Bikram yoga includes a series of 26 poses that are always performed in the same sequence in a heated room. It is often called “hot yoga,” because temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the 90-minute class. You can expect Bikram yoga – like other types of yoga – to help you become stronger, more flexible and peaceful.
STRONGER, TONED MUSCLES
Some Bikram poses help you develop muscle strength, especially in the arms, legs, back and abdominals, according to Vanderbilt University. Bikram students hold poses for at least five breaths, thus making strength-related demands on the body in order to hold the poses. Standing poses help strengthen your lower body, especially the quadriceps and hamstrings. Keeping the arms extended in standing postures also helps strengthen the arms; arm balances contribute to core strength and arm strength simultaneously. You'll also develop greater back strength and, overall, your body will become more toned.
GREATER BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY
Bikram’s balancing poses often involve standing on one leg, helping you to achieve better balance through practice. Holding poses for five counts or longer helps you practice stillness and equanimity; Bikram students are often encouraged to gaze into the mirror during balancing poses to increase their focus. Longer pose counts also contribute to increased flexibility. As your muscles lengthen and relax into the pose, you'll feel more limber. By repeating each pose twice, the body has the chance to sink deeper into the stretch.
ENDURANCE AND HYDRATION
Because Bikram classes are so hot, you will sweat a lot during your yoga practice. You will also have to drink plenty of water so your body is properly hydrated. Although science hasn’t yet validated claims that excess sweat helps rid the body of toxins, people sometimes say they feel refreshed after profuse sweating. Bikram hot yoga helps work out your heart, too.
CALMNESS, WELLNESS FOR THE MIND AND BODY
Bikram’s emphasis on deep breathing, staying focused and developing mental determination might make you feel more centered during and after class. Over time, deep breathing and greater mental focus might make you feel less stressed or anxious. As a result, you may feel more relaxed and productive. Embracing yoga’s positive message of self-acceptance might encourage you to make healthier lifestyle choices, thereby contributing to better overall physical and mental well-being. Original article by