What Is Bikram Yoga
Have you ever heard of hot Bikram yoga?
In case you’re not familiar with it, here is a little history of Bikram hot yoga.
The founder of Bikram yoga is Bikram Choudhury, born in Calcutta, India in 1944, and was a yoga champion in his youth.
In 1970’s, Choudhury founded the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, California, to teach his method, which soon became one of the most popular styles of yoga asana practiced in the West.
His yoga method is a set series of 26 postures, including two pranayama exercises, where each one is performed twice in a single 90-minute class.
Wondering what is hot yoga?
Hot yoga is done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit.
What does it do for your body?
Its vigorous yoga session at high temperature makes the body become very warm and induces heavy sweating.
What To Expect When Doing Hot Bikram Yoga
First, you need to find a Bikram studio which have to follow its standards which are very detailed.
The studios must:
- Have carpet flooring
- Have mirrors on the front wall
- Have bright lighting
- Have no music playing during the class
- Last 90 minutes
- Consist of a specific beginning yoga sequence including two breathing exercises and 26 poses
- Be taught by Bikram-certified instructors
Any class is being properly monitored, and no one will be pressured to push over personal limits.
This is important because working out in a hot and humid room if not properly managed, can lead to heat-related illness and be fatal.
In case you are peculiar about it and you want to give it a try, this is what you should know before you start:
1.It Can Be Smelly
Can you imagine what happens when 25-30 people are having hot Bikram yoga session?
They all sweat heavily and bad smell is almost inevitable.
In time, you might get used to the smell as you are longer in the room, but it never completely goes away.
Be prepared not to be shocked by it. The smell may bring back some memories to your childhood school locker rooms after having a gym class
2.It Surely Will Be Hot
As it is a hot yoga class, you need to dress accordingly.
Women usually wear yoga gear such as booty shorts and a sports bra, while guys are usually shirtless and in athletic shorts.
It’s important to note that if you don’t like the heat or sweating, you probably won’t like Bikram yoga at all.
It definitely isn’t for everyone.
3.Take Food And Water Supplies With You
Before starting hot Bikram yoga class, it is incredibly important to hydrate well, but it’s also important to bring some water into the studio.
You surely don’t want to faint at your yoga session.
During class there are breaks to take some water, but you can take voluntarily your own break in order to hydrate.
Why it is necessary?
Because of the significant amount of sweat, you should make an effort to drink several ounces of water at least every 10-15 minutes.
After class, you must replenish your fluids again, therefore, refill your water bottle or have another one on hand, so you can drink up when you feel the urge for it.
Don’t get surprised if you find yourself hungry after class.
It is a good idea to pack up some light snack – possibly an apple and some string cheese, or a single-serve portion of humus and pretzels.
A good mix of proteins and carbs will help you sustain hunger until you have your meal.
4.Bring Along Clothes To Change After The Session
All Bikram yoga studios are required to have showers according their standards, and if you prefer to shower right after class, it’s always an option to consider.
But, if you prefer to shower at home, it’s better to bring some clothes so you can change.
Surely you do not want to drive home while wearing wet clothes as you’ve just crawled out of a pool.
5.Take A Break If You Need To
If you are a beginner doing hot Bikram yoga, eventually you’ll want to make a break whether for re-hydrating , or just to relax a bit, as it is really hot in there.
You should know that while being hot, you may experience sensations of dizziness.
Sit down, take some water and relax.
Note that as a beginner, you may find yourself not capable of doing every pose in the session, so don’t worry about it.
You will learn.
6.You’ll Have To Stay In The Room
Even if you choose to relax as the heat have exhausted you, you’ll have to stay in the room.
Because staying in the room and acclimatizing to the heat is an important part of Bikram yoga.
The heat itself helps loosen you up to increase the flexibility of your muscles and do the assanas properly.
7.Beginner Friendly Poses
The poses are beginner friendly and all 26-pose series are taken from Hatha Yoga.
There are also more advanced versions of each pose, but initially the all are beginner friendly and appropriate for people of different wide-ranging flexibility.
Do the ones you feel you can.
8.Either You’ll Like It – Either You Will Not
It’s simple as that. You may hate the heat and experience a general discomfort.
Experiencing extreme heat, activity and persistently increasing dehydration, will increase your heart rate, challenge your breathing and push you over your normal range of motion.
It may take a lot of mental concentration to focus on proper form, while trying not to think about the general discomfort you are feeling.
Surprisingly, you may want to come back after your hot Bikram yoga class ended.
11 Health Benefits Of Hot Bikram Yoga
The main reason why people prefer Bikram yoga instead of conventional yoga is detoxification.
In Bikram yoga with heated room condition, you will be easily getting sweaty. Well, it is actually the main purpose of Bikram yoga, heavy sweating.
It will help you flush out all toxins in your body throughout skin.
Furthermore, sweating could be really healthy especially for those who don’t have time to exercise, while in conventional yoga not everyone will experience heavy sweating.
Warming up in all kind of sports is necessary, and yoga is not an exception to it, although yoga postures mostly do not reflect any danger for muscles.
The purpose of warming up is to relax muscles before doing any yoga postures in order to minimize possible injuries.
In Bikram yoga, the heated room condition becomes an advantage because the temperature will contribute in warming up muscles, so it will be a bit safer to do yoga postures.
