Bikram Yoga is especially beneficial to athletes as the 26 postures practiced, strengthen the muscles that support the major joints in the body. The warm temperature increases endurance and builds strength while delivering a challenging class.
This type of yoga requires a room heated to around 104 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40.5 degrees Centigrade). In addition, the humidity must be 40%. Bikram believes that the heated studio allows practitioners to achieve deeper stretching thus avoiding injury. Hot yoga increases flexibility, strengthens the back and spine, lengthens muscles and makes them stronger. A vigorous yoga work out in a very hot room makes the practitioner sweat more freely, releasing toxins, burn more calories, and improves endurance.
Photo Courtesy Ananda Foley
Creating stronger joints and flexible muscles can help prevent injuries. Strong ankles are critical to many sports including football, basketball, soccer, and skiing. Runners, body builders and swimmers also benefit from the practice of Bikram yoga for its strong cardiovascular workout. Bikram yoga helps strengthen all joints including the ankles. Excessive weight increases wear and tear on joints. Hot yoga encourages weight loss and improves circulation. These factors help prevent knee injuries as well. Knee joints are vulnerable to injury and doctors estimate that people between 25 and 75 have a 50% possibility of injuring their knees.
Each class lasts ninety minutes. Class participants move through the twenty-six poses twice, holding the poses for ten to sixty seconds. According to studies performed by the University of Tokyo Hospital, Bikram yoga improves health. Strenuous exercise performed in a hot room certainly makes practitioners sweat and detoxifies the body. The poses tend to flush out certain parts of the body including the lymph nodes. It is important to hydrate before, during, and after the class.
For individuals who wish to improve their focus, increase endurance, and prevent injuries, Bikram yoga is a good choice. Lengthening and strengthening muscle, cartilage, and tendons help keep joints stable. The discipline teaches practitioners to keep their body proper aligned, especially at the joints, which also helps prevent injuries. Focus, flexibility, stability, strength and endurance are all elements that can prevent injuries.