We all have toxins in our bodies, unfortunately toxins are all around us getting into our system. Our body is built to detox or get rid of all that, if it´s in a good shape and balance. But what if it´s not? Having an illness can make your body not functioning as it should. Maybe you feel sensitive about some stuff and feel fatigue, have headaches, skin rashes, feel anxious, nauseas or difficulty focusing, etc? Or all of sudden, out of the blue you have a weird reaction in your body? It could just be a sign of the body trying to get rid of toxins but the organs can´t handle it the best way. But here is the good thing: it is good to detox, you probably will detox starting with a new diet and yoga. Here are some “quick-fixes” you can try!
1. Breath of Fire
Breath of Fire is a yogic breathing technique that helps you get rid of the toxins. It also gives you energy and you can be more resistant to stress. It´s a rapid, powerful and diaphragmatic breathe.
The Breath of Fire might cause a light headedness in the beginning, but doesn´t create hyperventilation. When you begin this breathing technique you start with 1 minute and gradually increase the time. It´s a great exercise you can do before your yogaset in the morning.
To perform Breath of Fire:
- Inhale through your nostrils and lift your chest and hold still.
- Exhale and pull in your navel. Your upper abdominals and your diaphragm move as the navel point pulls in.
- Inhale, release the pulling in of the navel.
- Continue making your inhalations/exhalations swift and powerful, 1-3 inhalation per second.
- Don´t pause between inhaling and exhaling.
- Exhale forcefully through your nose.
- The length of the inhalation should be as long as the exhalation.
In the beginning it can be easier focusing on the exhalation which is synchronized with the pulling in of the navel. You can start with a slow speed until you get the hang of it and gradually increase the speed. Begin Breath of Fire for about 30 seconds for your first practice and slowly increase with your practice.
You should not do Breath of Fire if:
You have your period
You are pregnant
Drink plenty of water, especially in the morning when you wake up. Your body can be dehydrated after one night sleep. The body needs water to detox and eliminate easier. Maybe you drink too little water during the day? We need around 30 ml/kg, and that makes it almost 2 liter if your weight is 60 kg!
· Drink luke warm water the first thing you do in the morning. You can add some lemon juice to increase the effect.
· Drink luke warm water during the day for a “mini” detox.
3. Strengthening / healing your inner organs
Strengthening and healing your inner organs is a very big subject, that maybe needs a full article or more in the future, but here are some things you can start with. Healing the inner organs takes time, have patience.
The liver is a very important organ that takes care of the detoxing in your body. It works in two phases:
Phase one: The liver breaks down the toxins.
Phase two: It neutralizes the toxins and the waste is eliminated through the intestine and urine.
· You can strengthen your liver with food:
Different kinds of cabbage, broccoli, kale, good quality of proteins, fish oil, B12 and nettles.
· You can also strengthen your liver with a herb called Milk Thistle.
Things that are toxic (chemicals which can be released from heated plastic bottles and containers, cigarettes, NSAID (in painkillers), alcohol, etc)
· Try to eat as much organic vegetables and fruit as possible, so you avoid pesticide from traditional grown crops.
The intestine is also important as it helps to eliminate the toxins. If it doesn´t work properly the toxins can go back to your blood and that can also be one reason why you have the toxic symptoms. Healing your intestine is a must when you start your healing journey. There are several things you can do for a start:
· Avoid food that you are sensitive to.
It can irritate and damage your intestine. The most common food that people are sensitive to is: gluten, milk, soy, sugar, beans etc. This food can destroy the inner flora and the mucosa. If you for example have gluten intolerance it can take about one year to heal your intestine!
· Add food that is good for your intestine
Building a healthy flora in the intestine is important. It helps the digestion and elimination. Eat some fermented food (sauerkraut is delicious!) or take probiotic or kefir.
If your intestine is very sensitive it can be difficult with raw veggies, so maybe you have to cook them in the beginning, even blend them into a purée.
So start your day with some Breath of Fire and a glass of luke warm water with some lemon juice! Eat food that is good for your liver and intestine!
When we are in pain, sometimes we just want to roll up like a snake, after we have taken the pain killer(s), heated the wheat pillow and drawn the venetians. The pain can be so bad we can´t bear it and this is one of the biggest problems if you have endometriosis or other pelvic illnesses. But there are other ways of coping with pain. Here I´ll share some yoga poses you can use when you are in pain.
Long deep Breathing
As I wrote in another article, the Long Deep Breathing is very important to reduce stress and pain. Whenever you feel pain (or stress for that matter) remember to breathe long and deeply.
Lie flat on your back on your yoga mat or in the bed. If you want, you can cover yourself with a blanket and also put a warm wheat pillow on your belly. Inhale through the nostrils, fill the lower part of the lungs, expand the abdomen. Continue to inhale and fill the middle lungs and feel that the chest is expanding and the abdomen is sinking slightly. Continue inhaling and fill the upper lung and feel the collarbones lifting a little bit. Don´t make a pause and exhale in reverse order: first the collarbones sink down followed by the chest and at last the abdomen. After you have exhaled wait a couple of seconds until you inhale again. Let the body decide when it´s time to inhale again. When you exhale you can visualize the pain going out from your body. Breathe long and deeply as long as necessary.
Another great yoga pose when you have pain, is Squatting. This is how many people from Asia sit, not only on their toilet, but also resting, waiting for the bus or talking to their friends. And there is a reason for it! It opens up in your pelvic area, increases flexibility and circulation on this area. It also helps elimination and can help preventing constipation. This is one of my saviors, when I´ve been in great pain. If you find it difficult to sit in this pose you can put a towel under your heels and you can also lean towards a wall for more comfort.
Squat down and maintain the position. Keep your spine straight and your toes pointing as much forward as possible. Wrap your arms around your knees and interlace your fingers or you can just relax your arms on your knees. Breathe Long Deep Breaths, relax your body. Sit in this pose as long as needed, it can take some minutes until the pain goes away.
This is a good pose for the digestion system. It is said that the one who masters the posture can sit in it and digest rocks. It also makes you solid and steady as a rock. When you sit in Rock Pose it puts pressure on and adjusts your reproductive organs and the blood circulation increase in the pelvic area.
To get into the position, start kneeling on both knees, with the top of the feet on the ground. Sit back on the heels. The heels will press two nerves that run into the lower center of each buttock. Keep the spine straight. Put your hands on your thighs or give some love and healing placing the left hand on your lower belly and the right hand on the left hand. Breathe long and deeply.
If you are uncomfortable in this pose you can tuck in a pillow between your legs close to the hollow of your knee. You can also put a pillow under your feet or knees. Try different ways to support until you have found it comfortable.
Next time you have menstruation pain, pain from your endometriosis or other pelvic pain, try one of these poses and please share how it worked for you!
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Helen Kåselöv is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist and the founder of Healing from within with yoga & food (former Yoga for Endometriosis & Pelvic pain). Helen has a history of severe endometriosis and is today helping women with endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids and other pelvic pain online, with yoga, nutrition and other lifestyle changes. Using yoga both as a tool in different kinds of healing programs, pain management, yoga has become the foundation in her work. “Yoga can help you in so many ways: Physically, mentally, spiritually and as a personal development tool.”