Bikram Yoga
Credit: Buddy Bartelsen/ullstein bild via Getty Image

We've all been there. You take a drink too many and wake up hating yourself, cursing the world, and asking the universe what you could've done to prevent the hell that is this deathbed of a hangover (except not drinking, because that would be a ludicrous suggestion). Well ladies and gentleman, we may just have the alternative you've been waiting for.

We recently chatted with Laju Choudhury, celebrity Bikram yoga instructor and daughter of its founder Birkam Choudhury, who talked to us about the benefits hot yoga can have on the body and why it's so essential in preventing dawn damage.

Among its many therapeutic benefits, Bikram yoga is designed to eliminate toxins, and therefore results in more robust overall health. In a room kept at a strict 105 degrees with 40% humidity, every class consists of the same 26 postures over the course of 90 minutes.

Laju explains that with a regular practice you will begin to see how your hangovers become less painful. “It's preventative,” she began, “the class and the sequence of postures is like rolling your body out on a rolling pin from top to bottom, inside out, from bone to skin.”

Switching between different positions increases blood circulation throughout the body and improves oxygen uptake. This basically wakes up the body and leaves it feeling refreshed and energized, and from her personal experience she can attest that regular practice has helped decrease her hangovers and those of the people around her. Coming from someone who has taught people at rowdy music festivals, we believe her.

We also talked about how the concept of being in such a hot and humid room for so long can seem intimidating to some. I told her about the first time I took a class and ended up passing out! I was so determined to make it through a class that I kept coming back until I eventually got hooked. “That's exactly what we try to advocate for. It's about finding the strength within yourself just to make it through that experience, and if you can struggle through 90 minutes you can struggle through anything. We want you to look at life in a very optimistic way,” she says. Laju explains that Bikram is like a metaphor for life, “the student you are in class is a reflection of how strong your mind is. If you make it through a class, you can do anything in life.”

It typically takes a person 3 – 4 classes before completely acclimating to the heat, but if you're still iffy about the experience you can be calmed in knowing that it's all been backed up by science. “If the humidity and heat were any lower, then you wouldn't be working your cardiovascular system to the max.”

So here's to knowing that keeping fit can help us all survive the rigorous party season this summer!