Have you ever woken up one day and just felt completely disgusting? You feel sluggish and you can’t figure out why. You’re unmotivated to do anything, even though you know there are so many things you must get done: clean the house, pick up the kids, go shopping, go to work, etc. You’re not overweight, but your body could be in better shape. As for your diet? Hey, we all sneak in a snack here and there. That never hurt anyone, right? So why is it, that some days you just don’t feel good? Maybe you woke up with a dull headache that you cannot seem to get rid of. You always feel tired and stressed. Depression has set in and you constantly feel like your mood is low, yet you have no reason to be so down. Have you been forgetful or experiencing any brain fog lately? If you have experienced any or all of the above, these are signs that you may need to detox. Don’t worry, no one’s suggesting that you are abusing drugs or alcohol. While there is certainly a time and place for substance detoxification, we are talking about ridding your body of all the gunk and junk that has been sitting idle in your system which could be causing all of these unwarranted symptoms, just to name a few:
- Sleep deprivation
- Cognitive impairment
- Skin imperfections
As always, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with your doctor first before deciding on the proper regimen.
We’ve all heard the term “detox” plenty of times, but what exactly does it mean to detox your body naturally? This process helps the liver to regain its function to properly process and eliminate such toxins again. Yet, you don’t willingly or knowingly allow toxic chemicals into your body, right? So why would an average person consider cleansing the system to rid itself of unhealthy substances?
Sushmita Sengupta, an author at NDTV Food informs us that unfortunately we are exposed to toxins which are, “[simply products of our environment: pesticides, food preservatives, metallics, pollutants.]” The list goes on. Even though we do not purposefully ingest these things, they still manage to invade our bodies. So it’s our job to take care of our bodies in order to properly function through our daily activities of living. Not only does detoxing help to eliminate and prevent those unfortunate symptoms we discussed earlier; it’s no surprise that going through a detox process will also help to boost energy and even aid in weight loss.
Now, how the heck do we do this? How to detox naturally? There is a plethora of detox diets, supplements, and liquid cleanses available from numerous brands and companies. I don’t know about you, but I get overwhelmed with all the possibilities to try out there. Which brand should I use? Is it really going to help me? Should you do a diet or just drink a cleanse? According to Julia Nuzzo, certified instructor at Amp Yoga Studio, located in Springfield, NJ, one doesn’t necessarily need an outside source to cleanse the body. She believes in the practice of power yoga and how it guides the human body’s natural ability to cleanse itself.
“Power Yoga” sure does sound intimidating, especially for someone who to yoga. However, the term doesn’t imply that the workout is super hard or only for advanced yogis. Rather, the practice is encouraging and uplifting in that it helps you to find the power which comes from your core, your power’s center. Power yoga teaches you how to engage your core to find the power within your physical and mental practice.
Ms. Nuzzo details the benefits of a style of power yoga called Vinyasa. Besides assisting the body to detox, this style of flow power yoga helps students to step out of one’s own headspace and into their breath, creates heat and physicality, is a great stress reliever, and creates a sense of community for like-minded individuals. One of Julia’s favorite benefits is the strength gained in physical practice and learning the leadership skills that can take one in a new direction in life.
Okay, great! Now we know that you can detox naturally with yoga besides or as an alternative to those diets and juices. But how exactly does Vinyasa power yoga cleanse the body? Vinyasa (which means to arrange things in a certain way), is performed in infrared heat, which is the main detoxifier. These studio classes are heated at a temperature of ninety to ninety-five degrees, between thirty to forty percent humidity. (I know, sounds crazy, but you have to try it. I did and after, I felt like a powerful string-bean that could do anything!) Believe it or not, Vinyasa sessions are not even the hottest yoga classes out there, and that’s for good reason. As a Vinyasa student, you will be practicing numerous inverted poses, so the expert yogis go easy on you with the heat index. Remember that the infrared heat is your main source of detoxification, but it’s not the only one. Julia explains, “Detox comes from your own breath, which creates the physicality in the practice and creates heat. When breathing properly…that’s what creates the most detoxifying effect.” Of course, Julia will teach you the proper breathing techniques during class so you reap optimal benefits, and so you can focus on self-cleansing.
I can’t imagine taking one of these Vinyasa classes is as simple as just walking in one day. Could you? Julia encourages that yoga is for “everybody”, beginner to advanced, but also stresses the importance of having a proper mindset during your journey. “You can’t come into the practice [thinking] this is not for you…it’s not yoga ‘perfect’, it’s yoga ‘practice’.” Learning this definitely put my mind at ease, and I willingly gave it a try. Trust me, the heat factor may present a challenge to you, but it feels great!
Being that we are trying to detox naturally with yoga, you have to wonder how to prepare for such a workout. Can I eat before class, or should I wait until after?
We need to make sure we do this right, otherwise, what’s the point?
Julia suggests listening to your body, “If you work out better on an empty stomach, that’s fine. If you do need to eat before class, a light meal such as yogurt with fruit, a protein bar, or ½ a protein shake [would be beneficial].” She recommends staying hydrated as much as possible before and after your yoga workout. First-time yoga students entering a heated studio should remain more hydrated than usual. Julia also explains why it’s actually detrimental to chug water during your yoga workout, “[Doing so] could take some energy away from you. You don’t want that water sloshing around in your belly when you’re trying to do any type of inversion or physical workout. It’s just not good to be chugging water when you’re practicing yoga or lifting weight.”
That makes so much sense!
Ready to detox naturally with yoga, rejuvenate yourself, and strengthen physically as well as mentally so you can actually live your life? Instead of waking up sluggish, depressed, or unmotivated, you can begin your day by learning how to focus, increasing your flexibility, and maintaining youthful vitality.
Join a class with Julia on Tuesdays at 7:00 a.m. and receive not only a great yoga session but a health education as well. Ms. Nuzzo is also a Registered Nurse for sixteen-plus years and is currently working towards becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
Physical and mental health is vital for incorporating into her yoga instruction.
Socially distanced in-studio sessions available, as well as on the Zoom app so you may practice in the comfort and safety of your own home.
By: Dana Nuzzo