Bikram Yoga is a yoga style practiced in a heated room. It was introduced by Bikram Choudhary, an Indian-American born in Calcutta, India. At a very young age of 3 years, he started learning Hatha Yoga poses. He claims that he used to practice yoga for 4-6 hours daily and have also won National India Yoga Championship in his teens and was a winner for consecutive three years.
Bikram was also the founder of Bikram Yoga College of India. He has yoga studios all over the world. According to a report, he owned 330 studios in the United States and 600 worldwide in the year 2012.
The hot yoga style comprises of a total of 26 postures with two breathing exercises. Beginning Series classes of the same would rum for about 90 minutes. The yoga style gained its popularity around the 1970s. All the lessons are taught by Bikram-certified teachers ( with the training of about nine weeks) in a heated room of temperature range 35–42 °C (95–108 °F) and humidity of 40%.
The yoga guru claims to heal some of the life-threatening diseases like Cancer and also many other problems related to physical and mental health like detoxification, arthritis, knee and joint injuries, back problems, relief from stress and anxiety and many more.
Benefits of practicing Bikram yoga
Bikram yoga is an excellent set of postures in a controlled environment where people get benefits by performing yoga on a regular basis. There are a plethora of benefits you can achieve by Bikram Yoga which I would like to share with you.
Flexible and strong body:
The yoga postures will help majorly in increasing the flexibility and muscularity of your body. This will enable strengthening and stretching of the body muscles. The sustained routine of Bikram yoga can help you in achieving all this. Working harder will essentially pay you off.
Shed off an extra pound:
This yoga technique will help you to maintain your body shape and helps to tone your body by managing the excess fat to go off your body. This a cardio workout which helps you in shedding more and more calories as you work harder during the sessions. It helps the incorrect functioning of the metabolism system and lessens your cravings for the unhealthy junk food.
Boost up the energy levels:
Yoga is just fuel for the body. It makes your body and mind feel energetic. Initially, you may feel exhausted by the rigorous exercise pattern, but after a few sessions, you will start feeling energetic with enormous zeal to work harder to achieve your goals. The systematic and regular stretching of body muscles finally becomes adapted to the stretches, and you will start enjoying more and more. Breathing will ensure proper intake of oxygen which is a powerhouse of energy. It works directly on the mind too by boosting up your concentration levels.
Bikram yoga largely concentrates on the breathing patterns. It helps in developing awareness of your breath which in a way helps in managing your stress levels under challenging situations. The instructors help you to pay attention to your breathing process which is straightway related to the mental health. The last posture in the session, i.e., Savasana is an asana which is like lying on the floor which straight body. Savasana helps to manage the stress and provides relaxation to the body and mind.
Higher concentration :
Your attentiveness in the class to focus on your postures, breathing and instructions will help you to focus more in your daily life. The mind makes a pattern by these regular exercises, and as soon as you start getting out of focus, it drags you to the on-going present which is necessary to live life peacefully. Some postures like separate leg stretching and a Half Tortoise enhances the blood circulation over your head and in a way more blood and oxygen supply to the brain to enable it to work in a right way. The brain cells thus become more charged and lively with the help of Bikram Yoga.
The use of painkillers and chronic disease medicines will eventually decrease when you practice Bikram Yoga. ‘The tourniquet effect’ helps in the flow of blood to all parts of the body, even to the damaged tissues and painful joints. It works with the oxygenation of body cells due to inhalation of oxygen while breathing together with various stretching exercises which pushes the oxygen to the damages or injured tissues. It helps to get rid of all of them without any external medications. Bikram Yoga postures are enough to heal all these.
Increased blood circulation:
All exercises in the Bikram Yoga are performed in a controlled environment in a heated room which helps in blood circulation and strengthening the muscles. Enhanced blood circulation helps in dealing with problems like low blood pressure, aging problems, fertility and whole body health.
Holistic care of body systems:
Bikram Yoga ensures the holistic health of the body which includes both physical and mental health. It particularly focuses on all body systems like skeletal, endocrine, nervous, muscular, digestive, circulatory, elimination, respiratory, and psychological systems.
The hot yoga style:
The warm temperature of the room helps to improve the immune system and to build up endurance. The hotness enhances the muscle flexibility and thus, assists in stretching of the body which finally leads to flushing up of toxins from the body. The practice of Bikram Yoga in a heated room enhances the metabolism rate and pulse rate as well as make your blood vessels more flexible. Bikram yoga studios head, Bikram Choudhury calls the hot room as “torture chambers,” as it is being heated to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. The degree of hotness and humidity may vary slightly from time to time.
Alternatives to Bikram yoga
Everyone loves Bikram Yoga. The statement cannot hold true for many. Some people have complaints about the yoga style, or they may find difficulties while practicing it. Some of the common issues reported by the people are:
A few said they have slipping issues and they can’t hold the particular posture because of the sweat coming from all their face, hands and legs.
The hot yoga style will have this sweating thing for sure. The more you sweat, the more it will benefit you. You can use a towel to wrap around your limbs or can even place a non-skid yoga towel over your yoga mat to avoid any slippages induced by sweating.
Excessive water loss or dehydration:
Due to a heated room and stretching exercises, water loss due to excessive sweat is a must. Plan well before your session. Drink about ten 8-ounce glasses of water, one day before your yoga class. Drink at least 16 ounces of water, 2 hours before the class. You can sip water when needed during the class as well. Take help of electrolyte drinks, lemon water, cucumber water, etc. to replenish the lost liquids from the body as a result of the exercise.
The worry of overstretching of muscles as a result of heat in the room:
Some people think that the heat will hurt their body and it may lead to overstretching of their muscles. But the results are not what they believe. A hot room supports the stretching of muscles and heat increases the flow of blood through the muscles. The heat, in contrast, lessens the stiffness of the body muscles.
Yoga postures and movements
There are 26 yoga asanas which are practiced during a session, some of them we’re going to discuss below. The yoga asanas are mentioned in the Sanskrit language:
An Eagle posture. It is claimed to open 14 largest joints in a Human skeletal system.
And helps in improving flexibility in the areas like ankles, knees, hips, etc. and supplies blood supply to the various other organs of the body. It aids in the reproductive system, kidneys, sexual vitality, fertility, etc.
This is a Tree Pose. It helps out in body balancing, improving posture, and increasing flexibility of joints.
It prevents a hernia by making the internal oblique muscles strong.