Why Bikram Yoga is so hot!

2013Apr24_BikramYoga_A It seems that everyone is talking about Bikram Yoga. It’s got to be one of the hottest fitness trends for 2013, no pun intended! However, the popularity of this hot yoga style has been heating up for a while and is guaranteed to have you working up a healthy sweat. Is it time you stripped off and stepped into a Bikram Yoga class to see what all the fuss is about?

Bikram Yoga was created by founder Choudhury Bikram in the 70s and anyone teaching Bikram classes can only do so under strict legal guidelines. So to be clear, while Bikram is a form of Hot Yoga, not all Hot Yoga can be classified as Bikram. In essence, Bikram is yoga practiced in a heated room. Here you take part in 90 minutes of sweat inducing poses, 26 in all, and two breathing exercises. With a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% humidity, you might decide that when it comes to your Bikram wardrobe that less is definitely more practice friendly!

But what are the advantages of exercising in a heated room? What extra benefits can sweating through a challenging hour and a half of exercise in high temperatures really bring? In other words, why is Bikram Yoga so hot?

  • Stress salve – The heat in Bikram is no doubt a challenge but this means that you really focus on the class and your thoughts are less prone to wandering. The grounded feeling you get from this in-the-present practice, mixed with the hormones released through the deep stretches is a real mind and body de-stresser.
  • Healing pain – Yoga in general is renowned for helping those suffering from lower pack pain. As well as Bikram Yoga working the spine in a beneficial way the heat can allow for greater stretches as the muscles become more flexible and the movement range greater as a result. This is great news for arthritis sufferers too or even those with simply stiff joints, as the heat means you are more likely to be able to manipulate muscles to reach the right positions.
  • Relax and breathe – For anyone with a respiratory problem, such as asthma, Bikram increases your oxygen intake and the exercises teach you how to use your breath to promote easier and deeper breathing. The heat helps boost your circulation and relaxes the muscles so you can really relax into breathing. As well as this, Bikram promotes increased respiratory function too.
  • Ultimate detox – Sweat? You don’t know the meaning of the word until you’ve tried Bikram. As you perspire heavily all the toxins will be expelled and not only will you feel great but your skin will look good as the largest organ of your body is cleaned. Your body will be cleansed from the inside out. The heat speeds up how much you sweat and really offers the best exercise detox there is.
  • Rejuvenate, revitalise and reinvigorate – The boost to your metabolism, the loss of water and toxins and the very real challenge that the Bikram heat poses, leave you feeling renewed after your session. The mental clarity that comes from a good workout, the leaching of toxins and the stretching and bending of every muscle in your body all create a fresher you, if you stick at the practice and keep it up too.
  • Lessen injury risk – If you’ve ever been injured through activities or exercise then it’s understandable that you might be a little cautious to get stuck in again. As well as offering healing, the Bikram heat protects the muscles too. By being able to stretch more easily, without any strain or sprains, you take are at less risk of injury and yet still get all the benefits of an intense, effective workout.

If you’re warming up to the idea of Bikram Yoga then try a class for yourself. Here you can come and talk to a certified Bikram instructor if you have any questions about what to expect or how Bikram can benefit you.

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