Bikram yoga, often referred to as hot yoga, incorporates 26 different positions and two breathing exercises into an hour and a half session. Each session is conducted in a room set to 105 degrees with a 40 percent humidity level. Surprisingly, this type of yoga class is becoming more and more popular with not only yoga fanatics, but also those looking to get a deep muscle workout. Bikram yoga continues to gain popularity because of the many benefits it provides to its participants. Is hot yoga for you? Well, check out CoachUp's run-down of hot yoga and decide for yourself -- although we highly recommend it!
As the 105 degree temperature suggests, bikram yoga classes force the participants to sweat a great deal more than they normally would during a traditional yoga class. This sweat is actually a good thing, believe it or not. The heat exerts an additional strain on the body, leading to a better workout. The acute sense of fatigue generated from sweat moving out of the body forces the participant to take deeper breaths, increasing the level of clean oxygen going into the body. As fresh oxygen is sent around the body, one feels renewed and refreshed. In addition, the excessive sweating is considered to be a cleansing tool that removes toxins from the body, expelling everything the body doesn’t want or need to make room for the good stuff.
Because of the heat in the room, participants are better able to move their bodies into different positions, as well as conform their body deeper into the positions. The high temperature serves as an automatic warm-up, working the muscles faster and allowing them more flexibility. By ensuring that your muscles are warm, the temperature helps to reduce the possibility of muscle, ligament, and tendon injury.
(Related: Read about mastering the different positions here.)
Many of those who have not tried hot yoga classes would consider this type of exercise to be torture. However, those who have tried bikram yoga often enjoy their experience so much they sign up for more classes on the spot. Bikram yoga offers participants a slightly different take on traditional yoga, compelling those daring enough to brave the heat and humidity. With you take the plunge?
Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones in the studio.