Bikram yoga is a type of yoga that takes place in a 104-degree room for 90 minutes, with a total of twenty-six different poses. While yoga in general is a spiritual practice, it is also a great form of exercise, and can definitely be of great use for weight loss.
While yoga is usually perceived to be a relatively low intensity exercise, Bikram yoga is very challenging, and can virtually guarantee weight loss – that is, if you attend enough classes. When using Bikram yoga for weight loss, you should plan on attending at least three times a week, or ten times per month. Many dedicated students of Bikram yoga attend anywhere from five to six times per week, maximizing their results. As this unique form of exercise is markedly difficult, it will likely take you some time to be able to frequent classes more than a few times a week. Remember, it is safe to lose one to two pounds per week.
As with most exercises, Bikram yoga is as challening as you want it to be. Research has shown that Bikram yoga can burn anywhere from 500-1,000 calories per session. However, this is completely dependent on how hard you push yourself. Many fitness classes offer modifications for particular exercises to accomodate varying levels of fitness, and Bikram is no different. For several poses, your instructor will provide you with optional modifications. As a general rule, the longer you hold a pose, the more calories you will burn. Try to hold your poses for as long as the instructor requests.
Since this class takes place in a room heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it is vitally important that you stay hydrated the day before, and the day of the class. This is not only important for weight loss, but also for your overall health – if you don’t drink enough water, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated due to how much you sweat during the class.
Drinking enough water also pays off with the number on the scale. If you don’t drink enough, your body will retain fluids and you might then wonder if this type of yoga is really working. Also, staying hydrated rids the body of toxins.
Watch When You Eat
Bikram yoga requires that you not eat for at least four hours prior to the class. This gives food time to digest, without leaving you with an empty stomach. Cramping and difficulty holding poses can occur if you eat closer to the time of the class. Also, weighing yourself after the class can surely convince you that this type of yoga is the real deal for weight loss! The psychological benefits of seeing your weight drop has been proven to motivate people to continue exercising longer.
While the foundation of yoga was a spiritual one, students all over the world have realized the amazing health and weight loss benefits that this exercise has to offer. Bikram yoga is certainly no exception, and is quickly growing in popularity. Check listings for the nearest studio to you, and you too will be a yoga convert!