Bikram Yoga(32 posts) (26 voices)
Yogiraj Bikram Choudury is not just a yoga teacher - he is a true American guru. His students continuously do well in the International Yoga Asana Championship. Rajashree Choudhury, wife of Bikram, is a five time winner of the All-India Yoga Championships.
Rajashree became the only Five-Time All-India National Yoga Champion, and became the first person to receive an Indian Government and UNESCO accredited PhD. in Yoga Therapy. In 2003, Bikram sponsored and produced the first International Yoga Expo, in both Los Angeles and in Kolkata.
Bikram organized the first International Hatha Yoga Asana Championship Bishnu Ghosh Cup. Competition is natural part of yoga. There have been yoga Championships staged in India by the National Federation of India and the All-India Yoga Championship since the early 1900s.
Bikram Yoga is the best thing you can do for your vitality, your health, your body, and your sense of well-being. Bikram yoga is different from the hatha yoga class taught at your local yoga club or fitness center or ashram. United States Olympic medal winners practice Bikram yoga. Bikram is working toward the inclusion of Yoga in the Olympics.
Bikram's style is extreme and physically challenging and performed in a heated room, so it requires real determination. For Bikram yoga training, dress in light yoga wear. Because the temperature is 105 degrees you’ll want to wear as little clothing as you can to feel comfortable. Bikram’s world famous yoga is a product developed by Yogiraj Bikram Choudury.
For physical development Bikram yoga is unmatched. Meaning no disrespect to practitioners of bhakti, raja, jnana or karma yoga, but Bikram stands alone in the physical arena.
Kind Attention: D Calvert
Thank you for your informed opinion of the style founded by Bishnu Charan Ghosh. The Yoga teacher training program at Ghosh's Yoga College, in Kolkata is exceptional. But it should be noted that competition within yoga is very recent. Patanjali dsn't endorse asana competition. My suggestion is to join a boxing club if you feel so competitive.
Boxing is already an olympic sport. And boxing would be good for all of you because it may knock some sense into those who quest for competition. It may even heal your egos. Practitioners of bhakti, raja, jnana and karma yoga grow tired from listening to all the bragging from students of a small niche sport yoga and those teachers who want to patent, copyright and own a 26 technique sequence.
One last point - the military is always looking for anyone who thirsts for competition. Or you may want to join a fighting martial arts school. In this way you can test your metal in the ring or on a battlefield. Think about it...............
Bikram Yoga is great if you like doing the same predictable poses over and over again. You don't even have to think - just listen to the "drill sergeant" - I mean the Bikram Yoga instructor.
Joining a boot camp would be comparable to joining a Bikram Yoga class. If you want intense heat and an intense workout - until you feel like you're going to be ill - sure - go ahead and partake.
I prefer a comfortable atmosphere - where the instructor is compassionate and really enjoys teaching and helping others to get in touch with themselves and feeling relaxed.
If all you want is intensity, and stress, by all means, join a Bikram boot camp Yoga class.
Thank you for pointing out that Bikram is not the only Yoga in the world. If it was I would practice Tai Chi or Pilates instead. You can keep 105 degree heat to yourself. Bikram instructors pay big money to learn a 26 technique systyem, but Yogi is on to something about that drill sergeant attitude. The teachers are all clones - just like the smell of the rug in a hot yoga studio. They should patent that aroma! I visited a class once and can't get that rotten smell out of my head.
Do you have prenatal Bikram for those who want to end a pregnancy? How about 105 degree heat for seniors who are tired of living? Where's the yoga therapy here? How many students vomit in the parking lot from heat stroke? If I have a terminal disease and want to end it all, I'll sign up before the hospital drains my savings from my family.
Mercy killing is not legal in the US, but an alternative to euthanasia is hot yoga. It's not painless, but if you're weak enough from a terminal illness it should do the trick. Nobody will notice til the end of class anyway. The drill sergeant might bark at you a few times, but that's just a normal class atmoshphere for Bikram (best yoga in the world).
