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Hot Yoga And Your Skin…It’s Complicated

Types of Yoga | Yoga

I look like I’m in middle-school again. Hello, Mother Nature I already went through puberty. Why are you doing this to me?

For about five days this is what ran through my head every time I passed a reflective surface. I had just started a hot yoga practice, and my face had responded by breaking out into small, swollen red blobs. I hadn’t struggled with acne since I was 13, and I assumed that my pores weren’t responding well to producing so much sweat. Then I thought, maybe it was lying on a bacteria-laden mat (I wasn’t great about cleaning my mat at that point in time) that was causing my skin issues. I changed my makeup; packed baby wipes in my yoga mat to scrub my face as soon as savasana was over, and would splash cool water on my face as soon as I got to the bathroom.

However, never once did I consider that it was something internal that was causing my break-outs. Turns out, my body was probably detoxing. Now hold up, before you go all “what the Ganesh” on me, let me explain.

Detoxing has become a trendy term. People go on juice detoxes, raw food detoxes, hot water and lemon detoxes—all trying to attain a cleansed, radiant glow (while potentially dropping some water weight). But our bodies do detox naturally. And many, like me, experience the visage of a pimply pre-teen instead of that of a glowing yoga goddess during the first few days of a cleansing activity, like a new yoga practice of dietary change.

Hot yoga leaves you soaked in perspiration, which feels like you are becoming deliciously clean from the inside out. The skin is one of the body’s main organs of elimination. This means that a good portion of your accumulated toxins, from cheesy pasta to Chinese food, are being sweat out through your pores, which can lead to temporary breakouts. It’s totally normal.

So what can you do to help expedite the detoxing process?

  • Drink plenty of water to flush out impurities.
  • Try hot lemon water first thing in the morning for extra cleansing
  • Eat clean! Your body is working overtime right now. Avoid dairy, fried foods and excess oil and meat.
  • Get plenty of rest. Take a little extra time in restoration.

Eventually, I did get that glowing skin that is the envy of my non-yogi friends, and hot yoga helps maintain that by providing with an every-day mini detox. Also, those suggestions above to help clear hot-yoga induced acne… yeah, they help prevent it too. So make a lifestyle change of it!

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Featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and VOGUE

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