The liver is a crucial organ, as it is the largest gland that filters out toxins from your digestive tract. It’s essential in metabolizing drugs and secreting bile. It stores glycogen, vitamins, and minerals and also synthesizes proteins. The Medical News Today Knowledge Center says that these are just some of the 500 essential tasks that it does. Although it can regenerate, people tend to abuse their livers through excessive alcohol and drug use, which could lead to fatal consequences.
Good liver health and detoxification can be achieved through a number of remedies. The Top 5 Benefits of Regularly Practising Yoga found that it’s a simple lifestyle practice that improves brain, heart, and bodily functions.
The liver basically does a lot of the heavy lifting to metabolize and get rid of useless and excess compounds in our bodies. Gretchen Lidicker shares on Parsley Health the value of giving your liver extra TLC as failure to do so can lead to “ diabetes, obesity, and reproductive disorders”. Yoga can actually help in liver function as it facilitates waste removal and optimizes its digestive functions when sluggish, according to an article on liver function by Gulf News.
Here are the top 5 yoga poses to cleanse your liver:
Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Sit comfortably and keep your spine tall and your core engaged. Take a breath and lift your arms to lengthen your spine. When you exhale, turn your abdomen to one side and look over your shoulder. This hand will land behind you as your opposite hand goes to this side’s knee. Hold this pose for five breaths and repeat on the opposite side. Seated spinal twist rinses and rehydrates your spine while also improving digestion.
Marichi’s Pose (Marichyasana)
Starting from Staff Pose, lengthen your spine and engage your core while bending one knee. Put this side’s foot on the outer part of the opposite side’s extended knee. While inhaling, lift up both your arms and spine. While exhaling, twist over your shoulder and look behind. Your opposite elbow should press against the opposite knee for five breaths before repeating. The twisting motions help massage internal organs, improving their function.
Revolved Side Angle (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)
Begin with a Crescent Lunge with your hips squarely in front––front knee over front ankle as your back leg is kept straight together with your back heel raised from the mat. Sink down into your lunge and put your hands in prayer position as your spine remains straight. When you lean forward and exhale, twist to your right shoulder and bend lower if you are able to. This aids digestion.
Revolved Half Moon (Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana)
Leaning forward from Triangle Pose, put your hand above the outer part of your foot near your pinky toe. Your other hand goes on your top hip to help keep you balanced while you lift your leg at hip-level. When you feel stable enough, look down at your foot on the ground and then rotate your body until your chest is facing the mat. Rotate your hands––one goes down to the mat while the other should be brought up pointing to the sky. Keep this position for 5–10 breaths and repeat. This pose builds strength and balance and massages your spine while also cleansing your digestive organs.
Revolved Hand-to-Big-Toe (Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana)
Begin with your hands on hips in Mountain Pose and keep your feet firm on the ground as you raise one knee to form a 90-degree angle. Put your opposite hand on the outside of this knee and twist your torso this way as you look over your shoulder and extend this arm for five breaths, before repeating. Internal organs will be rinsed and detoxified with this pose.
Yoga kills two birds with one stone by helping you develop both a strong body and a healthy functioning liver. Grab a mat and get twisting––you’ll be glad you did the next time you’re set for a check-up.