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Spring is in the air and winter slowly gives way to summer. The body has to adjust its thermostat. Viruses multiply and proliferate and it’s time for everyone to catch the sniffles. 
During this time the immune system is more compromised than normal and some of us may experience allergies. The question is, “How can Yoga help us to cope with all of these changes?”
Free radicals develop due to the accumulation of toxins in the body. Toxins, themselves, are a product of our lifestyle, our diet, the environment and our emotional patterns.
With our unregulated and undisciplined lifestyle, the kind of food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and our emotional pulls and pressures, certain hormones are secreted that have a tendency to leave behind toxins.
The accumulation of toxins in our body is, therefore, natural. We can not escape from this.


Yoga is a great way to eliminate toxins through movement, breathing and postures. Dynamic-type yoga such as Bharat Thakur’s Artistic yoga particularly effective and powerful for detoxify, as they generate heat and induce profuse sweating. Artistic Yoga is known to generate a cleansing heat and encourage sweating. It enhances oxygen supply and detoxifies the blood.

Standard yoga postures like twists, compress internal organs like the stomach, intestines, kidneys and liver, literally squeezing toxins out in the process. Regaining a normal posture after a twist will draw new blood and oxygen into these organs.

Inverted postures like the head and shoulder stands bring fresh blood rushing into the chest and brain, creating a "flushing" and cleansing effect and oxygenating the cells.

Finally breathing and relaxation help detoxify the mind, calming it down and ridding it of stress and mental toxins.

However, Yoga has very practical purification practices that aim at the detoxification of the body and mind. These detoxification techniques are a sort of cleansing that help the body rid itself of toxins.
These techniques, called Shatkarmas or Shatkriyas are extremely powerful in that they work on specific areas of the body that have the maximum impact upon our health.
Benefits of Cleansing:

  • Helps to develop immunity by eliminating the toxins.
  • Stimulates the mind and aids in removing lethargy.
  • Washes the colon, sinus tracts, the stomach etc.
  • Provides a massaging effect to the areas applied thereby stimulating the effective working of the Organs
  • Stimulates vitality and helps in retardation of ageing.

Cleansing Methods: What are they & how do they help?
Neti - Nasal Cleansing
One of the simplest yet a very powerful technique, Neti works wonders for chronic sinusitis, allergies and in several cases for Asthma. It has a remarkable effect on upper respiratory tract infections, especially hay fever.Neti helps in relieving headaches and facilitates in maintaining youthfulness.
How to do it

  • A special "Neti Pot" is filled with warm, slightly salted water and the spout of the pot is inserted into one nostril. The position of the head and pot are adjusted to allow the water to flow out of the other nostril.
  • Keep inhaling and exhaling through your mouth.
  • The technique is not as hard or uncomfortable as one may think at first. You will be pleasantly surprised at this simple and effective method of health maintenance.
  • Once learnt, the practice can be done in about 3 minutes and is easily integrated into a daily routine of body cleansing.


Kunjal Kriya (Stomach Wash)

There are some excellent abdominal cleansing techniques to detoxify your body and stimulate the digestive system. They are strongly recommended by naturopaths and yogis to help take charge of your own health.
Besides firming up the abdominal muscles, abdominal and colon cleansing help in,

  • Curing Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Acidity
  • Stomach pains and bloating
  • Sexual Disorders

The yoga techniques for abdomen cleansing are those which MUST be learnt under expert guidance. Needless to say, these techniques if learnt well are the single most important way to manage your own health and keep diseases and health disorders at bay.
How to do it?
A very simple technique once learnt, kunjal involves the drinking of several glasses of saline water on an empty stomach, the first thing in the morning. Immediately thereafter the vomiting reflex is induced so as to throw out the ingested water.
Not as yuk, as it seems (because the water thrown out is quite clear, unlike the case where gunk comes out when you vomit due to eating something non-agreeable), this technique is very effective for stomach health. Besides, it is very beneficial for respiratory disorders, thyroid disorders (as it helps to balance the thyroid gland) and several other health issues

