A Cool Guide to a Hot Topic: Bikram Yoga

You’ve probably heard of Bikram Yoga since it’s a huge craze right now. Named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury, this type of yoga consists of 26 specific postures and 2 breathing exercises.

A class should take exactly 90 minutes and be practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees F with a humidity level of 40%. The heat is an integral part of the benefits.

This information will help you get started with Bikram Yoga:

  1. Who can participate? Pregnant women are the only folks discouraged from participating. All others are welcome to take a class. However, the heat isn’t for everyone.
  • This type of yoga is very suitable for the beginner.
  • As with any type of physical exertion, be sure to talk to your physician before taking a class.
  1. Getting started is easy. Since sweating is unavoidable, it is imperative to bring your own towel and yoga mat.
  • Most also find it helpful not to eat two hours before class. The heat will bring a lot of blood to the surface of the skin where it won’t be available to aid in digestion.
  • Also, bring a water bottle. Drink plenty of water and try to hydrate before, during, and after class.
    • Keep the clothing to a minimum. Spending 90 minutes in 105 F heat does not call for a modest dress code. Be sure to wear clothing that will allow freedom of movement and be appropriate for the heat. Synthetics won’t absorb all the sweat.
  1. What are the claimed benefits? Bikram Yoga practitioners claim the heat allows for better stretching and reduced injuries. It also promotes weight loss as well as lessens tension and stress.
    • The excessive sweating cleanses the body by removing toxins. It will certainly help to open and clean your pores.
    • The heat and the postures stretch muscles, tendons, and ligaments optimally. Warm connective tissues are easier and safer to stretch.
    • The breathing exercises ensure that fully oxygenated blood travels throughout the body. Restoration of health and promotion of healing occur.
    • It’s great for weight loss as a single session can burn as many as 1250 calories! Even novices can expect to burn at least 400 calories.
  1. Where can you participate? Bikram Yoga studios are popping up all over. You’re likely to find one near your home. Check the phone book or do a search online. Only certified teachers are permitted to teach a class or use the term “Bikram Yoga” when referring to a studio.
    • You may find yoga studios that referred to “Hot Yoga.” This is likely to be the exact same curriculum found in a Bikram Yoga studio, only the teacher is not certified. There’s a lot of controversy whether any true difference really exists.

If the idea of Bikram Yoga appeals to you, the next logical move is to simply take a class. While many yoga studios charge by the month or for a certain number of classes, many studios will permit new students to either take a class for free or pay a small fee for a single class.

Bikram Yoga has become incredibly popular. Maybe it’s time to find out if it might be a positive addition to your life.

There are many claimed health benefits and many dedicated practitioners. Give this popular form of yoga a chance. It might change your life in a positive way.