A Cool Guide to a Hot Topic: Bikram Yoga
You’ve probably heard of Bikram Yoga, or ‘Hot Yoga’, since it’s a huge craze right now. Named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury, this type of yoga consists of 26 specific postures and 2 breathing exercises.
A class should take exactly 90 minutes and be practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees F with a humidity level of 40%. The heat is an integral part of the benefits. A good non slip mat or towel is recommended.
This information will help you get started with Bikram Yoga:
- Who can participate? Pregnant women are the only folks discouraged from participating. All others are welcome to take a class. However, the heat isn’t for everyone.
- This type of yoga is very suitable for the beginner.
- As with any type of physical exertion, be sure to talk to your physician before taking a class.
- Getting started is easy. Since sweating is unavoidable, it is imperative to bring your own towel and yoga mat.
- Most also find it helpful not to eat two hours before class. The heat will bring a lot of blood to the surface of the skin where it won’t be available to aid in digestion.
- Also, bring a water bottle. Drink plenty of water and try to hydrate before, during, and after class.
- Keep the clothing to a minimum. Spending 90 minutes in 105 F heat does not call for a modest dress code. Be sure to wear clothing that will allow freedom of movement and be appropriate for the heat. Synthetics won’t absorb all the sweat.
- What are the claimed benefits? Bikram Yoga practitioners claim the heat allows for better stretching and reduced injuries. It also promotes weight loss as well as lessens tension and stress.
- The excessive sweating cleanses the body by removing toxins. It will certainly help to open and clean your pores.
- The heat and the postures stretch muscles, tendons, and ligaments optimally. Warm connective tissues are easier and safer to stretch.
- The breathing exercises ensure that fully oxygenated blood travels throughout the body. Restoration of health and promotion of healing occur.
- It’s great for weight loss as a single session can burn as many as 1250 calories! Even novices can expect to burn at least 400 calories.
- Where can you participate? Bikram Yoga studios are popping up all over. You’re likely to find one near your home. Check the phone book or do a search online. Only certified teachers are permitted to teach a class or use the term “Bikram Yoga” when referring to a studio.
- You may find yoga studios that referred to “Hot Yoga.” This is likely to be the exact same curriculum found in a Bikram Yoga studio, only the teacher is not certified. There’s a lot of controversy whether any true difference really exists.
If the idea of Bikram Yoga appeals to you, the next logical move is to simply take a class. While many yoga studios charge by the month or for a certain number of classes, many studios will permit new students to either take a class for free or pay a small fee for a single class.
Bikram Yoga has become incredibly popular. Maybe it’s time to find out if it might be a positive addition to your life.
There are many claimed health benefits and many dedicated practitioners. Give this popular form of yoga a chance. It might change your life in a positive way.