Bikram yoga – Definition and Benefits

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhary in the 1970s’. A Bikram yoga class consists of 26 asanas (postures), practiced in a hot room about 105 degrees Celsius. The hot venue is to warm the muscles during the practice and help to release more sweat from the body. The heat is also meant for supporting the circulatory system and improves the heart rate of the persons who practice Bikram yoga. Several postures are executed through sequences during the class, the hot room can be challenging for beginners but a Bikram Yoga class has a lot of benefits and is usually a very rewarding exeperience, both physically and spiritually.

Advices for beginners in Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga instructors usually lead the lesson by instructions and not by demonstration of the poses. Many people who practiced Bikram yoga find the constant sweating in the class is not much of a pleasant experience. Here are some of the things you should know if you are willing to begin practising Bikram Yoga as well as some of the benefits of this type of yoga.

Practiced in a hot room

Bikram yoga is always practiced in a hot room, as mentioned above. According to the founder, the exact sequence of 26 asanas (yoga postures) and two pranayamas (breathing exercises) are performed within 90 minutes in a heated room. This is meant for the body to stretch, tone, detoxify, heal chronic arthritis, joint pain, and knee injuries, back pain, and relieve stress, and so on. According to some studies, Yoga can improve blood glucose levels, cholesterol, and bone density. Still, there are no precise studies available to underline the benefits of Bikram yoga that is practiced in a hot room. 

Relax before the class

There is no rushing to a Bikram yoga class. Arrive early is a common mantra you can hear from many instructors. It will provide you with sufficient time to finish the formalities and settle down in the hot room and acclimatize if you have any type of injury, better to tell about it to the instructor before the class so that he or she can guide you through the different postures effectively. Since sweating is the inevitable feature of Bikram yoga, loose clothing is more suitable for the class.

Come well hydrated

If you are going to a Bikram yoga class, drink plenty of water beforehand, it is helpful to maintain the level of water in your body and avoid dehydration from the high sweating. It is also helpful to avoid the drinking of water in between the session. Be careful not to drink too much water in a short interval of time. It may make you uncomfortable and sometimes may upset your stomach.

No eating for two hours before the class

It is good not to eat anything heavy for at least two hours before the class. It will make the process of expanding and contracting your muscles during the class difficult for you. But take care not to go hungry to the class so that you will have enough energy for passing through the postures and sweat well. 

Though there are many studies about the general benefits of Yoga practices, there are not many to pinpoint the benefits of Bikram yoga. It is different because of the heated setting and the importance given to sweating. It must have the usual benefits of yoga practice and the rest you may need to test by yourself.

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