The Wonders Of Detox Yoga To Enhance Cleansing & Weight Loss

Detox yoga, detox diet

Image by Kris Fondran, Shapeshifter Yoga

Last week one of the UK’s popular newspapers ran a series about the health benefits of Yoga but I didn’t read anything about detox yoga. The only thing that was mentioned was that Bikram Yoga promotes sweating which is believed to help flush toxins from the body.

Bikram or hot yoga (not all hot yoga is Bikram) is practised in a 40°C (104°F) room with a humidity of 40%. The repetition of postures combined with the heat is reputed to encourage optimal functioning of all organs, tissues, glands, nerves, and systems as well as the detoxification of toxins.

There is some controversy over claims that you can release toxins through the skin with hot or detox yoga.

According to Amber Larsen, a biologist and Yin Yoga Specialist “doing a ninety-minute hot yoga session and sweating to death is not releasing toxins. You really are just dehydrating yourself and losing only water weight.”

On the other hand yoga teacher Kara-Leah Grant says “yoga is the best detox diet you’ll ever do. Regular practice of yoga will solve all of your weight and toxic body issues.”

So who is right?

Detox toxins through sweat

Well, it’s true that you can lose water and dehydrate when you sweat but according to published studies certain toxins can be and are eliminated through sweat. One study showed that toxic phthalate compounds including DEHP and MEHP could be eliminated by “induced perspiration”.

DEHP, a hormone disrupter,  is a widely used phthalate plasticizer that gets into our food and our bodies from certain foodwraps and food packaging during storage of food. Studies have linked phthalates to hormone changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities.

A good reason not to use plastic wraps nor heat food in plastic containers!

Another study identified Bisphenol A, another toxic chemical that disrupts your hormones and is believed to be the cause of a number of health problems, in sweat of individuals even though none was detected in their serum or urine samples. This tells us that the chemicals were stored elsewhere and they were released into the sweat.

Besides detoxing via sweat yoga can help strengthen all your detox organs. The aim of a yoga pose called Open Side Fierce, for example, is to enhance the functions of the detox organs the liver and kidneys to stimulate waste removal.

Generally yoga moves will increase your heartbeat and breathing rate which in turn will pump blood faster to circulate oxygenated blood and lymph to all your body cells enabling them to take in nutrients and expel wastes.

Yoga keeps you super-trim and fit

Yoga is not all about detoxing though. Many celebrities maintain that yoga is responsible for keeping them super-trim, toned and fit.

If you’ve never done any yoga you might think that it’s too tame for much weight loss but devotees of power yoga maintain it can offer all the fat-burning potential, and heart benefits of an aerobic workout.

Studies have shown that yoga can lower stress hormone levels and increases insulin sensitivity – a signal to your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as fat.  A lot of the weight loss potential of detox yoga could be due to the fact that it helps to detox the chemicals that interfere with the weight control system.

Yoga Detox Diet                                                                                                                                                                                         detox yoga, detox diet

The thing that I noticed was that there was no mention of diet to speak of in the series. One lady called Zoe lost 3 stone (42lbs) over 3 years doing yoga once a week and said that “because doing a class leaves me feeling so good inside, for a couple of days afterwards I find myself naturally drawn towards healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts instead of crisps and chocolate.”

I’ve been to yoga classes myself and I can’t remember any of the teachers mentioning diet which I thought was strange.

Kara-Leah Grant says “you should be able tune into the subtle signals of your body. Being in-tune with your body in this way changes what you put into it so you’re less likely to poison it with toxic food choices. But yoga also helps your organs to function at their maximum capacity, meaning that you become far more efficient at eliminating toxins as well.”

Ancient texts on yoga recommend a minimal diet of a little rice, a few vegetables, some mung dal (lentils) and ghee (clarified butter).

This was fine for yogis spending most of the time sitting in meditation or minimal activity but not right for people with stressful jobs or someone who is very active.

Generally a yogic diet is a balanced combination of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains nuts, and dairy products. It does not include meat, fish, poultry, or eggs.

