How to Detox with Bikram Yoga

| Women's Health

Yogis will be the first to tell you how fantastic yoga is for your body, mind and spirit. Not only does it loosen up tight muscles and help you focus on your breathing, but it can also be a stress reliever helping you put all your worries and concerns to rest. One of its biggest benefits, however, is the detoxification effect it has on your body. That’s right. Yoga is a form of detox. It is often said that yoga releases toxins from your body clearing you from dangerous free radicals that can harm your body. Are you looking for a detox that doesn’t involve a crazy diet or funky tasting juices? Here’s how to detox with Bikram yoga.

woman stretching back in bikram yoga class

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram yoga became popular in the early seventies. Its origins stem from hatha yoga. Bikram yoga is practiced in a room that is 105 degrees Fahrenheit with very high levels of humidity. The class is taught by a certified Bikram teacher who has gone through nine weeks of highly intense instruction and training. A typical class is an hour and a half and involves twenty-six different postures as well as two different breathing exercises. A Bikram teacher is required to use Bikram dialogue in each class while standing in front of the room and, preferably, at a podium.

The extremely hot room is designed to dilate your blood vessels and expand your tissues to improve the flow of blood and oxygen distribution in your body. Many believe this is what creates that detoxification effect as well as a feeling of complete well-being. Toxins are flushed out of your system easier through the series of positions that claim to clean out or purify your arteries and veins. Other benefits include improved flexibility, posture, concentration, and increased strength.

woman stretching her legs and back in bikram yoga class

What You Need to Know:

Because a Bikram yoga class is held in an extremely hot and humid environment, it's important you stay hydrated and take a break if you need to during the class. Your body can easily overheat and become dehydrated, especially if you're not used to this type of workout or if you have a medical condition and/or are taking certain prescription medications. You may want to speak with the instructor upon your first class and let him know if you're worried so he can offer you some helpful tips to get through the class with no problem.

You also want to wear very light and comfortable clothing to allow you to move easier, and bring a towel as you're going to sweat like never before. If you own a mat, bring that along with you as well.

Most importantly, focus on the instructor and what you're being told to do. And if at any point something hurts or is not comfortable, stop and regroup or let the instructor know. The more you become accustomed to the poses and the breathing techniques, the more detoxifying benefits you will reap from Bikram yoga, including one great workout!