Ah, the myths around yoga and its almost magic detox effects. If you google detox yoga, you’ll get over 41,000,000 search results. And beyond 7,000,000 results, if you change your phrase to “detox yoga classes”. Well, there must be something about it then, right?
But what if we told you that “detox yoga” is a myth? Is it, really?
Spoiler: no, it’s certainly not.
Yet, there are many misunderstandings concerning the question of body detoxification and what yogic techniques have to do with it. Let’s decipher between myths and reality about body purification and cleansing with yoga.
Top 3 Misconceptions about Body Detox with Yoga
There are some things that knock you for six when you hear them, and this is typically the case when you discover yoga and meditation-related myths. Some of them are so ingrained in the yoga culture that they have taken a life of their own, and many instructors and coaches swear that they are true.
If you have ever taken a detox yoga class, you’ve definitely heard practically all of the myth-based phrases like “Let’s rinse out your toxins!” or “You’re cleansing the liver completely at this moment”.
The myths below must have appeared due to the lack of knowledge or faulty phrasing. Shall we debunk the most widespread ones?
Myth #1. Yoga purifies your liver.
You’ve probably heard it thousands of times. This is one of the most common misconceptions about yoga and body detox.
Your liver converts toxins into the waste material. It does its work efficiently even without yoga, if it’s in a good condition, of course. At the same time, physical activity, including yoga, can help your liver function normally and support its healthiness.
Founder & CEO of Uplifted Yoga, Brett Larkin, shares her insights about yoga and its benefits which she also discusses regularly during Uplifted Online Yoga Teacher Trainings, “Yoga itself does not detoxify your liver. Yoga only supports the detox process. But to a great extent. It also helps keep your liver healthy in the long run.”
So, in brief, yoga cannot directly cleanse your liver, but its exercises (if done correctly) contribute significantly to your liver’s detoxification capacities.
Myth #2. You have to be bendy for yoga and practice every day.
Yoga is a highly beneficial practice to detoxify your organism no matter when you decide to do it or how flexible your body is. You can start with easy yoga for beginners and that would be enough for you to get a head start in boosting your metabolism and body detox.
“You don’t have to be super-bendy or super-active to promote faster detox of your body with yoga. No gimmicks here. Moderation is the key to a well-balanced life,” says Kyle Risley, Founder & CEO of Lift Vault. “You should maintain moderation in doing exercises and practice asana systematically to achieve greater results of cleansing your body,” he adds.
Can yoga literally help your body “push out” all toxins? With heavy sweat, for example? Let’s debunk this myth as well in the next paragraphs.
Myth #3. You sweat toxins out of your body with yoga.
Perspiration during hot yoga practice has its undeniable advantages. But sweating out toxins is a typical myth, even though it’s often called one of the best detox tools even by yoga teachers.
Because the sweating out myth became so popular, it has already provoked major issues in the sweat therapy and detoxification spa treatment that, in turn, resulted in death due to overheating.
In fact, sweat does not carry the toxins’ cells (like those of most drugs and alcohol) out of the body. What does go out with sweat is bisphenol A (BPA). It’s a chemical primarily used for the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics. More importantly, a small part of heavy metals is also “washed out” with sweat.
Peer into some more details on this and other true facts about yoga and its influence on your body detoxification.
Demystify Detox with these 3 Facts about Yoga
The truth is that your body has already got its inner natural detoxification system. And yoga substantially contributes to its functionality in certain ways. Read on to find out how exactly.
Fact #1. Yoga helps sweat out heavy metals.
As we have mentioned before, sweating during yoga is a good bet for heavy metal detox. Your body disposes of lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic with sweat. But besides those, the body loses too much water as well.
John Gardner, Co-Founder & CEO of Kickoff, suggests that to avoid the risks of dehydration during hot yoga, for example, you need to measure your sweat rate and create a personal fluid intake plan. That’s one of the first things the certified professional trainers do when working with people on their remote personal training platform.
Fact #2. Physical movements with diaphragmatic breathing contribute to better functioning of your lymphatic system.
So what? What contribution does it make to full-body detox?
The thing is that it’s the lymphatic system that collects wastes and toxins to get them eliminated from your body. It is like an aquarium. If you don’t clean it regularly, its environment will be prone to infections.
And since this system depends on the up and down movements of the diaphragm in combination with the outward and inward movements of the abdomen to promote lymph flow, yoga enhances its activity and positively influences lymphatic drainage.
Gentle mindful yoga may be a good method to combine postures, movements, and breathing. Abdominal breathing exercises facilitate deep lymphatic flow and boost your chances to preserve a healthy lymphatic system.
Fact #3. Yoga twists stimulate detoxification.
Bending as well as squeezing-and-soaking actions trigger compression of the body’s waste elimination organs: kidneys, skin, lungs, liver, and intestines. With various twisting poses, morning yoga stretches, and twist variations, you get these organs stimulated to a higher degree.
But don’t overstimulate them – everything should be done in moderation.
How to Purify and Cleanse your Body Effectively with Yoga
Before you proceed to body cleansing & balancing, you need to know how to detoxify your body emotionally and physically.
How to Cope with Emotional “Toxins”
Have you ever felt stressed physically? No wonder. Traumatic experiences and stressful situations can “poison” our bodies too.
But how do you deal with those? When it comes to yoga, introspection and mindfulness come into play. One of the sure-fire ways is to try mindfulness meditation practice. As a part of yoga, it can battle negative emotions, heal trauma and improve your sleep quality.
“Working with seniors, our nurses and care managers have noticed that yoga exercises help them stay active and purify their body and mind,” says Stephan Baldwin, Founder of Assisted Living. “Chair yoga is one of the variations of traditional yoga that we practice at our centers. It helps achieve better mental clarity and enhances concentration, among other benefits.”
For yoga teachers, there are some guided meditation scripts that can help teach mindfulness in yoga classes. A wise combination of mindful yoga poses and moment-to-moment awareness can change everything.
How to Get Rid of Unwanted Toxins and Wastes
Take advantage of the specific types of yoga exercises that are beneficial for flushing out toxins. You may achieve purification of the body with Shatkarma – a set of six detox techniques. They are:
These yoga cleansing techniques help your body get detoxified thoroughly and safely. Make the most of the yogic cleanses and remove harmful substances that litter your body.
The yogic principle of purity and cleanliness is the basis for body detox. In this article, we’ve debunked the most prevalent myths about the role of yoga in whole-body detox and discussed the facts on how exactly yoga contributes to it.
As we have explained, yoga detoxes and restores the body indirectly. It supports and stimulates the processes that are already happening in our bodies. Despite the myths about yogic activities aimed at detoxification, the potential they have for the cleansing effect is huge, without exaggeration.
When we talk about body detoxification, we should also understand our capacity to overcome the toxic effects of our emotions. We can improve this capacity using the principles of mindfulness.
Do you have what it takes to try detox yoga right now? Don’t wait for tomorrow. Try some exercises today, but don’t go too far – do those in moderation and remember about the power of mindfulness.