Origin of Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga is a form of hot yoga that has been practiced in the United States since the 1970s. Created by Bikram Choudhary, Bikram yoga is different from conventional yoga as a session usually takes place in a heated room with a temperature of 104°F (40°C) and lasts 90 minutes.
Bikram Choudhury began his yoga journey by studying yoga in Kolkata and now has more than 50 years of experience in the practice. Bikram yoga includes 26 asanas or postures, which includes two breathing exercises and sequences that warm the body to promote circulation and prevent injury.
Benefits of Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga helps to release tension, relax the muscles, and rejuvenate the body by increasing blood flow to the tendons and ligaments.
A typical Bikram yoga session is different from the usual twisting techniques as it involves stretching and strengthening the body to its full potential and works to improve the flow of energy in the body.
Practicing Bikram yoga regularly helps in lubricating the joints and strengthening the bones. Bikram yoga is also extremely beneficial for those with spinal and muscle injuries and has the power to help cure illnesses associated with the respiratory and neuro-muscular system.
Bikram yoga is especially beneficial to people with arthritis or joint problems. Individuals with arthritis typically have problems with reduced movement, which is a symptom of the condition. The increased blood circulation from Bikram yoga provides nourishment to the joints and helps to improve the symptoms of arthritis.
Practicing Bikram yoga regularly is shown to have numerous health benefits that include:
- Increased blood circulation
- Improved flexibility
- Stronger muscles and joints
- Improved spine health
- Developed inner core muscles
Since Bikram yoga is practiced in a hot room, some of the added benefits include:
- Removal of excess toxins
- An increased heart rate that improves blood circulation
- A good warm-up for the body that helps in stretching and flexibility
- A relaxed mind
Importance of ‘Heat’ in Bikram Yoga
As mentioned earlier, Bikram yoga is practiced inside a heated room. Temperatures usually vary from region to region, however, the typical temperature is between 104°F – 113°F (40°C – 45°C) for a session that lasts about 90 minutes.
Heat is important as it provides energy to increase the temperature of the body to prepare for the stretching exercises and to prevent injuries. Additionally, the higher temperature flushes out the toxins from the pores, acting as a natural cleanser for the body.
What Is Forty-Core Bikram Yoga
Forty-Core Bikram yoga is practiced by experienced yogis. The practice includes 40 asanas, as opposed to the 26 that are in a regular Bikram yoga class. Additionally, the asanas consist of arm stands, goddess salute, spine balance, and stretching with expansion and reflection. Forty-Core Bikram Yoga is also performed in a heated room, with the temperature of about 104°F or 40°C.
Precautions To Take With Bikram Yoga
Although Bikram yoga is shown to provide tremendous health benefits to those who practice, one must always make sure to take certain precautions to prevent serious injury.
Make sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Since the practice is in a heated room, it is important to keep hydrated before and after your practice.
Many practitioners recommend eating your meals 2 – 3 hours prior to the yoga session. Following this recommendation will help to prevent dizziness and muscle fatigue.
Make sure to wear comfortable clothes that enable flexibility and allow you to stretch easily. Avoid dark colored clothes as they tend to absorb more heat than lighter clothes.
Bikram yoga is not recommended for pregnant women as it increases the core body temperature, which may affect the developing fetus.
Why You Should Try Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is one of the safest and most reliable methods of losing weight, irrespective of age or health condition. A typical 90-minute session can burn anywhere between 500-900 calories.
Even more, Bikram yoga is beneficial to the nerves, internal organs, and is a great way to detox the body.
Practice Bikram yoga under the supervision of a skilled yoga practitioner. Make sure to share all your health ailments and conditions before practicing to avoid any issues in the future.
1. How many Bikram yoga studios are there in the world?
As of 2012, there are about 600 Bikram yoga studios worldwide.
2. How many calories do you burn with Bikram yoga?
A typical yoga session can burn anywhere between 500–900 calories
3. How does Bikram yoga change your body?
Bikram yoga can promote effective weight loss, detoxification of the body, improved flexibility and other health benefits mentioned above.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 05/07/2018