Bikram (or “hot”) yoga, practiced in a heated room, helps to loosen muscles, increase energy and cleanse the body.
Credited with deep muscle stretch, the prevention and mending of injury, the release of toxins from the body, and mental awareness, Bikram yoga is increasing in popularity. During the practice of Bikram, also known as “hot yoga,” the room is heated to 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit and the flow of 26 poses with 22 breathing exercises are done in unvarying succession. These poses should all be done as they are designed to isolate pressure points of the body (similar to acupuncture), align core posture (chi), and promote natural healing. The main benefits of these poses and the heated room are included below:
While most forms of yoga focus on the expansion of flexibility, Bikram in particular stresses the stretching of muscles. The heated room helps to loosen muscles, increase the natural flow of blood and aid one’s ability to extend further than usual. Each pose is to be held for up to a minute, promoting balance, endurance, and the stretch of muscle capabilities.
While it is important to realize your body’s ability to do more than you may have realized, it is also important to remember that listening to your body in an exercise regiment such as this is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. Don’t force yourself to do anything painful or uncomfortable. Instead, be mindful of your body’s limits and possibilities.
The use of a heated room has more benefits than the increase in flexibility. As a person practices Bikram, a great deal of sweating is likely and common. Though this doesn’t sound pleasant, the benefits are enormous. As one sweats, he or she flushes toxins from their body, allowing a cleansing process to take place. It is vital to replenish your dehydrated body throughout a Bikram class as this will increase energy level, prevent dizziness and, most importantly, will replace the expelled toxins from your body with fresh, clean water. Detoxify and cleanse your body naturally and healthily.
Lowered cholesterol, better circulation, decreased muscle tension and more have been common among those practicing hot yoga regularly. Studies are being done to develop statistics on whether yoga can reverse diabetes, asthma, and other medical “curing” and many believe that it can. Medical statistics aside, sustained practice will prove a more relaxed body and mind, looser muscles, and increased stamina. Not bad!
To be safe, one should always discuss new exercise routines with a doctor. It is also helpful to take the extra precaution of discussing any major medical conditions with your yoga instructors. Teachers should be knowledgeable enough to suggest, if needed, modified versions of poses throughout the class.
Don’t be intimidated or scared if you feel dizzy after your first (or even your first few) classes—your body will likely respond to heat, dehydration, and yoga poses. This is normal and should be an accurate indication of how your body is functioning. To help prevent or heal these dizzy feelings, implement a heavier intake of water into your diet. Salt and potassium (which can become depleted from the workout) intake before class can also help.
The benefits of adding heat to your yoga workout are too numerous to list here but include increased metabolism and weight loss along with deeper internal enhancements to your overall health. It is usually recommended that students will start to notice results after 30 sessions. Be patient—the results are worth it!
About the author: Diane H Wong is an experienced content writer on kingessays.com, a happy wife, and a mother of two. She has a passion for storytelling and loves to share her experiences with others. Her passion for learning drives her to try something new every day and never settle for mediocrity.