Dcalvert didn't say anything wrong here other than mention the physical accomplishments of hot yoga teachers. If that's bragging who cares? Most other yoga styles don't compete in asana championships. I'm not sure who ds or why they would.
I'm not surprised by some of the comments, but I ask, "If you don't care about dcalvert's post, why so many negative comments?" It seems he or she hit a nerve.
Quotes by Bikram:
"American Yoga teachers are clowns. Circus clowns. They completely _____ yoga. They crucified hatha yoga in America. There is no yoga called kundalini, power, vinyasa, dog yoga."
"How many Rolls-Royces do I own? I don’t know - 35?"
"I control my kingdom like a gangster. It’s the only way it works. In America your biggest problem is you have a second choice. So you have an abuse of choices and too much freedom. It’s like a loaded gun in a kid’s hand."
"Western people can’t meditate. In India people really can’t meditate either."
"Why are your legs spread? Women should not spread their legs any time, anywhere! Only in emergencies."
"PMS is American bull____."
"America’s biggest problem is too much freedom."
"They make so many stupid things in America."
"Which pain is good pain? How do you tell which pain is good from the pain that is bad? When you die."
Yeah right, Bikram's a man we should all admire. NOT!
Okay, so maybe the man has a few issues. It's still good for yoga.
Why is a braggart good for yoga? I practice Bhakti for years before trying Hatha. There are many benefits to both styles. No reason for people to argue about the value of spiritual health vs. physical health. As has been said by Paulji, yoga is a complete integration of the two and much more.
Shame on the concept of patenting a gift to all. Shame on living in the Us and being so insulting to Americans. Shame on the ego that is unbalanced. Bikram is no Guru. He is an entertainer for those who are drunk.
Bikram brings attention to yoga. That may be good or bad. He loves the attention and his ego swells with joy. Is he a guru or a yogi? That's up to you to decide, but his followers love him for it. He abuses, insults, and terrorizes his followers and they love him for all of it.
I can think of a dozen reasons why Bikram is good for yoga, but dcalvert said it all in the first post. Think about this - Bikram ds a lot of "Rah, Rah, Rah.... (team spirit)." "It's us against the world." and "Everyone is is less than me." Maybe you see this as opposite of union and it is, but team spirit can be a good thing for young people.
Look at football, baseball, hockey, etc. These are sports that can focus a young mind. Yogananda mentioned martial arts and this is also good for all ages. Young people have much energy to be rid of. Why should competitive sport yoga be bad? No reason, but many of us practiced or do practice meditative forms of yoga now.
What would you do is you were young again? Maybe test yourself in a hot yoga studio on a dare? These followers of Bikram aren't bad people. They are usually young yogis experiencing life and making a little noise in the process.
If Bikram charges the most for a yoga teacher course that teaches 26 methods that is good. These people want to give him money. Maybe he can own another new Rolls Royce next month. At worst, he is making money and bragging, but he isn't a bad person.
This turned out to be an interesting thread. Well, look at this Bikram quote:Quote:In India, we have no Prozack, no crime. Why? We have the philosophy. We know when to put on the brake. You build the best country in the world, the best science, art, sports and business. At the end of the day, you're not happy. What good is that?
I don't know if they have Prozack in India, but I do know there is some crime. It's not the same motivation that creates crime like the in the US, but hate crime over cultural differences and religion is still a problem in India. Yogis are generally happy, even American circus clowns practicing Downward Dog are happy, but Bikram said in reference to Downward Dog: "That's not yoga. That's American circus."
Hey, it's hard to defend this guy. Here's another quote related to American Yoga teachers:Quote:They are clowns. Circus clowns. They completely ___ up yoga. They crucified hatha yoga in America. There is no yoga called kundalini, power, vinyasa, dog yoga.
We follow 4,400 years of Patanjali's The Yoga Sutra. There are eight kinds of yoga—karma, hatha, raja, vedanta, bhakti, mantra, jnana and laya. What the hell is vinyasa?
