What is Detox Core Flow?

What is Detox Core Flow?

For the next couple of months on this blog, we are focusing on IAM Yoga’s signature class styles: Flow, Core Flow, Detox Flow, Detox Core Flow, and Classic Yoga. We’re also going to do a primer on Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga. In the past, we have covered Hatha and Ashtanga – check out their respective posts for more. The intention of these articles is to help you choose the right class for you at the right time – every day is different, so you will need different styles on different days. 

Understanding each style of yoga can also help you choose an intention for each practice that is best supported by the class style. For example, ending up in a fast-moving Flow class in the hot studio when you’re feeling ungrounded or anxious can be counterproductive if you weren’t sure what to expect or aren’t familiar with the sequence. However, knowing what to expect in the class can help you set an intention and a focus that can help you get grounded even when the class moves quickly.

Detox Core Flow is one of the most challenging classes here at IAM Yoga. It is a combination of Detox Flow, which we discussed in the last post, and Core Flow, which we touched upon a few weeks ago. A quick review: Detox Flow is meant to stimulate the systems of toxin removal in the body, which include the digestive and lymphatic systems along with the skin and kidneys. This is done through sequences of twists that put pressure on the large intestine in the way in which food moves through that organ – up on the right, over the centre of the belly, then down on the left. This sequence of right-centre-left pressure is repeated throughout the class to manually stimulate digestion. On top of this specific sequence, the class is fast-moving to get the heart rate up and circulation moving, which benefits the lymphatic system and makes you drink water and sweat – both beneficial for toxin removal. 

In Detox Core Flow, we add a significant amount of core strengthening to the Detox Flow sequence. As discussed in the Core Flow post, the muscles of the core support the spine, protect the internal organs, and support bodily functions like defecating, vomiting, and giving birth. Strengthening the core muscles is essential for the longevity of your yoga practice; weak or overly flexible core muscles can cause mild to severe back pain, especially if there is any damage done to the discs between the vertebrae of the spine.

The core work in a Detox Core Flow is meant to follow the same type of sequence as the rest of the Detox Flow – pressure on the right, then the centre, then the left of the abdomen. This might mean twisted crunches to the right, then lifting to the centre, then lifting to the left; it also might include twisted planks in one direction then the other. The thing to remember is that the core sequences will add to the overall effect of the class while also making the sequence much more physically challenging.

In terms of the sequence, Detox Core Flow typically starts with a floor core strengthening sequence of crunches. Then, you’ll usually move into a sequence of sun salutations or flows to get your heart rate up and your blood moving. The teacher may take you into another core sequence following the flows or may take you right into a standing sequence with a core element, like holding a plank in between the two sides of the standing sequence. 

Often, there will be a series of core strengthening exercises that involve crunches and planks throughout the class and interspersed with standing poses, and you’ll usually wrap up the long-standing portion of the class with a final core exercise. Lastly, you’ll spend the last 5-10 minutes stretching and back-bending to open up the front of the body after all those compressions.

Detox Core Flow is meant to be physically demanding, but you’re always welcome to modify the poses and take a rest whenever you need to. There are lots of benefits to practicing this style of twists and compressions, but the biggest benefit is just in showing up and giving yourself the space to move and breath for this period of time. 

Happy practicing!