Now here is where the exquisite wisdom of the nighttime prayer comes in. Rather than lolling about on the couch after a heavy meal to open the fast, the taraweeh forces a worshiper to stand, bend and prostate, thereby rhythmically moving the liquid that runs through the lymphatic system and carries with it our bodies’ toxins to the organs which will process them. During the first taraweeh of Ramadan, I realized if worshipers raise their awareness and tweak the movements they make during prayer, they can assist their lymphatic system in expelling toxins and will finish Ramadan with greater physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Wendy Manchester Ibrahim is a behavioral scientist and doctor of natural health. Through teaching, lecturing, writing, and coaching she assists individuals, particularly women, in reaching an empowered state of health and wellbeing. She is currently researching the natural prescriptions Islam offers to its followers.
There are three main postures in Islamic Prayer; quama (standing),ruku (bending at the waist), and sajdah (prostrating). Below are some tips for maximizing each posture.
• Quama: Stand tall. The prayer is a physical exercise. Plant your feet in the ground parallel to each other because alignment will make it easier to engage your muscles properly. With your hips directly over your heels, imagine your spine growing tall into the Heavens as you take your stance for prayer. Before your tuck your chin to gaze at the floor, visualize a string pulling your head upwards. Drop your shoulder blades down so your shoulders are not scrunched up by your ears. Tighten the muscles in your legs without locking your knees. Your muscles will help drain the lymph in your legs. Give your digestive system a little massage by tightening the muscles of your lower abdomen and pressing your belly button towards your spine.
• Ruku: Bend at the hip joints. Maximize the stretch in your hamstrings by keeping your back parallel to the ground (imagine setting a glass of water on it). Stretch your neck and visualize reaching your head to the front of the room. Your muscles will be working in this pose and when you stand back up you will have a flush of the lymphatic system.
• Sajdah: In this humble act before God, remember your breath. You are in the perfect place to send oxygen into your brain. . Breathe deep, long breaths, until first your belly fills up with air, then your lungs and then your throat. Then exhale slowly and completely and relax, for Allah is indeed above all.