Breathing Exercise to Cleanse & Detoxify the Body:

Nadi Shodhana Breathing with Agni Mudra

  • Sit in any meditative posture
  • Bend forefinger and middle finger of your right hand. Close your eyes and practice deep breathing.
  • Close right nostril with thumb, place ring finger between eyebrows and inhale through left nostril to count of 15.
  • Exhale slowly through left nostril to count of 20.
  • Do the same for 10-15 times.
  • Now close your left nostril with ring and little fingers. Place thumb finger between eyebrows and inhale and exhale through right nostril.
  • Do it for 10-15 times.

Dog Breathing

  • Sit up on your heels in Rock pose, except lean forward slightly.  Rest your hands on the mat with the fingers pointing backwards.
  • Now open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out as far as it will go.  Now begin inhalation and exhalation forcefully like a dog through your mouth.
  • Emphasize the exhalation, and with every exhalation your stomach should be contacting in towards your spine sharply
  • 1 - 5 minutes.  If 1 minute is too much you can start with 15 seconds and build up from there as well.

Benefits of Detoxifying Dog Breath:

  • Detoxifies and cleanses your system of garbage, toxins and heavy metals.
  • Strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.
  • Builds your respiratory capacity.
  • Promotes good health and longevity.

Practice these cleansing techniques regularly and be fresh and healthy and happy this spring!
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How to detox through a Juice Fast?

A juice fast is a type of detox diet. A juice fast involves the short-term intake of raw vegetable and fruit juice and water only. Proponents of juice fasting use juice because it's thought to be a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.
A juice fast is considered an extreme form of detoxification because no solid food is consumed. More moderate detox methods, such as the detox diet include solid food.

Who Shouldn't Try a Juice Fast?

  • Pregnant or nursing women or children shouldn't try a juice fast.
  • People with diabetes, low blood sugar, eating disorders, kidney disease, liver disease, malnutrition, addictions, underweight, anemia, impaired immune function, infection, nutritional deficiency, low blood pressure, ulcerative colitis, cancer, terminal illness, epilepsy, or other chronic conditions shouldn't try a juice fast or should do so only under strict medical supervision.
  • People shouldn't try a juice fast before or after surgical procedures.

What Does a Typical Juice Fast Involve?

  • Proponents of juice fasting suggest fasting only during the warmer months of the year. Spring is thought to be the best time of the year for juice fasting.
  • Seven or more days before the fast, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, dairy, wheat, animal meat, fish, and eggs are typically reduced or eliminated from the diet. This preparation diet often consists mainly of organic fruits, vegetables, and beans.
  • Between 32 and 64 ounces of juice is usually recommended per day during the fast. The juice is sipped throughout the day. Typical fruits and vegetables include celery, carrot, kale, cabbage, apple, pineapple, cranberry, spinach, beet, and greens. Citrus fruits are often avoided.
  • Approximately 6 glasses of room temperature or warm filtered water is often recommended in addition to the juice.
  • Organic fruits and vegetables are usually recommended. If organic produce isn't available, practitioners suggest peeling the skin off fruits and vegetables or washing vegetables with a non-toxic produce cleaner, usually available at health food stores.
  • Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables are preferred, but if unavailable, practitioners suggest buying it from the health food store or juice bar as fresh as possible.
  • Green vegetables and sprouts contain the pigment chlorophyll, which juice proponents believe are especially beneficial during a juice fast.
  • A combination of fruits and vegetables is recommended.
  • Variations on the strict juice fast include eating one meal a day in addition to the juice.

Certain fruits and vegetables and their parts should not be juiced, such as the pits of peaches, apricots, cherries, and other fruits, apple seeds, citrus peels, carrot and rhubarb tops, tough skins (such as kiwi, pineapple, mangoes), and bananas and avocados.
There should be a gradual return to solid foods.