What is Bikram Yoga
Most people would cringe at the idea of doing anything in a hot, humid room. Not Yogis, though. Bikram Yoga has gained an immense amount of popularity over the years, and for good reason. There are tons of benefits to this yoga style, but many people still question what it even is. If you are considering Bikram Yoga, here are a few things you need to know about it.
Bikram Yoga, also known as “hot yoga”, has swept the yoga world, gaining a huge following along the way. But it wasn’t always so well known. Bikram Choudhury, who taught yoga in Japan, chose to use heaters in his yoga classes after learning his students would go to the sauna on their afternoon breaks.
Starting out at a lower heat, 82 degrees Fahrenheit, he slowly moved the temperature up to where it famously sits now: 104 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 percent humidity.
One of the main reasons Bikram Yoga has become so popular is due to its outstanding health benefits. The 26 poses, created by Bikram Choudhury, are said to clean veins, arteries, and improve mental state.
Then there is, of course, the sweat. It’s been well known for many years that sweat helps to eliminate toxins from the body, and by the end of a Bikram Yoga class, many yogis are dripping in sweat. The heat and humidity of the room also help participants find a deeper stretch, as the warmth of the room enables tight muscles to become loose and flexible.
Traditionally, Bikram Yoga consists of 26 poses that last 90 minutes. Although some classes can be shorter, this is the original form and has been found to be extremely beneficial. Instructors have to go through a specific class, approved of by Bikram Choudhury himself, in order to teach this yoga style.
Preparing for Bikram Yoga
If you are headed out to a Bikram Yoga class, make sure you bring the essentials to stay healthy, hydrated, and comfortable.
- Water Bottle- Keep this close by to stay hydrated throughout the practice.
- Minimal clothing, or tightly fitted clothing- this helps keep your practice comfortable by reducing soggy, sweat bogged clothes.
- Yoga mat- Many people choose to bring their own yoga mats to class due to the excessive sweating.
- 1-2 Towels- Whether you keep it next to you or do yoga directly on your towel, you’ll be able to mop up any extra sweat.
- Talk to your instructor about any health concerns- Your instructor is a trained professional and can advise different poses depending on your health concerns. Make sure to be very open and upfront with them about any potential problems you may face.
Bikram Yoga can be a challenging, peaceful, and healthy experience for those looking to step their practice up a notch. Make sure you bring the essentials and prepare yourself for a long, warm class!