What is Bikram Yoga?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Bikram Yoga before. The infamous “hot yoga” practice done in a 42 degree Celsius (107.6 degree Farenheit) room. It’s a system of yoga founded by Bikram Choudhury in 1973 after he healed a serious knee injury, when doctors informed him he would never walk again. Overcoming this injury, he was able to develop this creative system of yoga. The series is developed from traditional Hatha Yoga techniques and consists of the same 26 postures for each class of 90 minutes. The room is raised to high levels of heat with the intention to loosen muscles, promot17e flexibility and limit the chances of injury. The heat helps to flush the toxins from your body as you sweat.
Bikram yoga can only be taught by Bikram-certified teachers, who have completed the 9-week training endorsed by Choudhury himself. These teachers are taught a specific dialogue that they must use to run the class but are also encouraged to develop their own teaching skills as they continue. This yoga is perfect for those who want a physically demanding class. It’s good to prepare well for the class by staying hydrated, by drinking 2 liters of water throughout the day prior to your practice. Avoid chugging the water down right before class, as practicing on a full belly of water can lead to nausea and general uncomfortable feelings. Don’t eat at least 2 hours before class and sip on coconut water after class, to restore electrolytes.
There are many benefits to this vigorous style of yoga, such as:
– It is great for weight-loss
– Aims to move fresh and oxygenated blood to your body
– Synchronizes both nervous and endocrine systems, creating hormonal and emotional balance
– Increases physical strength and stamina
– Reduces stress
– Gives high levels of concentration
– Heals and prevents injuries
– Enhances immune system function
– Increases coordination and balance
– Aids sound sleep
Even if you are a healthy individual, you may want to consult with your doctor if Bikram is right for you. Be cautious of this practice if you are pregnant or nursing, if you suffer from hypertension, diabetic or are recovering from a serious injury or surgery. Also remember that nausea and dizziness is very common when first starting this form of yoga. It is because your body is not used to extreme heat, but with a consistent practice, your body will get used to it. Try this yoga out and see if it’s right for you! It’s good to try different kinds of practices to see which ones fit you the best. Enjoy and explore the world of yoga! <3