Your liver is an astounding organ, and after your skin,it’s your body’s largest organ. The liver puts up with a great deal of biological abuse. The way it works is nothing short of incredible.
Due to its size and connection to large blood vessels, your liver is well suited to collect whatever comes through your intestinal tract- the good, bad and the ugly.
It takes on bouncer like jobs and keeps toxins or unwanted items such as byproducts from pharmaceuticals or environmental carcinogens from getting into your bloodstream.
The Kupffer cells which are specialized macrophages welcomes the blood that comes into your liver from the spleen and the gastrointestinal tract. They flush out toxins out of your system. Anything not flushed out here gets further broken down by enzymes produced by Hepatocytes that are sensitive to your blood sugar levels.
Boosting liver health to remove toxins from your body, is an integral part of yogic, Ayurvedic and naturopathic medicine. Without your liver, you’ll find it impossible to have a properly working metabolism, balanced hormones, healthy circulation, clean blood and strong digestion.
Practicing different yoga poses enhances and maintains proper functioning and well-being of your liver. Use these yogic poses to massage and nourish this internal organ. Breathe throughout the exercise and hydrate after the poses to flush out the toxins.
These ten yoga poses will significantly improve your liver function. A well taken care of liver will gift you
- Clearer skin
- Increased energy levels
- Fewer infections and stronger immunity
- More regular menstrual cycle with reduced PMS
- Less digestive complaints and more regularity
- A positive mood and sharper mind
- Fresher breath and oral health
- Freedom from sinus pain
Kapalbhati Prayanama (Yoga Skull Shining Breathing Exercise)
While doing Prayanama, you can feel the subtle positive energies, when you sit in silence and focus on the center of your forehead while closing your eyes.
Prayanama is an excellent exercise if you have jaundice, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis and other diseases. Kapalbhati Prayanama stimulates your liver and enhances the function of your spleen.
The breathing technique involves active exhalation and passive inhalation. When you inhale, your stomach sinks in and vice-versa during exhaling. These movements are highly beneficial for the muscles around your stomach, including the liver and pancreas. This exercise increases blood flow to these areas.
Prayanama works best when you sit cross-legged on an even surface and breathe deeply and exhale forcefully through your nostrils. Focus on your exhalation. For best liver health practice, it everyday for atleast 15 minutes.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal twist)
Spinal twist helps to revitalize your liver by fighting abdominal bloating and fatigue.
- Begin seated in a staff pose.Slowly bend your right knee and place your right foot on the ground outside of your left thigh. You can either bend and place your left heel under your right glute or keep your left leg long.
- Gently turn your body to the right and place your right hand on the ground behind your sacrum.
- Deeply inhale to lengthen your spine. Take your left arm outside from your right thigh. With the help of your arm pressing into your thigh and your thigh pressing into your arm, twist as you exhale.
- Hold this position for atleast three to four deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Marjaryasana (Cat Pose)
The liver is found in your abdomen, and the Marjaryasana massages your spine and stomach, both areas that protect your liver.
- Come to a tabletop position by kneeling on all fours. Place your head in a neutral position and look at the floor.
- Exhale as you round your spine up towards the ceiling. Make sure to keep your knees and shoulder in place. Slowly move your head towards the floor and avoid forcing your chin towards your chest.
- Inhale as you come back to the tabletop position.
Bitilasana (Cow Pose)
The cow poses stretches and warms up your spine. A relaxed and loose back will enhance the functioning of your liver. The cow pose allows the stomach muscles around your kidneys, to relax during the pose.
- Start on our fours in a tabletop position, keep your knees directly below your hips and your wrists.
- Ensure that your shoulders and elbows are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your head in a neutral position and look at the ground.
- Inhale as you lift your sitting bones and chest towards the ceiling, allow your belly to sink toward the floor.
- Gently lift your head and look straight.
- Exhale as you come back to the tabletop position. Repeat this asana 10 to 20 times.
SETU BANDHASANA (BridgePose)
Bridge pose strengthens your core muscles that protect your liver. It stimulates your body and energizes your endocrine and nervous systems.
- Lye on your back and bend both your knees. Place your feet flat on the floor hip-width Keep your arms on the side of your body, with palms facing down. Let your fingertips lightly touch your heels.
- Press your feet into the floor. As you inhale,gently lift your hips up and roll your spine off the floor.Squeeze your knees together to keep your knees hip-width
- Press into your shoulders and arms to lift your Engage your legs, buttocks and Mula Bandha (muscles of the pelvic floor behind your cervix) to lift your hips higher.
- Breathe and hold this pose for 4-8 breaths.
- To release, exhale and slowly release your spine back to the floor.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Your liver is at the top of your abdomen, directly in your chest region. Cobra pose opens your chest and stretches your abdominal muscles that lie over your kidneys.
- Lie face down on the floor. Slowly stretch your legs back and the top of your feet on the floor. Stretch and spread your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders.
- Bring your elbows close to your body.Press your thighs, pubis, and tops of your feet firmly on the floor.
- Inhale as you straighten your arms and lift your chest off the floor. Lift your chest to a height that you’re comfortable with. Press your tailbone toward your pubis and lift it towards your navel. Engage your hip points but don’t tighten your buttocks.
