6 Things to Know About Bikram Yoga ~

Have you ever heard of Bikram Yoga? Want to make sure you have balance in your life? Curious about what Bikram yoga is and whether it might be right for you?

Here is what you need to know:

1. Bikram Yoga is a specific yoga regimen envisioned by Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury, an Indian-born yoga guru, that involves a regular series of 26 ordered yoga poses combined with two pranayama breathing exercises, each of which is performed twice in a single 90-minute class. These postures were selected by Choudhury from the traditional Hatha Yoga. Bikram Yoga classes are performed in a room heated at a very high temperature to between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 40%. They are very effective in working every part of the human body. It was created for the purpose of healing pain.

2. Bikram Yoga requires a humid environment, a hot and sticky temperature because it helps keep the body from overheating. It protects the muscles and allows for deeper stretching. The heat opens pores so toxins can leave the body and thins the blood to clear the circulatory system. Bikram yoga is a cardio, strength-training, and meditation workout. The hot temperature increases your heart pulse rate and metabolism, thus making your body burn some calories, and the sweating is said to detoxify the body. This yoga helps gets rid of aches and pains all over (knees, hips, lower back, upper back, shoulders, and neck). The evenly paced moves are super low-impact and are a good option for runners or anyone with sore joints.

3. In Bikram yoga, you sweat a lot so you need to be properly hydrated. Drink plenty of water before coming to class and you should not have anything in your stomach at least two hours before class to prevent nausea. Good hydration supports the healthy function of all of your body’s systems and makes the heat feel more comfortable. So much water is lost to perspiration but don’t wipe off the sweat since it will only disrupt your practice and encourage more sweat production for the body to cool down. Let it drip and over time you will become aware of how perspiring is the body’s way of helping you maintain a temperature that will get you through the 90 mins. And when you enter the hot room and find the room stinks, with sweaty body odor smell, don’t walk out, it’s good, it’s not dirt but just the sweaty smell, which is what we want.

4. When you think about the right bikram yoga ensemble, you probably think the less clothing the better, right? When you’re super sweaty, certain poses will feel harder to hold if you’re wearing shorts. Wear long yoga pants or capri that cover the knee to avoid slipping. A close-fitting tank top or sports bra is the best choice. Don’t forget to use a special yoga towel on top of your mat that grips on the bottom when you’re dripping everywhere.

5. Bikram Yoga is ideal for you if you have no underlying health conditions, given the length of the class, the heat might make you want to puke or faint. Make sure to see your doctor before starting this regimen. It is important you ensure you are healthy enough to practice Bikram yoga. Also speak up, before class, let the teacher know about previous injuries or medical conditions so that she can guide you through the right postures that can reduce stress on certain parts of your body.

6. But once you made it through your first class, make sure to come back as soon as possible! It is highly recommended. The heat will help break up lactic acid buildup on your muscles to reduce soreness you may experience from your first class. To achieve the healing benefits of this program, practice the exercises at least three times a week.

Bikram Yoga can surely be challenging at times, but don’t get intimated! It’s not something to be learned and mastered in a day, a month, a year or even ten years! To quote Sarah Jois, “First month paining, second month tired, third month flying.” This practice is deep and amazing and takes a lifetime, and that’s what makes it interesting and relevant, don’t you think? We hope this 6 things to know about bikram yoga would be helpul to you in your journey. Namaste.