This type of diet forms the basis of many detox diet plans except dairy products are usually excluded.

It’s important to incorporate some sort of exercise when you cleanse your body and detox yoga is a very healthy way to get it.

Forget about the boring monotony of jogging, running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. Do this instead. It almost feels like dancing. Believe it or not, you’ll actually have FUN while you’re getting fit and toned. You’ll be seriously amazed at how it really does help you drop those extra pounds.

Click Here To Check Out Shapeshifter Yoga.

In just 14 days you could start to see the numbers on your bathroom scale finally budge, and your clothes fitting more loosely. You will feel more energized and alert during the day, and sleep like a baby at night. And you notice the things that used to stress you out just roll off your back instead of making you snack or overeat unhealthy food.

Have you ever done detox yoga? Would you try it when you next detox?

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  1. I have never tried a hot yoga, but I have read out it. It is not something that I could tolerate because of the heat, but I do see the benefits. I have done plenty of yoga though! I’ve done regular yoga and yoga that is a bit accelerated as a workout through a program called PIYO. That is definitely not the meditation side of it, but it did do a lot for my flexibility.

    Once I strayed from it, I did lose a lot of my flexibility, even though it was only a few months. I’m looking forward to getting back into it again.

    A big scary side note was reading about plastic and how it can effect you. Looks like some more big changes are in store.

    • Sandy Halliday says:

      Hi Heather, Yes, hot yoga is not for everyone but even traditional yoga can help with detox as certain poses are said to help the detox organs. PIYO sound good but it is not something I have ever tried. After doing yoga I found Pilates difficult so I have a hard time imagining how they put the two together. I would have thought that you would get quite hot doing it. Just doing stretches can improve your flexibility. It’s surprising how quickly we can lose it. Getting back to it sounds like a good idea.
      Take care.

  2. Hello Sandy
    Very informative post .

    This area of dextox yoga is foreign to many. I believe it’s one of the ways to detox toxins from our body.

    Yes we do release lot’s of sweat, but that’s ok, because we are suppose to drink plenty of water.

    Thank you for this informatio.

    Have a great day!

    • Sandy Halliday says:

      Hello Gladys, yes there are many ways to detox toxins and yoga, if it appeals to you, can be a fun way of doing it. Personally I find it more appealing than slogging away in the gym as some prefer to do. You do need to do some form of exercise to get the lymph moving. Brisk walking can be enough if done regularly.

      So important to keep up the water intake as it’s very easy to dehydrate if you do something like hot yoga. A green smoothie would be good to replace the minerals lost in the sweat.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Enjoy your day too.


  3. Hey Sandy,
    I had no idea there was a detox yoga. That’s very cool. I have been doing yin yoga to help keep my back in good shape. I’ve also done PiYo which is a combination of Pilates and Yoga.

    I’m going to check into this some more. I like the idea of a combination of a detox and a yoga sequence. Very cool article. Thank you, Lisa

    • Sandy Halliday says:

      Hey Lisa, I have heard that Yin Yoga is excellent for the lower spine. I’ve never done PiYo. I did have a trial Pilates session once and I didn’t get on with it at all. The breathing technique was quite the opposite to the breathing they teach in Yoga that I found it weird. I can’t really imagine how they put the two together. I will have to take a closer look at it. I have not heard of any classes where I live.
      Take care,

  4. Hey Sandy
    This was a really interesting article. I have done hot yoga before. Not sure if I am releasing toxins or not, but I do feel amazing afterwards. Zero tension in my body..kind of like after I get a really good massage. I really enjoy yoga, but I have yet to make it a regular habit.

    • Sandy Halliday says:

      Hi Kelli, I know what you mean by making it a regular habit. My husband and I used to go to classes together for a long time but for some reason, which I can’t remember now, we didn’t continue with them when it came time to renew. I think it was then we decided to do Latin American dancing instead. I felt good after that! Getting the circulation and lymph moving does make you feel good whatever method you use. I keep thinking I should go and have a massage again. I haven’t been for one for a while now and a good massage is soooooo relaxing.
      Good health,

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