And Iyengar school looks like a Santa Monica ___ shop. You don't need those things to do yoga.
They make so many stupid things here. I am teaching the exact same postures as my guru taught me.
I rest my case - the man needs Prozack. There are more than 8 kinds of yoga. What about karma and tantra yoga? He's never heard of Ashtanga vinyasa. Power Yoga - he's mad at one of his teachers who went on to develop this style. Dog Yoga?? I have no idea what he's ranting about, unless he's upset about dogs stretching.
Kundalini is one of the nine main Indian Yoga styles, sometimes referred to as a pure spiritural science that leads to enlightenment. I didn't invent it and neither did George Washington. Nobody wants to keep Bikram here against his wishes.
With all ther money he's got he can move anywhere he wants.
Interesting opinions all around. So, Bikram insults Iyengar Yoga. I speculate he sees no theapeutic value in any form of hatha yoga. I would like to be neutral in this because I can see there is a need for a hot sport yoga exercise class that can put your health at risk. People want to test their limits but you can die from a heat stroke. Yoga can be safe and gentle, but there is always room for those who want pain and torture. The heat alone is good reason for most people to leave, but cheers to those who love it. Obviously this form of yoga wouldn't be good for an American population where 85% are out of shape and don't exercise. Students who are in shape but are pregnant, seniors, recovering from illness, have high blood pressure, have heart problems, or have ailments should also take their health into consideration.
People who usually get heat stroke are seniors, very young children, pregnant women or debilitated who stay in warm environments for too long. Seniors are very vulnerable to heat because as your body ages it is is less likely to be able to handle heat and cool itself off. Some of the most common causes of heat stroke are high temperatures, lack of body fluids and overexposure to the elements. You could stand still in a 105 degree room and get a heat stroke. Heat stroke isn't always caused by exertion. If your body temperature gs over 106 degrees you are at extreme risk. It is important for the yoga student who has heat stroke to be treated immediately as this can cause permanent damage or death.
In summary, those who pay huge bucks to teach 26 yoga asanas and have an arrogant attitude are not really teaching yoga at all. The creator of this style admits he doesn't know how to meditate. That should tell you this isn't yoga. It's just a hot torture circus invented by an arrogant clown who has found his own cult in California.
I came to yoga through Bikram yoga. I loved the intensity of focus that was demanded of me on my mat. I loved that I had no choice but to do as told or leave. It was what I needed at that moment on my path. Bikram yoga brings many to the mat for the first time, especially Westerners who are often overwhelmed by the number of choices and decisions they are faced with daily . My beloved calls it the McDonald's of yoga. It doesn't matter where in the world you are, if you walk into a Bikram studio you know what to expect.
Bikram is a man of high ego and incessant talking. But he is part of my lineage and I honor him for bringing yoga to me.
My path has changed. I study with other teachers of other systems. I have found that too much of any particular asana system will lead to deficiencies in the body, just as an imbalance in pranayama can lead to nervous system deficiencies. Bikram students lack in upper body and core strength. Astunga based systems lack in balance and promote shoulder injuries. Aligning oneself with a particular system will help to give focus to the study, but it can also lead to dogmatism.
Shanti, shanti, shanti, Om
Your experience shows. "Aligning oneself with a particular system will help to give focus to the study, but it can also lead to dogmatism."
I agree with you 100%. Any particular yoga system can be crammed with dogma. The purpose is to keep students from looking outside. Religion and politics make these same mistakes. But these are mistakes by design to prevent thinking and creativity.
People might be classified as followers, slackers, free thinkers, innovators, or leaders. Some of us are a combination of those types. Those who create dogma are worried about free thinkers, innovators, and leaders.
Namaskar! And Thank You, Thank You Rommy:
Bikram Yoga is a good starting point to a life journey that can be very complicated.
