June 17, 2010

Holy Hot Yoga!!

Since being at Bastyr, I have taken more of an interest in liver health and detoxification (or “biotransformation” if you’re fancy). The liver is the largest gland in the body and it is responsible for many, many functions ranging from metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, and protein to storing and activating vitamins and minerals as well as filtering blood from the entire body. Its importance is proven by the fact that it is the only organ that can regenerate itself!

There are many ways people “detox” this vital organ but since I don’t believe in fasting or supplements, one that interests me in particular is sweating. Many naturopaths suggest the sauna as a liver supporting practice, and hot yoga is touted as detoxifying and energizing as well. I’m not sure if it is biotransformation or dehydration, but something definitely happens in that room during the 90 minutes you have sweat dripping down your nose and off your toes. I just joined Bikram Yoga of Redmond and I had my first session this week. The room was about 100 degrees F with lots of fans on the ceiling to keep the air moving. As we made our way through the 26 poses, there were definitely times I felt like I was going to pass out. However, I made my way through the class and didn’t have to stop to kneel down and rest once. I drank Whole Foods electrolyte water and left a sweaty mess but I’m going again next week and I really appreciated the instructor Nadia’s advice as we left that day: “keep doing the best you can, don’t give up, and come back tomorrow to do it again”.


  1. I've always been curious about hot yoga... how do you hold the poses? I'm worried that if my palms sweat and I try downward dog I'll fall on my face!

  2. I think I can skip the Bikram Yoga ...at least this week in Davis California where it's 100 + for at least the next few days and I have an Australian Shepherd who DEMANDS 3 walks a day! I feel like I'm walking into a wood fired pizza oven every time I open the door! Sarah visited last week and left me some info on the detox diets. I'm contemplating all of this and working up to it while sipping on my vodka tonic!

  3. yea - it is like a mystery until you go. i would say that the first time is AWFUL and you feel really uncomfortable, but then if you keep going, it gets way better and you start to feel really great. a lot of people wear hardly any clothes in there, but i find that if i wear pants and a tank, then i have something to wipe my hands off on to get a better grip and also, i'm not as slippery with less skin exposed!