Bikram hot yoga is a type of yoga that has branched from Hatha yoga. The founder of this style is Bikram Choudhury. It has become more and more popular over the years for people who are looking for a more intense work out and help with weight loss and holistic health benefits. With this type of yoga the goal is to do 26 different postures in a sequential order beginning and ending with a breathing exercise. Ideally you should do all of them as each one has its own benefits and should be done in a hot room of 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius) and the humidity at around 40 percent.
As the name suggests the main reason for its popularity is because people started to notice a big reduction in body weight after starting this style of yoga. This is because the practitioners of this yoga will go through a rigorous session each time they do it. The heat factor of Bikram yoga provides many of the disciplines’ benefits:
- In Bikram yoga, weight loss is made easier because your muscles are warmed and can burn fat more effectively, fat may be redistributed and burned as energy during the class. It is common to lose centimetres of shape in a very short time
- Heavy sweating promotes detoxification and elimination through the skin – which is the body’s largest eliminating organ
- As the blood thins, the circulatory system is cleared.
- Capillaries dilate in the heat; more effectively oxygenating the tissues, muscles, glands and organs and helping in the removal of waste products
- The output of cells which fight infection is increased
- The heart rate is elevated. Your cardiovascular system gets a thorough workout
- Metabolism improves in your digestive system and in the body’s cells (that is food in the gut and nutrients in the cells)
- The heated environment is initially challenging, helping to increase will power and mental strength.
- The heat means we can get into postures more deeply and effectively – plus the benefits of the postures come quickly. Like thousands before you, you will find that practising yoga in the warm room creates a satisfying and almost addictive feeling of achievement.
The other benefits from Bikram Hot yoga include, lowering of blood pressure and blood sugar level, better flexibility, and a leaner body with muscles firming up resulting in a smaller count of varicose veins. Practicing Bikram yoga enables many of your bodily systems and functions – digestion, respiration, endocrine, lymphatic and elimination – to work in harmony. As a result, your appetite will normalize (and likely decrease) and you will more than likely lose all your cravings for unhealthful foods. Increased willpower and mental strength that comes from the challenge of practicing yoga in a heated environment will help you maintain your resolve and resist temptation when trying to lose weight
Another reason for Bikram Hot yoga’s popularity is because it can be done by people of all ages. The age range level starts from 13 and goes well into you 90’s. That is quite an amazing age level! Not only with age but people with all types of body sizes can also do it by making small adjustments to the postures. The routines are first done with a warm up sequence and then slowly moving on to more difficult postures. One of the things that make Bikram Hot yoga different from hatha yoga is that the primary emphasis is on breathing, posture only comes second. Because proper breathing techniques helps you to better manage stress and control the amount of energy needed to do this type of yoga. The primary reason behind doing this style in a high heat room is that heat makes your muscles more supple which will make it easier to do the postures.
*It is recommended that you attend a minimum of 10 Bikram yoga sessions per month (3 or more sessions per week is optimal) to gain maximum weight loss benefits. Bikram yoga should be used in tandem with a healthy eating plan and other exercise. Practicing Bikram yoga can help with other aspects of a weight loss program; the physical benefits allow you to exercise more effectively, and the mind/spirit aspect increases your awareness of what foods your body does and doesn’t need.