Bikram Yoga Heat
Bikram yoga studios have been dubbed ‘torture chambers’ due to the intense heat which is fundamental to the practice. There are several reasons for the well-above-body-temperatures of a Bikram yoga session:
- Softens the body in order to reshape it
- Allows postures to be optimally performed
- A warm body is a flexible body
- Flushes out waste products, toxins, and other impurities through the skin
Bikram Yoga Benefits
Systematically working every part of the body, Bikram yoga’s sequence of 26 postures is said to promote optimal health and maximize the function of the internal organs, veins/arteries, muscles, ligaments, and more. Each posture is associated with a different area or part of the body; at the same time, each posture contributes to the success of the others, working synergistically for maximum benefits.
Additional benefits of Bikram yoga include:
- Increased oxygen supply
- Improved circulation
- Increased flexibility
- Improved posture
- More balanced blood pressure
- Greater strength
- Greater concentration
- Enhanced mental clarity
- Reduction of toxins
Bikram Yoga Controversy
The biggest controversy surrounding Bikram yoga is the heated room conditions, which can potentially lead to dehydration, dizziness, fainting, nausea, and even hyperthermia (overheated body) and heat stroke. Individuals taking medications or who have pre-existing medical conditions should check with their doctor to determine if the heat will exacerbate their condition.
Attending a Bikram Hot Yoga Class
The good news is that no matter where you are located, Bikram yoga teachers follow the same script, allowing you to master the yoga postures at your own pace. Expect sessions to begin with standing posture exercises, followed by forward and backward bends and then twists. With each pose you will practice the breathing technique of Kapalabhati.
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your yoga practice.