Often called “hot yoga”, Bikram yoga was named after its co-founder Bikram Choudhury. When Choudhury was only three years old, he began to practice yoga. He later became a Yogi and went on to develop Bikram yoga with renowned physical culturalist, Bishnu Ghosh. The two had studied together for years prior to creating this set of 26 challenging poses and stretches.
Bikram yoga is for everyone. It is a low impact, intense workout that heals the body and the spirit. When you are learning the Bikram poses, it is helpful to study with an instructor who is extremely knowledgeable about the postures so they can adequately guide you through them. Many yoga studios are now including Bikram in their class lineup and finer health clubs across the country are offering it to their clients as well.
Bikram stands out from the other types of yoga. The postures and poses are similar. However, there is one very important component that makes it different from the rest. Bikram is practiced in the heat. The room is typically heated to between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The 26 postures that are performed in Bikram span a 90 minute period as each of the poses is performed twice during the class.
To start, standing poses are done as you warm up. You then continue with backbends. The last group of poses consist of forward bends and twists. Breath of fire (or Kapalabhati breath techniques) are used while you work through the poses. These are advanced breathing techniques. They are used for the natural body cleansing and beneficial energizing qualities that they will provide.
In order to increase the flexibility of the body, the heat is incorporated into the routine. The difficult poses are easier to achieve and the exercises performed become more effective. There are very challenging poses that make up the Bikram routine. As you work through them, you will find that you can more comfortably enter into them as you heat up during the session. The heat allows you to gain more benefit from the practice and it also reduces your risk of injury.
Because of the increase in the amount of sweat you produce during a session, your pores will expand providing a natural body cleanse. As you sweat out toxins, you will be purging them from your body. Since you will be losing a good deal of body fluids, it is advised that you bring plenty of pure water with you to class. It is also a good idea to bring a small towel with you to wipe yourself of the sweat you will produce. As you sweat, you should sip the water in order to re-hydrate. However, be careful not to chug it down as this may result in nausea.
In addition to the wonderful muscle stretching you will accomplish using Bikram, you will also be benefiting your internal organs. The practice of Bikram yoga massages them as it lubricates and strengthens your glands. As a result, you will see enhancement to your nervous system, ligaments, joints and muscles. Some experience a feeling of euphoria after they have completed a session.
An energizing and revitalizing program that provides natural cleansing to your body, Bikram yoga will improve your mind, body and spirit.