June 16, 2017: With the increasing popularity of bikram yoga classes in the world, it is important to understand what separates this type of yoga from the others to determine if it?s the right match for you.
Bikram yoga can be condensed into a unique fusion of hot yoga and hatha yoga. Hatha yoga signifies simply that an individual is passing through a series of postures, and hot yoga is performed in a heated room. Bikram yoga combines these two types of yoga by offering a specific 26 pose sequence in a heated room reaching the temperature of 104 degree Fahrenheit and 40% humidity for ninety minutes.
This technique, formulated by renowned Indian Yogi, Bikram Choudhury, aims to unify all areas of your body, both internal and external, to maintain flexibility, healthfulness, and encourage healing of the mind and the body.
Bikram yoga safety concerns
Although water and breaks are permitted, under this heat and strenuous activity it isn’t uncommon to see some struggle or even faint. Dehydration can possibly occur if you haven?t hydrated yourself well throughout the day and during the session. It is estimated that you can lose 3-5 pounds of water during a single bikram yoga class.
There is also a risk of heat stroke linked to hyperthermia, the overheating of the body. It is important to rest, relax, and re-hydrated whenever you feel it?s necessary. Be sure to listen to your body, so you operate at your own capacity, rather than everyone else?s.
In atypical cases, there may be underlying conditions could also pose other health complications. It is important to consult your physician before deciding to engage in bikram Yoga sessions.
Benefits of bikram yoga
However, there are numerous health benefits this type of yoga offers, making it very rewarding for your body:
Releasing impurities: Since Bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga, it is performed under high temperatures to encourage sweating. Combined with the humidity and activity, Bikram yoga assists in the release of toxins from your body glands and organs through elevated discharge of sweat in Bikram studios
Increased flexibility: Like other types of yoga, over time Bikram Yoga increases flexibility in all areas of the body. In 104 degree heat, it?s theorized that the body is made more malleable. So, when your body heats up, it makes it easier to extend your body into different poses. Bikram himself claimed to have recovered from a knee injury that left him unable to walk through his practice
Increased strength: The practice of yoga is typically recognized for its ability to increase flexibility, but not for its ability to increase an individual?s strength. At many times, the weight of your entire body can be resting in your palms. Yoga is one of the best ways to get more flexible and stronger, while alleviating stress.
Fat loss: Though the aim of Bikram Yoga isn’t fat loss, many people have experienced a small amount of weight loss, due to the calories burned during a session.
Stress relief: Stress relief is one of the biggest, if not the most important benefit of practicing yoga. It not only benefits your internal well-being, but also you external well-being. Stress can cause tension in the body and the mind which yoga works to unwind. The two breathing exercises incorporated into Bikram yoga, pranayama and kapalbhati can help control stress relief, especially when integrated into the Bikram yoga postures. Breathing exercises can help you clarify your thoughts and clear your mind.
Necessities for bikram yoga session
Since bikram Yoga sessions differ from other yoga sessions, it is important you come well equipped. These are the following items you should keep in mind for every bikram yoga session:
Water: Bring at least a litre to make sure you are properly hydrated. Water is your most important companion in a bikram Yoga session.
Proper Equipment: Due to the heat and humidity of rooms where bikram yoga is practiced, you produce a lot of sweat. Sweat can potentially cause many complications with keeping your form if you do not have the surface to perform on. Regular yoga mats can be used, but they should be coupled with yoga towels. Yoga hand towels, smaller versions of yoga towels are also available to soak up the sweat as you work from one asana to the next.
Author?s Bio: Brianna Bacchus is an experienced yoga instructor and content writer. Her years of experience provide a wonderful resource for both new and experienced yogis.