Proper kidney function is essential to staying healthy. In addition to staying hydrated and eating a healthy, low-sodium diet, yoga can help in stimulating and cleansing the kidneys.

Give these simple poses a try.

Bridge (WARNING: Do not perform bridge pose if you have a neck or shoulder injury.)

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms along the floor, palms flat.
  • Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor. Exhale as you lift your hips toward the ceiling.
  • Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone, holding your buttocks off the floor. Do not squeeze your glutes or flex your buttocks.
  • Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body. Clasp your hands and extend your arms along the floor beneath your pelvis. Straighten your arms as much as possible, pressing your forearms into the mat. Reach your knuckles toward your heels.
  • Keep your thighs and feet parallel — do not roll to the outer edges of your feet or let your knees drop together. Press your weight evenly across all four corners of both feet. Lengthen your tailbone toward the backs of your knees.
  • Hold for up to one minute. To release, unclasp your hands and place them palms-down alongside your body. Exhale as you slowly roll your spine along the floor, vertebrae by vertebrae. Allow your knees to drop together.

Cat/cow pose

  • Kneel on your hands and knees, looking straight ahead.
  • Place your knees hip width apart with your hands below your shoulders. Keep the elbows slightly bent.
  • Inhale while arching your back up like a cat. Your head should be facing down, chin to chest.
  • Exhale while sloping your back in reverse. Your head should look upwards. Turn the head from left to right looking over the shoulders, getting a deep stretch in the neck.

Cobra pose

  • Lie down on your belly facing the floor. Press your hands on the floor under your shoulders with the tops of your feet on the floor. Keep the elbows back and close to your body. Press the lower body firmly into the floor.
  • Inhale and begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest up. Keep the lower body pressing firmly into the floor.
  • Press the shoulder blades together while lifting the ribs up. Lift through the top of the chest. Feel a slight backbend throughout the spine. Keep the neck long and your shoulders away from your ears. Fix your gaze forward.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.

Downward Facing Dog

  • Kneel on your hands and knees with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Your hands should be spread wide apart. Your feet should be flat and hip width apart.
  • Inhale as you lift your body up, keeping your shoulders back and pushing backwards into your hips. Push your buttocks upwards. Keep your heels down as much as possible. Keep your knees bent as needed, ultimately straightening the legs and bringing the chest to the thighs. Lift one foot then another back and forward (peddling to get the effect of the feet being flat, which is the goal). You are forming a V with your body.
  • Exhale relaxing slowly lowering the body, relaxing the arms and legs.

Seated Forward Bend

  • Sit tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a deep breath in, then exhale as you bend forward from the hips.
  • Reach for your knees, shins, or toes.
  • Aim to press your chest against your thighs. Relax the muscles in your head and neck.
  • Hold the pose for 3 deep breaths.

Reclined Bound Angle Pose

  • Lie down on your back, with your legs extended in front of you and your arms at your sides. Spread the fingers wide with the palms face up toward the ceiling.
  • Bend your knees and bring the bottoms of your feet together. Allow gravity to let the legs fall open.
  • Adjust the legs to your comfort level. Use yoga blocks under the knees for added support.
  • Relax your upper body and allow your body to become one with into the mat. Remain in the pose from one to five minutes, depending on your level of comfort.

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