Bikram Yoga for Beginners

Normally a room brewing its own temperature of 105 degrees would warrant an air conditioner. Fast!

But for thousands of yogis around the globe, a hot room is just what they need to release muscle tension and a load of pent up toxins in the forms of caffeine, junk food, and pollution.

Bikram Yoga, a practice known as “Hot Yoga” has steadily grown in popularity in the past few years. A series of 26 yoga postures performed twice through, this 90-minute ohm-session is intentionally held in an over-heated room.

Though the thermometer reading 105 degrees may seem daunting at first, this practice of yoga is believed to beat the rest when it comes to cleansing and therapeutic practices.

Bikram Background

Though the yoga room may not be so cool, the background to the start of this sweat session certainly is.

Nearly 30 years ago, Bikram Choudhury, a marathon runner and champion weightlifter, had dreams of furthering his athletic career.

After a devastating weightlifting incident to his knee doctors believed that Choudhury might never walk again. In a desperate attempt to prove everyone wrong, Choudhury threw himself into the practice of what is now called Bikram yoga and found himself fully healed in six months.

Since that mystical recovery ,Choudhury has been dedicated to opening studios all over the globe, first starting in India and spreading quickly to Tokyo.

Today there are Bikram Yoga studios freckled throughout most cities, an opportunity to walk into a steaming room and walk out 90 minutes later fully drenched and satisfied.

Bikram Benefits

Where to begin, where to begin? I have been practicing Bikram yoga for several years and I can attest to the health improvements that I have seen in my own body.

On top of weight loss and an increased endurance level, my body feels healthiest after treating it to a Bikram yoga session.

Bikram is known to rev up the metabolism while burning a furious amount of calories, how can you not drop calories at a constant rate when you are practicing yoga in a scorching hot setting? Even after the burn stops, your muscles will get the tender release and rest session they crave from the 90-minute bake.

Ironically, the room is heated to prevent your body from overheating, one of the many benefits to practicing this kind of yoga. A huge benefit from Bikram, and the reason that most people practice, is the detox that takes place as the toxins within your body come out from your pores during the 90 minutes, cleansing you from the inside out.

Not only does Bikram increase flexibility and give you longer and leaner muscles, but it also helps to clear your mind and reduce stress levels significantly.

We are not just dealing with the muscular system here though. Bikram taps into the skeletal, skin, nervous, circulatory, and digestive system, to give your body a full revitalization.

Beginning Bikram

When first beginning Bikram yoga it is normal to experience light headedness and nausea. To decrease the chance of nausea, avoid eating any kind of heavy meal two hours before your session.

The body needs time to learn how to tolerate the temperature of the room so don’t feel self conscious if you have to sit down during your first or second session. There are plenty of individuals who sit through whole postures. Listen to your body and respect what it can handle.

The practice takes a great deal of time to fully master and feel comfortable with but you will see improvements in every posture as time goes on.

Bikram is a great practice for all ages and body types but it is not recommended if you have high blood pressure and/or if you are pregnant.

Photo by Ron Sombilon Gallery


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