detoxing should be a support to your body and shouldn’t put your body into crisis. This can happen if you leave certain substances out of your diet, like with juice fasting. Therefore, it’s always recommended to start slow and to make sure that your diet stays balanced.
To give you an example, and this is just the worst-case scenario of course. But an alcoholic who goes cold turkey can die from withdrawing from alcohol. I’ve seen someone go cold turkey during my internship in a homeless shelter and it wasn’t a pretty sight. He survived, but the body itself had to work so hard to get used to the fact that it suddenly didn’t have to process the alcohol anymore. This is an example of someone who was a severe alcoholic, but going cold turkey is never good for the body, nor the mind.
In this article, I’m mostly going to talk about ways to support your body to detox, rather than giving you some drastic approaches to detox. Not only are they quite easy to do, but they’re also safer and chances are that you will be able to persist with it for a while.
What is the best way to cleanse and detox your body?
Well, there isn’t the best way to detox your body. Our body functions the same of course, although everyone has there minor little differences that make it difficult to say what the best option is to detox your body. Therefore, go on a self-inquiry and have a look whatever would fit you best and whatever will work for you. If you start with something where you’ll already know that it’s not achievable, you better don’t start with it at all.
A good way to cleanse and detox is, like I mentioned a bit before, to gradually bring in some minor changes within your lifestyle to support your body to detox itself. Here are a couple of ways to start cleansing your body from all the toxins it has accumulated.
Detoxing through Breathwork
As I mentioned in one of my previous articles, pranayama is a great way to relax and it can be used for several ailments as well. What I didn’t mention is that it’s also great to support your body with detoxing.
And it even makes sense, the lungs bring in oxygen to the blood, the blood brings it to your organs and muscles to function well, and the organs filter the blood to make sure your body can function properly. It makes sense that through controlling the breath you’ll be able to detox your body and get a good to cleanse.
For this, I always advise doing Kapalabhati breathing also known as the fire breath. For more explanation about the technique, you can go to this page. This type of breathing is very fast-paced. This means that your heart rate will go up, your blood starts flowing faster and therefore it gets purified faster as well.
The best time to practice Kapalabhati is in the morning. Because it’s so fast, you’ll get energized, which isn’t that helpful when you are going to bed. It will also make you feel very warm, hence the name fire breath. This means that it’s great to do as well during the cold winter days to warm up your body!
There is only one thing that needs to be mentioned. The lungs are a great instrument, but if you do this breathing in a very polluted area, it will lose its effect. Therefore, try doing this technique in an environment that provides clean(-ish) air. If you live in a big city, it might be advisable to do this breathing with the windows closed, and with a couple of plants present in your living space. Just to make sure that you’re not accumulating more toxins than that you are removing them.
That said, there are some contra-indications as well, and again, I’ll refer you to this article, just to make sure I’m not repeating myself ;).
Detoxing through Food
I hope I can manage to keep this one brief, as there is a lot to be said about food and detox! And it has to be mentioned as well that the food we are having now, is not the same anymore as it used to be. The usage of pesticides and environmental pollution has affected our food a lot. This means that we have to be more careful with what we take in. Therefore, it’s always better to eat organic food to help your detox.
In this article, I’ve mentioned a detoxing tea that I always love to make myself. Most of the products that I use I receive from my neighbors, which is great as they are locally grown, organical AND free! Have a look at this amazing tea that I drink daily to help me with detoxing my body.
Besides some great teas that will help you with a good cleanse of your body, it’s also good to use some great anti-oxidants. They will support your body by getting rid of the toxins that you’ve been gathering. Of course, as I mentioned before, use them moderately and don’t put your body into shock by leaving things out of your diet that it needs!
Here are a couple of great anti-oxidants that you can slip into your diet to support you:
3. Green tea
And those are just a couple of easy to find fruits and vegetables to help you with your detox process! Just make sure that you keep up with a varied diet to make sure that you don’t concentrate on one aspect of the detox.
Raw Food Yoga Retreats
One way to detox through food is by eating raw food. Of course, it depends a bit on your body type as well. In general, I wouldn’t recommend going on a raw food diet during the winter. In the winter your body needs heat to make sure that the digestive systems keep flowing, if you know what I mean. While in the summer eating raw food is a great way to bring in a bit of coolness.
That said, raw food is great as cooking food will lose a lot of its nutrients out of the products that you’ll be eating. Therefore it might be a good way to now and then eat some raw products.
Here are a couple of retreats that you might enjoy if you’d like to see if raw food might be something for you!
