Bikram yoga is a system of 26 postures, or asanas, that are done during a 90-minute period in a heated room. It is a version of Hatha yoga, which focuses on the unification of the mind, body and spirit through physical postures. One of the main principals of Bikram yoga is sweating to remove toxins from the body, but medical experts disagree on whether this is possible.
What Bikram Says
According to the Bikram College of India, the practice of the 26 Bikram postures systematically works every part of the body, including internal organs. The reason for the heat is that it promotes the sweating out of "impurities" from the body. Choudhury also asserts that you will not get intended benefits from Bikram yoga if it is not performed exactly as instructed.
Heat and Sweating
The main component of sweat is water. And although sweat does contain trace amounts of dissolved elements and minerals such as sodium, lactate, urea, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, nickel, iron and chromium, none are considered toxic, according to Dr. Rachel Vreeman for U.S.News.
The Body's Detox Process
The body eliminates toxins through three main organs: the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. The liver breaks down and filters substances from the bloodstream that the body can't use. The kidneys remove substances that would become toxic if allowed to build up in the body. The GI tract, including the colon, rids the body of waste.
Exercise promotes normal bowel function, according to MayoClinic.com. Physical activity, such as yoga, might be useful for relieving constipation and ridding the body of toxins through bowel movements.
Aline Lindemann is a health, food and travel writer. She has also worked as a social worker, preschool teacher and art educator. Lindemann holds a Master of Liberal Studies in culture, health and creative nonfiction writing from Arizona State University.