- Engage your shoulder blades against your back, puff up your side ribs forward. Gently lift through the top of your sternum but avoid pushing your front ribs forward, because it only tightens your lower back. Distribute your weight evenly throughout your spine.
- Maintain the pose for 10 to 30 seconds, breathe slowly. Gently come down to the floor as you exhale.
Navasana (Boat Pose)
Source: Expert Village
- Come to a seated position and slightly rock back to your sacrum.
- If you’re a beginner, use your hands to bring up your legs as you come back onto your sacrum.
- Lift your legs to a 90-degree angle and let your arms reach out towards your front.
- If you’re a more advanced student, slowly straighten one leg and then the other.
- Engage your core and reach energy out from your fingers. If you’re finding it difficult,come to a more bent position.
If you have tight hip flexors, tight hamstrings, or any tightness in your lower back you’ll find it hard to straighten your legs. Find the fullest expression for you and go to only that point. This step will ensure that you engage your core rather than pulling into your back or any other part of your body.
Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)
Source: Live Sonima
- Spread your legs half feet apart. Inhale as you bend down and hold your big toes with the first two fingers and thumbs of each hand. Slowly lift your head up.
- Try to bring your head to your knees and let your spine curve a little. Hold this pose for five
- Inhale lift your head up and place your hand under your feet. Slowly come back to the starting position.
- If you can’t reach your toes, just place your hands on your ankles or shins. Keep your legs straight or slightly bent.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
- Stand with your legs together and center your body weight on the balls of your feet.
- Inhale and stretch both your arms straight above your head alongside your ears.
- Keep your legs straight, exhale and bend forward at your waist. Reach down and grab hold of the black of your legs wherever you feel comfortable.
- As you gain the flexibility,try different holds to get different stretches, such as clasping your fingers around big toes, sliding your palms and fingers under your feet or catching hold of your elbows behind your legs.
- Keep your head, and neck relaxed.
- Hold the pose for several breaths.
- To release the pose, bring your hands to your hips, lift your torso parallel to the floor and stand straight on an inhale.
Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing Split)
- Stand in the mountain pose with your arms at your sides. Inhale as you reach your arms overhead. Bend your hips and come into a standing forward bend.
- Bring both your hands to the floor and straighten your legs. Avoid locking your knees.
- Slowly shift your weight onto your right foot, and equally across both hands. Slowly raise your left leg as high as you can behind you.
- Walk your hands in the direction of your standing heel, to deepen your stretch. Draw your torso close to your right leg. Tuck your shoulders and breathe deeply. Tuck your chin.
- Rotate your left thigh internally and move your hips towards the floor.
- Position your knee and the foot of your standing leg facing directly forward.
- Hold this pose for five breaths.
- Slowly lower your left leg to the ground and come back into Standing Forward Fold.
- Repeat the pose on the other side.
Tips to Boost Your Liver Health
Follow healthy diet. You can improve your liver function naturally by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. A low toxin, a low sugar diet that’s filled with high-fiber foods is essential for supporting your liver health. If you include high amounts of antioxidants and fiber, it can even reverse your liver damage and disease.
Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods are:
- Sour foods
They contain essential minerals that balance fluids and reduce heavy metals within your blood.
- Leafy greens
- Cruciferous veggies and grasses
Chlorella, wheat grass or barley contain a form of chlorophyll that’s built into plant cells and helps escort damaging substances like dioxin out of the liver.
- Fresh herbs
- Local raw honey
- Green tea
- Coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
Worst foods include. If you can’t totally avoid, atleast limit consumption of the following:
- Too much caffeine or alcohol
- Packed goods that contain refined vegetable oils, sweeteners, artificial ingredients, and colors
- Refined grains
- Sugary drinks and snacks
Prepare foods the proper way. Antinutrients are a type of natural toxins found in beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. They protect the plants from rodents or bugs. Your liver has a hard time digesting them.
So, avoid un-soaked and unsprouted grains and refined carbohydrates. Try to soak and sprout your nuts, beans, and seeds to reduce their toxin level and to increase the nutrient availability.
Chemical sprayed crops, factory-produced meat, and farm-raised fish contain antibiotic residue, toxins, and added synthetic hormones that your liver needs to remove. The healthier the animal and the fresher the produce, the more nutrients are available when you eat them.
Try liver boosting supplements. Use liver-boosting supplements such as milk thistle, dandelion root, holy basil, and bupleurum to help your liver metabolize foods, balance hormones and eliminate waste.
Reduce stress and practice forgiveness. High amounts of chronic stress may be the result of emotional issues such as relationship problems and holding onto guilt, anger or shame. They affect your endocrine, digestive, reproductive and immune systems.So, forgive to boost your liver health.
Blood circulation is necessary for allowing cleansing efforts to unfold. Your body can become stagnant and more susceptible to disease if your blood is not flowing.
When you do all the above yogic asanas, your body pumps more blood. Your liver is then able to release blood into your brain, tendons, organs, joints, and muscles. It helps to bring nutrients to your reproductive or digestive organs which results in a pain-free menstrual cycle and regular bowel movements.
It’s essential that you do yoga, reduce stress and avoid harmful substances to allow your liver function to reach its optimal level. Follow these asanas, and you’re sure to keep this all-important organ in tip-top shape!