Your insight brings up some interesting points and a taste of sanity that most of us forget. Yoga teachers of today forget to honor past Gurus of their lineage. People move around a lot! It’s hard to maintain traditional ties and thinking in a transient world. Traditional thought was - the reason I teach is to honor my Guru. Many teachers don’t have ties to their first Guru. It could be that my Guru died, but it could be that my Guru and I are people with character flaws and big egos.
Living in this present material world seems so real that people often forget to seek answers regarding spiritual development. Do I need a Guru? Maybe not! But it sure helps in the beginning. It also helps if you think for yourself after being exposed to dogma. If a person joins the US Marine Corps, will that person be able to think as a civilian after retirement?
Most never do because they are Marines for life. There are many honorable qualities, but they might not all apply to life outside the Corps. Honor and duty are great qualities, but you are also taught to follow orders regardless of your thinking or instincts. Don’t forget that dogma creates robots who are trained not to think for themselves. This is good for commitment to the battlefield, but it probably won’t come in handy in a free thinking environment.
To master your body and mind energies, and then transcend beyond them, is to create spiritual growth and to see reality beyond this world. You can’t learn and transcend if you blindly follow a yoga teacher who doesn’t know either. Choose your Guru carefully. Paulji often says the true Guru is within, but that level of self-mastery requires us to work at it all the time.
We are consumed with the small stuff of life and it’s easier to let a Guru do my thinking for me. There lies the problem. For me to become master of myself demands that I grow up mentally and spiritually.
Very Interesting, but...... Sorry, I just got lost in the 60's. Anyway, Yes, Bikram should be honored for his contributions to yoga in the west. We should focus on the positive. There may be a rational reason for his chatter. He may have a disorder of the nervous system, with all of his unwanted noises.
Greatest Yoga teacher in the world is Bikram. He trained in hatha yoga at age 3. Guru Bishnu Ghosh began training Bikram at five years of age. Swami Sivananda called him Yogi Raj (King of Yogis). At age 11 he proved it. Bikram was the youngest ever to win the National India Yoga Championships at age 11, 12, and 13! Bikram created his 26 yoga postures and two breathing exercises. He has hundreds of yoga studios who teach real Bikram Yoga. There are also many imposters who teach generic hot yoga. Bikram is Guru to the stars of Hollywood, politicians in California, and professional athletes.
Life has been full of uncertainties, but Bikram is the real deal. Practicing Bikram Hot Yoga is the greatest feeling one can experience. It's something to look forward to every day. The classes are regimented because Bikram is a disciplined yoga practice. The advantages of Bikram Yoga are many. You become physically fit and feel more confident and comfortable than ever. After only a few months of practice, you feel stronger in your mind and body. It is like a fountain of youth. You learn to accept and forgive without judgment. Accepting imperfect people for who they are. You become happier than ever. Bikram Yoga has motivated many of us in every aspect of life. The opportunities attainable through this lifestyle are infinite. Bikram schools are full of group spirit. Everyone looks forward to participating. The training in high temperatures is energetic. I train with people of all kinds. This is the right sport for me. You must have extreme determination to improve the abilities of your body and mind. The challenge to become a Bikram yoga teacher and lead your students through extreme heat during a class is beyond belief.
YES! Finally, a kindred soul who understands that Guru Bikram's yoga is for real people. Bikram yoga pushes you to your limits - now that's reality. Bikram's hot yoga is a physical challange, not some hocus pocus system of mystery healing or a paranormal phenomenon or levitation. One thing missing in a Bikram class is the fruit cake factor. We know what is real. You can see Bikram Yoga, feel it and touch it! No matter how old we get, we won't turn into a bunch of earthy crunchy crackpots. We know what we want. We want to be in the best physical shape you can be. We sign up for it voluntarily.
Kind Regards: D Calvert and Falzone
One could say you are in a class all by yourselves. I have no problems with your Guruji. But Bikram hot yoga needs a special classification. It is not alone. You talk about the sport, the extreme, the challenge and so on. While some may say your style is “yoga based,” your Guru admits he doesn’t know how to meditate. At the same time, there is no safety procedure.