3.Stimulating Heart Rate
If you have a rapid heart rate, it is not always as bad as you think it is, and of course, as long as you understand your current health condition.
If you are currently having a heart condition, perhaps it would be wise to consult your doctor about your plan of doing Bikram yoga.
However, if you are most certain you could handle it – then, you are welcome to a class.
By stimulating your heart rate, you will challenge your body to work harder, and you’ll feel like running, when in fact you are not leaving your mat.
Besides, it is very beneficial to stimulate your metabolism as well.
The unique thing about yoga is that you will find immense capabilities of your body you never knew exist.
In hot Bikram yoga, you can test your own limits and be surprised at the end.
But, don’t overstretch and don’t force yourself too much.
Instead, develop muscle strength step by step until you reach your limits.
Yoga practice makes you flexible and maintain your health.
Compared to conventional yoga, Bikram yoga practiced in heated room condition will provide more flexibility due to warmed up muscles, making it more possible to do postures.
However, important thing to note is that you SHOULD NOT force yourself.
Once your body feels uncomfortable – relax for a while before you start again.
Breathing is an essential factor in yoga.
However, in Bikram yoga, you will get more challenged to do it and it is the heat we are talking about.
It surely isn’t easy to breathe normally while you are doing yoga postures in heated yoga studio room, and that’s why you need to learn and adapt with the heat.
7.Heavy Sweat – Relaxed Body
Hot Bikram yoga will force you to be in heavy sweaty condition, and will make you see a new level of relaxation.
However, there are people who prefer yoga instead of other sports just to avoid dealing with sweat, and in such case most certainly Bikram yoga isn’t for that kind of people.
8.Better Mental Focus
Yoga essence is all about improving mental focus.
While practicing, you are trying to focus on your muscle stretch, while also keeping in charge of control of your breathing as well.
Yes, yoga is like doing multi tasking at the same time, and in hot Bikram yoga there is one more challenge you should deal with – the heat.
Bikram yoga is by far more challenging than regular yoga.
You need to put up with the heat, body postures and breathing at the same time, and also pay attention of your body needs due to heavy sweating.
It is quite challenging but definitely worth to try.
10.Sweating Is Good
Sweat will always give you a good feeling because you’ll know you have flushed out all those built up toxins.
Of course your sweat may be smelly and sticky sometimes, but the feeling after the session will surprise you.
Getting heavy sweat once in a while will make you enjoy more your warm bath, often followed by a very good and deep sleep.
You will wake up in the morning all freshen up with new energy flow and clearer mind.
The sweat has flushed away all toxins and just by knowing it, will make you feel like having a whole brand new personality.
The purpose of yoga is giving you a better life.
As it is considered as a healthy lifestyle, it also means having a better life. Yoga is making your life meaningful.
During yoga, you are in position to learn more about your body, your self, your mind, your body and your life.
That’s the real point of yoga.
It allows you to enjoy all the benefits of doing it by having clearer mind, better shape and of course healthier body.
5 Side Effects Of Practicing Birkam Yoga
Bikram yoga is not without risk.
However, as long as you are following the rules and do not force yourself too much, you will be fine, just do Bikram yoga wisely.
1.Tendency To Overstretch
It is always wise to follow instructions from your yoga instructor in order to avoid any tendency of overstretching, as it could be dangerous for yourself and could cause serious injuries.
Additional heat makes it difficult to stay focus while you are in heat condition. That’s why intensive training and discipline is required if you want to “survive” Bikram yoga.
Heat exhaustion can be dangerous.
Recognize your limits and don’t force yourself too much. Once you feel a bit dizzy due to heat exhaustion, don’t force yourself too much.
Just stay focus, breath deeply and try to deal with the heat.
However, if it still not working for you, get some rest before continuing the session.
Dehydration can’t be avoided when you are doing Bikram yoga.
Sweat will easily come out from your body due to heated room and yoga postures, and that’s why you need to stay hydrated before you enter the class.
As if you are not, you may experience dizziness and dehydration that could pose a danger to your body.
If hot Bikram yoga class is led by professional and certified instructor, you will not experience such thing, but still, take this into consideration.
Heat stroke could be dangerous for your health and surely you don’t want experience it while in yoga class.
Tips Before Enrolling To A Hot Bikram Yoga Class
There are few final tips to consider before starting Birkam yoga practice.
- Keep hydrated
- Learn how to handle the heat
- Don’t be late on class – prepare on time
- Don’t overstreach
- Avoid using towel (feel the sweat)
- Wear comfy and light clothes
- Don’t practice with empty stomach nor full too much
Recommendations For Starters
Well, if you are new in the yoga world, probably you should think twice whether you want to enter hot Bikram yoga class.
Conventional yoga is not an easy thing to do for starters, and you’ll need some time to build flexibility, and to learn to focus and control your breathing at the same time.
If you can’t learn all those things in heated room, you will feel stressed out and you will not enjoy the whole process.
It is not the point of yoga, and just by forcing yourself to follow the trend – you will not get all the benefits yoga offers.
At the end, it is actually a matter of choice, whether you prefer conventional yoga, or you prefer more challenges found in Bikram yoga practice.
Either you’ll love it – either you’ll hate it.
Yet, it’s worth to try!
1. “Benefits of Bikram Yoga”
2. verywell “How hot is hot yoga”
3.Hotyogasaratoga via YouTube
4.Fair Articles via YouTube
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