Pure Philosophy P.C. (Prices start at US$938)
At the island of Crete in Greece you’ll find this great mix of vegan raw food combined with yoga. They’ll show you the ins and outs of raw food within their workshops and cooking classes. This means that if you are new to this, it might be helpful to attend this retreat. And what place better than Greece to detox yourself? The mountains itself and the pure air that’s present will certainly aid you in getting rid of those toxins!
Are you ready for some raw, vegan, and macrobiotic food? Click here to find out more about your future adventure!
Zen Den Yoga School And Retreats (Prices start at US$ 2.150)
Detox retreats shouldn’t always be taken lightly. And within this retreat they’ve made sure that you won’t be going home empty-handed. To start with, Zen Den Yoga school And Retreats will be offering retreats that last for 15 days. Just to make sure that you’re off to a good start.
And on top of that, they’ll also be taking care of your after-retreat. They’ll make sure that you’ll get the tools and meal plans to continue the detox process at home as well. Because we all know that it’s not that easy maintaining newly created habits.
So, if you are really ready to immerse yourself into a detox retreat, this one will be a really great start for you!
Detox through Sport
Although there is not a lot of scientifical data that sport can help you with detoxing your body, it sure can’t hurt you. It’s a bit like with the pranayama, you’ll breath deeper and you’re blood runs faster through your veins to make sure that it gets purified.
Just to get rid of one myth, sweat doesn’t get rid of a lot of toxins in your body. Therefore, relaxing in the sauna isn’t that detoxing as you might think. Of course, if you enjoy it, just keep going ;).
Even though sport might not be that helpful with expelling all the toxins out of your body, it does promote a healthy life and lifestyle. Most sporters will know that if you eat unhealthy, smoking or drink a lot of alcohol, doesn’t go so well with your exercise. Therefore you can see it as a holistic system. A better lifestyle will give you better performance.
But where does that leave yoga? Well, there isn’t a lot of proving that yoga helps the detox process as well. So, when your yoga teacher puts you into twists, it’s not that certain if it wrings all the toxins out of your body! However, yoga is a holistic system and it’s a bit the same as with other sports, you will get more in touch with your body and you’ll get more sensitive to what is good and not that good for it.
However, don’t be sad with these results, yoga still is helping your body with the natural detox process of your body. It might not be in the way that you thought it would, or like your yoga teacher is telling you. Putting yourself in twists and bends does stimulate the bloodflow and therefore is a good aid to support your body in whatever way possible. So, the combination of yoga, breathwork, and food makes that your body gets the support it needs for you to detox in a proper way.
Active Detox Yoga Retreats
If you are not so much in the detoxing vibe, but you do want to participate in quite an active yoga retreat, which in the end will also benefit your natural detox process, then these yoga retreats are something for you!
Do.Create.Be (Prices start from US$ 941)
Have you ever wanted to release the cowgirl or cowboy inside of you? Within this retreat, you’ll be getting the option to go for some horseback riding. And yes, even though the horses will be doing the walking, horseback riding is very intensive and is indeed a sport! The yoga itself is styled within Vinyasa and Restorative. Which is an excellent combination. You’ll be getting quite active during the vinyasa yoga, you might even sweat a little. And then a bit of restorative to relax and reset your whole system. What is more perfect than that? Discover it at this retreat!
MoaAlm Mountain Retreat (US$ 988)
Ever thought about doing Snoga? Unfortunately, it didn’t make it into the list of 5 different styles of yoga that I’ve covered before, but now I’m talking about it anyway ;). How about combining snowsports with practicing yoga? If you are a fan of skiing or snowboarding then this retreat is something for you! This winter yoga retreat is great for all the lovers of the white snow! The location itself is quite great as well, have a look here for more information.
As you can see, detoxing doesn’t need to be hard and you don’t need a lot of things. Your body will do a lot for you already. And how can you love yourself even more by just treating yourself in a good way? If you don’t know how or where to start, it might be good to go on a retreat, to begin with, this way you’ll be getting a kickstart and after the retreat ends you have a plan that you can follow.
That’s it for now, have you got any experience with detoxing? Let me know in the comment section down below!
This Post Has 2 Comments
So many great ideas here. I love how ascetically pleasing your article was, with all the pictures attached to each idea it was easy for me to just keep reading! Feel like I learned a lot, would love to get started back with Yoga again. Love these other ideas to add to just simple daily yoga.
Thanks for your message Molly! There is more to yoga than just the asanas, I hope that others will enjoy this article as much as you have :).