Bikram Yoga – What is it?
Bikram yoga is a vigorous type of yoga that involves twenty-six demanding postures. It is also known as Bikram hot yoga, as it is performed in a heated room at a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. Bikram Choudhary invented this yoga that and it became immensely popular in the late 1970s. The idea behind performing this yoga in a heated room was to recreate India's hot and humid weather conditions.
This yoga consists of twenty-six yoga poses that are performed in a specific sequence. This sequence is repeated twice within 90 minutes. These poses are designed to massage particular body parts and are accompanied by deep breathing exercises. The profuse sweating resulting from the heat and movements helps eliminate the toxins from the body and leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
What are the benefits of Bikram Yoga?
Twenty-six poses of Bikram Yoga are carefully designed to stretch muscles and perform precise movements to bring positive health changes. You can expect the following benefits while engaging in Bikram hot yoga classes:
Increased muscle tone
Enhanced balance and coordination
Reduced chronic pains and aches
Improved glucose tolerance
A balanced blood lipid profile
Increased bone density
Optimized heart health
Improved flexibility and range of motion
Better overall physical fitness
Bikram yoga involves low-impact exercises that do not put excessive stress on the joints. This helps promote joint health while keeping degenerative changes to a minimum. It is also easy to learn as it consists of the same twenty-six poses that are performed in a single sequence.
What should I expect from a Bikram Yoga Session?
The instructor will guide you about the poses and how to move from one pose to the next. They are trained professionals to teach you the value of movement and how to use this movement along with meditation. Your instructor will guide you to stay in the moment and let your mind be free of wandering thoughts. The instructors are not there to perform the yoga poses for you but only guide you about the process and its potential positive impacts. You can also share any concerns, like in case you are suffering from any injuries, so your instructor can work around them.
Bikram Yoga Poses
Bikram Yoga is comprised of the following poses:
(1) Standing Deep Breathing Pose or Pranayama
(2) Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana
(3) Awkward Pose or Utkatasana
(4) Eagle Pose or Garudasana
(5) Dandayamana Janusirsana or Standing Head-to-Knee Pose
(6) Dandayamana-Dhanurasana, or Standing Bow-Pulling Pose
(7) Tuladandasana, or Balancing Stick Pose
(8) Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana or Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
(9) Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose
(10) Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana or Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose
(11) Tree Pose, or Tadasana
(12) Toe Stand, or Padangustasana
(13) Savasana or Corpse Pose
(14) Pavanamuktasana or Wind Removing Pose
(15) Pada-Hasthasana or Sit-Up Pose
(16) Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
(17) Salabhasana or Locust Pose
(18) Poorna Salabhasana or Full Locust Pose
(19) Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
(20) Supta Vajrasana or Fixed Firm Pose
(21) Ardha Kurmasana or Half Tortoise Pose
(22) Ustrasana or Camel Pose
(23) Sarvangasana or Rabbit Pose
(24) Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana or Head-to-Knee Pose and Stretching Pose
(25) Ardha Matsyendrasana or Spine Twisting Pose
(26) Kapalbhati Pranayama or Skull Shining Breathing
The room for performing Bikram hot yoga is heated at 40 degrees Celsius and the humidity level is set at 40%. This temperature and humidity level is easy to tolerate. Still, it can get a bit uncomfortable as each session lasts for 90 minutes. You are advised to wear comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle, towel, and a yoga mat.
Excessive sweating is a key component of hot yoga and offers many benefits. You should drink plenty of water before coming to the class to avoid dehydration. Another thing that you can expect is the smell of sweat which is typical for all Bikram Yoga places.
Bikram Yoga provides a myriad of health benefits. As it involves vigorous postures in a hot and humid environment, you should talk to your doctor if you have any medical illnesses before starting this practice.
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