The uniqueness of Bikram Yoga is in the conditions under which this practice is performed. High room temperature and humidity contribute to stretching better, massaging the internal organs, releasing the toxins and losing weight. And, of course, it aims to bring you a harmony between your body and soul.
Bikram Yoga Facts
Bikram, or as it is often called “hot” yoga, gained its name from its developer, Bikram Choudhury, and has been practiced for about 30 years. A class usually lasts for 90 minutes in a room with 40 percent humidity and the temperature of 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. High room temperature allows muscles to reach better stretching. Hot conditions are created to systematically restrict the blood flow and then release fresh oxygened blood rapidly to your body cells. This becomes possible through completing a series of 26 asanas (standing postures and floor postures), Pranayama and Kapalbhati (cleansing) breathing.
Sweating is an essential condition of this practice: your muscles warm up and the body detoxication increases. In addition, your spine works thoroughly which restores organism’s functions.
Other benefits of Bikram yoga are muscle toning, better heart strength and lung capacity, increased stamina, eventual relaxation and stress release. Besides deep relaxation, you can gain a boost of energy. An advantage of challenging Bikram yoga practice is that it contributes to weight loss. A regular and correct Bikram practice can reduce the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, back pains and even prevent some diseases.
Setting up a Schedule
It is usually recommended to do hot yoga every day for the first two months. You might even exclude other gym activities for that time. If you have really sore muscles after the first session, try going to the class the next day, too: this will provide your body a stretch and release the tension. If an everyday workout is not possible for you, try going to the class at least 3 or 4 times a week. The more often you practice, the sooner you’ll notice the results.
- Mind your preparations for the class. Dress in light, breathable and stretchy clothing: the less you wear, the more effective your practice will be.
- Take your own mat and towels to the class, since you will sweat a lot.
- Drink plenty of water and eat nothing during two hours before the yoga session.
- Let the teacher know if you are pregnant or have any injuries.
- Check whether your teacher is certified to teach this type of yoga.
Bikram yoga is very popular for its physical and mental benefits.