Teachers push, push, and push more. I know of a student who was performing Sasangasana (AKA: Shashanka-Asana or Sasamgasana). This asana is also called hare or moon pose in English. She could barely breathe and her head was 30cm away from her knees. Her Bikram trained “interrogator” pushed her head with force to make her forehead touch her knees! Success? No, but her head did touch her knees while she screamed in pain. In the process this caused Spinal cord trauma. She had swelling within the spinal canal. She experienced pain for years in the lower neck and middle back.
Bikram Extreme Hot Sport Challenge should be classified as a separate category of physical fitness. While the rest of us are concerned with “healing” Bikram is training you to push and push. That isn’t Yoga at all! If you want to be in a hot sauna with your bathing suit that’s fine, but be honest about the risks. Heat stroke and injuries are foolishness and have nothing to do with Patanjali’s Yoga.
The antics of your yoga teacher are similar to the posturing of a professional wrestler. It sells tickets but you should have a big warning on the door of every Bikram studio: “Enter at your own Risk – this isn’t yoga.”
There is no need for conflict, accusations, or spreading bad karma. We have differences, but we practice variations of yoga. If you ask any yogi which style is best, their style is good because they believe in it. No problem. You have a right to be proud of your lineage, your teacher and who you are. This is healthy, but debate should be healthy too. Let your fellow yogi breath and show courtesy.
Happy Diwali to All!
I wish you Prosperity and Happiness!
Happy Diwali M Sook,
Truth be known, I still like Bikram Yoga, but after a while the temps became too much. I feel similar to Rommy. Bikram was a good introduction to other methods. At this point, I'm glad my path started with Bikram, even though I don't teach hot Yoga.
Bikram Yoga was created by Master Bikram from secret Hatha Yoga methods. Master Bikram is a genius. He modified simple yoga postures and two breathing exercises. To reach the full benefit, Bikram Yoga must be practiced in a room with the temperature of 105°F. The heated room will cause you to rid your body of toxins. Bring water to replace the water you lose from sweating. There is no Bikram Yoga teacher training online. You must go to Bikram's college in California. No other Hot Yoga is equal to Bikram. Others are just imitations of the real yoga. Each unique yoga pose of the 26 Bikram poses must be repeated to increase flexibility.
Oh please! Secret methods of Hatha Yoga? Bikram? I can appreciate your praise, but I don't share it. Bikram's teacher was, Bishnu Ghosh, the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda - the author of "The Autobiography of a Yogi." Bishnu Ghosh taught Bikram everything he knows. Problem is he can only remember 26 asanas and 2 pranayama techniques. The Hollywood clan made him an icon, but let's not be too harsh.
Good info Tomako.
Time for some girl to girl talk with heather. Yeah Heather, I love Bikram too (he's cute) but let's get real - he's a brute and you like his dark humor. You get tired of listening to peaceful yogis and want a bad boy for a yoga teacher. Maybe your father didn't spank you enough and you have needs. Now be honest with yourself and get some help.
Beginner's Guide to Bikram Yoga (Or Hot Yoga) - What to Expect During Your 1st ClassBy Daria Holcomb Hot Yoga, formally known as Bikram Yoga, has become increasingly popular in the recent years. It's a great way to improve your health and can provide a new and exciting way to get fit (or even lose weight) in the fall, as it starts to get cold outside. Being in a room that is heated to 95-100 degrees can be a unique experience to those of us accustomed to working out in an air-conditioned gym.
Preparation for your first Bikram Yoga class might make you excited and anxious, for sure. Will I be able to hold the poses? What if my breathing technique is not correct? What if I get light headed? What if the temperature of the room makes my heart race?
There are some steps you can take in advance to help you overcome this anxiety & set yourself up for success with yoga, regardless of what your fitness goals are. You can make these changes as soon as you decide to try hot yoga & continue following this guide as you become advanced.
