Anyone striving to live a healthier life has heard about “detoxing” on more than one occasion. The idea is a simple one: that with the right diet and proper exercise, a person can eliminate the level of impurities or toxins in their bodies.
These toxins come in many forms - additives in our food, fumes from cleaning supplies, and even pollution in the air are culprits. While limiting your exposure to toxins is the best way to stay healthy, this isn’t always possible. So to help the body release these impurities, many men and women turn to exercise like bikram yoga.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram yoga, a specific practice created by yogi Bikram Choudhury, first became popular in the 1970s. A typical session consists of 26 poses over approximately 90 minutes. What makes bikram yoga unique, however, is the class atmosphere; a bikram practice takes places in a room heated to 104 degrees fahrenheit with 40 percent humidity. This practice encourages the body to release the toxins that build up during the yogi’s day to day life.
But which bikram yoga poses are best for detoxification? We have a few here that are certain to help your body become cleansed, healthy, and feeling great:
This bikram yoga pose is one you’ve likely done in gym class. The twisting motion of your torso stimulates digestion, and it also puts pressure on the kidney, liver, and abdomen. This pressure helps to push impurities away and allow more blood to flow into these organs, replenishing them with healthier new cells.
Also called the bridge pose, this pose opens up the chest and lungs, allowing for better airflow. This bikram yoga pose also activates the body’s metabolism, so that you will burn more energy and release even more impurities in the process. Chakrasana is usually a session-ending pose, so save it until you’re ready to finish your session.
Not only does this pose feel great, bhujangasana (or cobra pose) stretches your spinal column while also working the transverse and rectus abdominis. These muscles are very important - after all, they help keep many of your organs in place! Also, the cobra pose once again allows for more bloodflow to the liver, which helps that organ work its hardest to expel toxins from your body.
This is not a pose for unsupervised beginners, but once you’ve mastered it you will love the benefits you will receive. Laying on your mat with your legs inverted enables lymph fluid in the legs to recirculate through the bloodstream. This will strengthen your immune system, making you literally healthier - a huge plus now that cold and flu season is upon us!
Unlike salamba sarvangasana, this pose is perfect for beginners. In fact, you may have spent time in balasana, or child’s pose, without even realizing it! This bikram yoga pose also focuses on the kidneys and liver, promoting increased blood flow and helping to ease digestion. Sidenote: it’s also really comfortable.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
This pose is one of the most common positions in yoga. Most of the time, if goes by a different name: downward facing dog. As you use this position to stretch out your calves and hamstrings, you may not even realize the detoxification benefits you are reaping, too. Nonetheless, this bikram yoga pose improves digestion and strengthens the abdomen while also helping to move lymph fluid throughout the body.
Once you find your balance, the eagle pose is a great way to push out toxins in the calves, ankles, knees, hips, and thighs. Again, the stretching and pressure on your lower extremities improve blood flow and help distribute lymph fluid, making this pose a must-do for the health of your lower limbs.
Men won’t want to miss out on this pose. A simple forward fold (or, if you’re laying flat on the mat, a lift of the leg like the photo above) will provide new, fresh blood to the kidneys and spleen. It will also improve prostate function. Combine these benefits with the gentle stretch of the hamstrings, calves, and arches and you will have a bikram yoga pose that may become an integral part of your husband’s fitness routine.
In some ways, this is the reverse of the Chakrasana. Rather than creating a bridge with your belly facing up, you begin face down on your mat and raise your shoulders and feet to create a curve. This particular bikram yoga pose puts pressure on the abdomen, aiding with digestion and clearing out any toxins from the intestines. This pose is also useful for people who suffer from toxins in the form of… well, flatulence.
Commonly called the boat pose, this position works the core muscles in the abdomen as you hold your legs and torso in the air. The v-shaped bend at the waist puts pressure on your intestines, liver, gallbladder and spleen, literally squeezing the toxins out with each pose.
With each of these poses, you will find that your body feels better and stronger. So what are you waiting for? Give these bikram yoga poses a try today.