After every meal, dishes are washed and teeth are brushed to remove the dirt and rogue food particles. But what about the inner space of the body’s digestive system? All the food you have eaten for your entire life has passed through the interior space of your body without any real cleansing.
Ancient yoga practitioners discovered the body’s natural spin cycle long before the invention of the modern washing machine. Twisting postures go into the interior space of the pelvis and the abdomen and wring out the inner organs, leaving the body lighter and more free. Inflexibility around the mid-section inhibits healthy digestion and encourages fat accumulation around that area.
Twisting postures target the inner organs, giving them back their natural pliability and encouraging energy flow through the entire digestive system. Not only does twisting help the organs stay healthy, but twisting postures also help to remove any accumulated old debris on the inner tracts of the entire digestive system.
What Is Mucoid Plaque?
If you eat healthily, chances are that the presence of harmful substances in the digestive tract is minimized. However, if you are anything like me, then you came to yoga and a healthy lifestyle only after years of unhealthy eating and living. Naturopath Richard Anderson coined the term "mucoid plaque" to describe the harmful, mucus-like layer or material produced from food residue in the intestinal tract. While there is debate about the validity of this concept, at the very least I think everyone can agree that years of an unhealthy diet based on fast food, trans-fats and heavily processed foods have a negative effect on the health of the inner organs.
Food affects the relative health and homeostatic balance of our gut. New studies show that the type of food you eat will determine which bacteria populate the intestinal tract and that these different types of bacteria have an effect on your body’s weight balance. In other words, the relative state of health of your gastrointestinal tract directly effects the state of the entire physical body.
Think about it from this non-scientific perspective: Food is the gas for the vehicle of your body. If you put low-grade, dirty or even toxic fuel into the best machine, sooner or later the effects will start to show and the machine will deteriorate or even break down. While you can trade in your car after treating it poorly, the body you are born with is the only one that you have for this lifetime.
Benefits of Twisting Postures
Taking care of your body is a necessary component of a healthy lifestyle. Practicing yoga as often as possible is a great way to clean the body from the inside out. Twisting postures like Marichasana C help to rid the body of old toxic residue and maintain healthy, balanced inner organs. By initiating the twisting movement from a deep lateral stretch that comes from the root of the pelvis, all the organs are pressed from the inside.
Twisting movements continue through both a spinal twist and an internal rotation of the hip joint that you are twisting into. These two motions encourage the digestive organs to release any residual materials. Finally deep breathing helps the body release toxins and impurities through long exhalations. Taken together, deep twisting postures in the yoga practice complete your body’s natural wash and spin cycle.
For best effect, eat healthy food and practice yoga regularly.