1. Get Used to Drinking a Lot of Water Prior to Working Out. Imagine doing your normal workout routine in the sauna room. Now, imagine doing yoga in the sauna room (literally), where you are having to hold a pose and look past the sweat, discomfort, and breathing. If yoga is your thing, you will eventually learn to love this, but if you are a beginner than make sure you don't add dehydration to the list. Drink plenty of water before you try hot yoga for the first time and you will be rewarded with a fabulous feeling afterwards.
2. Eat a Snack Before Class. Having a piece of wheat toast, a granola or energy bar, a banana, or some other healthy carb before your workout will give your body more energy & keep the water from swooshing around in your stomach as you change poses. Some instructors will tell you not to eat at all, but Fit Girl disagrees. For the sake of your own comfort, a piece of toast is not going to ruin your first yoga experience. Besides, you will burn a LOT more calories in one yoga class than that toast would contain. Keep your light snack under 150 calories. Any more than that and the heat will make you nauseous.
3. Bring a Towel. You will sweat a lot, as you expected. Your body will also burn calories like crazy because it will use energy to cool you down and bring your temperature back to normal. This is where fat burning comes in - if you eat a light breakfast and do hot yoga after that in the morning, chances are you burned most of your calories sleeping and you have a low supply available from your light morning snack. So, as soon as your body burns off that snack, it will go straight for the fat reserves you have been wanting to trim.
Voila! If you do yoga at night, than try to eat your carb heavy meal in the morning, eat light for lunch, and have a snack 30 minutes before your hot yoga class.
4. Wear Tight Clothes. Put on a comfortable set of shorts that hug your thighs (not running shorts) and a sports bra or fitted tank top. As you sweat, you want your clothing to absorb it quickly, so you don't have puddles all around you. You also don't want to worry about giving anyone a peek at your undergarments and as you take new poses, tighter clothing with the right coverage will allow you to focus on your workout instead of your garments.
5. Share Your Experience. Yoga for beginners can be more enjoyable if you are not trying it alone. Since the popularity of Bikram yoga has grown so much in the recent years, there are many beginners in classes all over the country. Chances are good that you are not the only beginner in your class. After your yoga class ends, you will have shared an amazing hot yoga experience with people whom you never met and if you don't bring a friend, you might just make one at the class. Be positive and outgoing - yoga is all about encouragement & motivation!
Side Blurb: Is Yoga a sport? Some would argue that yoga is not a "sport" but a lifestyle change, a fitness regimen, or else. We believe it is what you make of it. You decide what role yoga will play in your life. Whether you are using it in place of meditation, or if you are seeking inner body zen and peace of mind, or if you're simply mixing it up at the gym with a new workout, it is YOUR decision how you approach your experience with yoga.
For additional motivation, check out Fit Girl Gear CUTE yoga tops, pants, yoga jumpsuits and more - all on sale! The online store includes a nice selection of affordable workout clothes for women. http://www.fitgirlgear.com/
Bikram yoga is a dynamic, vigorous form of yoga which is help in a room that is heated. It is is often referred to as hot yoga since the class is performed in a temperature controlled room which is heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The class itself runs for one and a half hours and cover twenty six poses. Each yoga pose is adaptable for beginners and those with more experience can do the full postures. Along with the specific yoga poses there are two significant breathing techniques: the 80-20 breath and the exhalation breath. Both are done during different periods of class and will allow separate results in the body.
In order to teach Bikram Yoga you must become certified similar to other schools of yoga such as kundalini, hatha or iyengar. The requirements are that you must be a current student with 6 months of active participation. You must also submit a recommendation form from a certified instructor acknowledging your abilities.
