Bikram yoga, or ‘Hot’ yoga, represents a sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises practiced in a heated space. It is designed in a way, that encourages the whole body to be active and provides a complete workout. The temperature of the place where Bikram yoga is being practiced, is usually around 42 degrees. The fact that also makes it different from other types of yoga, is that the postures are supposed to be repeated every day, in a specific schedule. One of the interesting facts is, that the instructor is not performing the exercises, but only describing them to the participants. Bikram hot yoga was founded by Bikram Choudhury, and it is based on an ancient knowledge about healing and positive effects of yoga.
The basic idea is, that the heat warms the body and provides deeper and safer stretching, and also a complete detox of the entire body. Performing exercises in higher temperature improves the heart rate, provides a complete cardiovascular training, and also improves the main condition of the body. Injuries are reduced to a much lower level, than in the regular workouts.
Hot yoga is suitable both for men and women, for people of different level of body shape and for all ages. Beginners are slowly introduced to this exercises, and if they are not able to conduct a certain posture, they can avoid it, and work out in their own range.
Benefits of ‘hot’ yoga are numerous, both physical and psychical. According to several researches, people normally use only around 50 percent of their lungs capacity, while practicing Bikram yoga provides the increase of this capacity and the possibility to take in bigger amounts of oxygen. It also significantly helps the regulation of body weight, building up the immune system, releasing stress, and reducing many other negative side effects, that people of the modern world are facing. This type of exercise is also stimulating the inner organs, glands and nerves, by bringing new blood to all parts of the body. It is also very useful for toning the muscles, and it is specially designed to activate the entire spine, and in that way helps with eliminating pain in the back, and recovery of spine injuries.
As well as the other kinds of yoga, it helps allow the body to fully use all of its power and vitality supplies. Practicing Bikram yoga frequently brings body and soul into balance, and it also improves concentration. Besides relaxation and stress release, it also provides better sleep.
Even though there are many benefits of ‘hot’ yoga, it is suggested that people with certain heart disorders should avoid it, because the heart can become too loaded by the strain in high temperatures.
To become a bikramist, it is recomended that two or three days before doing exercises the body should be hydrated with bigger amounts of water with lemon, so that it can prepare itself for higher temperatures. It is also very important to have a adequate clothes for practicing Bikram yoga. Clothes should be made of cotton and allow the skin to breathe.