Wring out those toxins!

Detoxing the body can be done in so many ways.  Twisting the body is essential in ridding the spine of stiffness and stagnation (which also keeps the spinal column lubricated) as well as massaging the internal organs and encouraging toxins to move on out of the gut!  This twist variation has a few different levels of intensity depending on your flexibility.  Be sure to warm up first with some sun salutations and as always, listen to your body and do not forcefully push yourself deeper into twists than what your body is ready for.

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1.  From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward between the hands with the knee over the ankle.  Start with your left knee down just to get set up properly.  **Modification: you can leave the back knee down for the entire movement if this is too aggressive.

2.  Left the torso away from the front thigh and lengthen the tailbone toward the floor, scooping the belly back and upward.  Bring the hands into prayer position in front of the heart.

3.  On the inhale, lift the heart, crown of the head, and entire rib cage up and away from the pelvis.

4.  As you exhale, twist to the left to hook the left elbow to the outside of your right knee.  Take another inhale to extend and lengthen the spine forward past the front knee and then on the next exhale use the resistance between the elbow/knee to twist deeper.

5.  Press the palms firmly together and melt the shoulders away from the ears, broadening across the collarbones and possibly bringing the prayer hands to the middle of the chest.

**Your head can turn upward for a deeper twist, face forward for less strain, and lastly you can turn the head/gaze down if there is any pain or discomfort in the neck.

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6.  To deepen the twist (when and IF your spine is ready), you can extend the bottom hand to the floor or a block and the top hand to the sky.

7.  Spin both armpits forward and soften the upper back and neck/shoulders down.

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8.  Final variation is the bound option.  This is only for those with a binding practice and open shoulders.  I even look at this picture above and want to adjust and tweak a few things, but hey, I did the best I could on uneven rocks, wind in my face, and a steep cliff just a foot to the right of me!

As always, smile and have fun!