Looking after Our Liver
Did you know that our liver is one of the most vital organs in our body? The liver works relentlessly to remove toxins and distribute and store nutrients. The liver also helps metabolise carbohydrates, fat, and proteins.
Sluggish liver function may cause a number of symptoms including constipation, abdominal bloating, nausea, indigestion, and intolerance of fatty foods and alcohol.
To keep your liver healthy and happy, we need to do the following: -
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid toxins
- Use alcohol responsibly.
There are also certain yoga exercises that can enhance the health of your liver! Would you like to know what they are?
1. Seated Spinal Twist: Ardha Matsyendrasana
Find a comfortable seated position, sitting with spine tall and core engaged. Inhale as you raise your arms and lengthen your spine. As you exhale, begin to twist your torso towards the right as you gaze over your right shoulder.
Right hand plants behind you like a kickstand, as you bring left hand to the right knee, deepening your twist. Stay for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
2. Marichi’s Pose: Marichyasana
Find a comfortable seated position, with legs straight in front of you. Lengthen the spine and engage the core. Bend your right knee, and plant the sole of the right foot on the outside of your extended left knee.
As you inhale, lift arms and spine towards the ceiling and as you exhale, start to twist over your right shoulder. Right hand follows your gaze behind your back as your left elbow presses against the outside of your right knee to deepen the twist. Stay for 5 breaths and repeat on both sides.
3. Shoelace Pose
Begin by sitting straight up with the right leg drawn over your left so that your knees are stacked and your feet are drawing in towards your hips, and your hands can start off being at your sides. You may want to sit up higher on a cushion, block or bolster if that feels a few moments upright here, taking a few deep breaths and noticing how the pose feels. If you feel you are at your edge, simply stay here. If you feel you have some “room to move”, begin to walk the hands in front of you and lean forward from your torso, dropping your head and relaxing the neck and shoulders, until you find your new edge in the pose.
Hold for 3 – 5 minutes. Repeat the opposite side.
4. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms along the floor, palms flat. Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor. Exhale as you lift your hips toward the ceiling. Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone, holding your buttocks off the floor. Do not squeeze your glutes or flex your buttocks. Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body. Clasp your hands and extend your arms along the floor beneath your pelvis. Straighten your arms as much as possible, pressing your forearms into the mat. Reach your knuckles toward your heels. Keep your thighs and feet parallel — do not roll to the outer edges of your feet or let your knees drop together. Press your weight evenly across all four corners of both feet. Lengthen your tailbone toward the backs of your knees.
Hold for up to one minute.
5. Boat Pose (Navasana)
Sit on your mat with your knees together bent in front of your chest, feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your knees and lift through the heart to open the chest and sit tall. Elongate through the crown of your head. Engage your core as you shift your weight to balance on your sit bones, lifting your shins parallel to the floor. Now let go of your palms and allow your arms to be parallel to the floor. When you're ready to go into full boat pose, straighten your legs. Making a V with your torso and legs.
Stay here for 5 full breaths. Then slowly, release the way you came in.
6. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
Lying down on your front, arrange your shoulders over your elbows. Bring the shoulders back away from your neck, shoulder blades sliding down your back and feel a subtle lift in the breast bones. Guide your breath towards your lower back and abdomen.
Stay here for 5 breaths. To come out of the pose, bring your elbows to the sides and rest your forehead over your hands.
7. Wide Child’s Pose (Prasarita Balasana)
Open the knees wide and the big toes are touching with most of the weight of the body on the heels of the feet. The forehead rests softly onto the earth. The arms extend to the front with the fingers spread wide. The gaze is down and inward.
This is a wonderful resting pose and you may stay here for as long as you like!
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