The certification program entails a 9 week course that includes lessons, instructional meetings and anatomy tests plus of course intense yoga classes. Bikram Yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury, a student of yoga and an entrepreneur who has developed a mass following and many feel his techniques have altered their lives. Born in Calcutta, India, he started Hatha Yoga at a very early age. Choudhury began teaching in the United States in 1972, opening his first American school in San Francisco, California. Currently his major teaching facility is located in Hollywood, California. His books and DVDs continue to be popular and there are some students of his that feel that the specific way he blends the yogic knowledge and poses gives tremendous physical and spiritual vitality.
Heating the body increases perspiration and many claim that this releases toxins. Also, it takes concentration and discipline to continue to practice in a heated room where the body is uncomfortable. This helps to build one's own inner strength and special qualities that are tied to mental and spiritual development. Balance and flexibility are increased by the twenty six poses. The major muscle groups are strengthened and toned and fat is burned more easily than in other forms of exercise that are less dynamic.
The new craze in the yoga world at the moment appears to be something called heated yoga (also known as Bikram yoga). As the name suggests, this is effectively yoga that is performed in a hot room (similar to a sauna). These 'hot rooms' usually range between 90 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit and are at this level of heat for a few very good reasons.
First of all, such extreme heat causes you to sweat, and this means that you'll be removing a lot of the toxins from your body (making you healthier in the process).
Secondly, the heat makes your muscles looser than they would be in colder environments, meaning you can stretch more easily, making it easier to perform the yoga poses and increase your flexibility.
This also means that simply by being in such a warm environment you're releasing a lot of the tensions from your body that can build up over time (especially after a hard day's work) and cause you pain.
So what do you need to perform heated yoga? Well, obviously you need somewhere to do it (i.e. a heated room) and you also need some kind of yoga mat or towel to lie on. In addition to this, I'd recommend that you bring some kind of fluids with you (such as a bottle of water). The reason for this is that in such a hot room you're going to sweat like mad, so it's a good idea to have something to keep your fluids topped up.
Yoga comes in many forms. Originating in India it involves physical and mental disciplines and a practice of controlled positions and movements which improve balance and flexibility.
However hot yoga now introduces a whole new dimension to this practice. It is claimed that doing yoga in a heated room not only improves flexibility but has a number of other benefits. These include stimulating and restoring health to every muscle, joint, and organ of the body... and consuming many calories.
The name hot yoga comes from the environment in which it is practiced. This is ideally a room heated to 105°F (40°C) with a humidity of 30 to 60%. One form of hot yoga known as Bikram yoga consists of a class of exactly 90 minutes. During this period 2 breathing exercises (pranayama) and a vigorous set of 26 postures are performed twice.
The heated environment quickly heats up the body and makes it more flexible. While reducing stress and tension it allows for deeper stretches and prevents injuries. In addition the heavy sweating releases toxins, promotes weight loss, improves muscle tone, builds the immune system and enhances mobility.
Hot yoga improves circulation and digestion and provides an excellent and complete cardiovascular workout.
It is recommended that both during and after the session plenty of water is drunk to prevent dehydration and also to help clear the toxins in the body. It is not advisable to eat for at least two hours before a class.
This form of yoga has been the center of much controversy regarding whether performing demanding exercise at this temperature is safe. In the earlier stages many Bikram practitioners experience nausea and dizziness. If a practitioner is feeling any discomfort they should lie down and rest until they feel better, and then rejoin the class. As it is quite demanding it is advisable to consult your doctor before hand if you have any health concerns.
The Bikram hot yoga sequence is possible for everyone regardless of age, size or capabilities. Even people just starting are delighted to find out how much they can achieve.
Yoga is not just about being flexible but about the goal of creating a union between mind, body and soul.
Beyond the many physical benefits there is something less tangible that makes hot yoga one of the fastest-growing types of yoga internationally. Hot yoga helps in letting go of emotional baggage and connecting with the inner self. 'As you shape physically so you shed emotionally. You will experience a feeling of serenity and well-being at each workout, as your mind and body connect.'
Become a fitter and slimmer more complete version of yourself. Try hot yoga, have some fun and allow it to change your life.
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