Start The New Year Off Right With These 5 Gentle, Cleansing Yoga & Pilates Moves

December 26, 2022

Holiday bloat and weight gain can make you feel anything but rejuvenated as you bring in the New Year. No matter how much you try to plan accordingly, this time of year tends to be overwhelming and working out can take a back seat. Instead of trying to do a hardcore workout, try taking a few minutes to do a few feel-good cleansing yoga and Pilates moves. They will help detoxify your body, improve digestion and tone your muscles.  These 5 moves will relieve you of any sluggishness so that you can enter the New Year feeling renewed and energetic!

Twisted Chair Pose– Stand with your feet together with your weight spread evenly across both feet and your big toes touching. Inhale and bring your palms together in front of your chest into prayer position. As you exhale, bend your knees to get into chair pose. Ground down into your heels, dropping your hips to try and get your thighs as parallel to the floor as you can. Try to keep your knees from passing your toes to avoid strain in your knees. Exhale as you twist to the right bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh. Continue pressing into your left heel so that your hips do not shift as you continue to pull your right shoulder down and open. Your gaze should be up at the sky. Hold this pose for one minute, continuing to breathe deeply and deepening the pose with each breath. Repeat on the other side.

Snake Twist– Sit on your left hip with your knees staggered to the right. Place your top foot in front of your bottom foot on the floor. Support yourself with your left hand on the floor beside you just under your left shoulder and allow your right hand to rest palm up on your right thigh. Inhale as you straighten your legs, lifting your hips off the ground into a high side plank and lift your right arm up to the sky. Exhale as you twist your torso to the left, wrapping your right arm around your rib cage. Drop your head and follow your right hand. It’s really important to completely exhale every last bit of air out of your lings during this twist for a fully detoxifying breath. Inhale to straighten your torso back to front and exhale as you lower your hips and right arm down.

Revolved Triangle Pose– Stand with your feet together and step your right foot forward about three feet. While keeping your hips square and your feet firmly planted on the ground, lean forward as you twist your torso to the right. Place your left fingertips on the floor outside of your right foot and stretch your right arm up. Continue to expand your chest with each breath and deepening your twist. Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides.

Rolling Like a Ball– Sit at the top of a mat with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on top of the other around your ankles with your elbows open wide. Drop your head and round your spine by pulling your abs into your back. Lift your feet slightly off the ground as you balance on your tailbone. Inhale as you roll back along your spine to your shoulder blades and exhale to roll back up, never allowing your feet to touch the ground. Do 10 rolls back and forward.

Rocking– Lie on your stomach and bend your knees to grab onto your ankles. Hold this position for a few breaths to stretch and warm up your quads. When you’re ready, squeeze your entire backside as you press your ankles into your palms and arch up. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your neck in line with your spine. You may hold this position for a few seconds and then release back down or begin rocking back and forth massaging the front of your abdomen and working the muscles on the posterior side of your body.

What are some ways you’re cleansing your body physically, emotionally or energetically in preparation for a new year?

Also see: The Healthiest Herbs & Supplements For Your New Year Detox

How To Do A Post-Holiday Reset For Your Mind And Body

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Video: Crystal Chin

Crystal Chin
Crystal is a professional dancer, writer and certified Pilates instructor based in Los Angeles. She inspires people to dance their true colors in life, never compromising their own self worth for any person, job or societal standard. She teaches her students about mindful movement and healthy living. When not writing, teaching, or dancing, she is learning all the beautiful life lessons her two dogs teach her just by their existence--forgiveness, being present and how to be unapologetically herself. Check out Crystal's blog at and follow her on Instagram crystalannchin, Twitter @CrystalAnnChin and Facebook.


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