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Reality Check: Does Yoga Release Toxins from the Body?

It’s 2016, and yoga is more popular than ever. As the years go on, its popularity only increases. Along with improving your balance, breathing, and core strength; yoga is said to help release toxins in your body. Studies have shown that yoga does in fact help with balance, breathing, and strength, but does it actually release toxins trapped in our bodies? Dr. Pam Peake of the Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine recently stated that the idea yoga releases toxins in the body “needs to be corrected in a serious sort of way.” The theory behind yoga releasing toxins inside the body is known as the “squeeze and soak” theory. Master yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar believed that “twisting the spine compresses muscles and organs, which blocks the flow of blood. When you release the pose, blood flows back into those areas bringing with it nutrients and improving circulation.” Unfortunately, there is no scientific proof to back this claim up. And as for the idea that you can sweat out harmful toxins in your body, Peake says, “1 percent of toxins at most get removed from the body through sweat.” While this news may be disappointing for some, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t partake in yoga. There are still plenty of health benefits to performing yoga, even if it doesn’t actually release toxins from our bodies.

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