Bikram yoga has become a popular exercise in recent years. Are you interested in learning more about how Bikram yoga works?
It offers many of the same benefits as traditional yoga, such as stress reduction, improved strength, and flexibility. But, with the heat turned up, hot yoga has the ability to give your heart, lungs, and muscles more intense workouts.
This article will take a closer look at this sweat-inducing how Bikram yoga works and how you can get started.
What is hot yoga?
You may hear the terms “hot yoga” and “Bikram yoga” works used interchangeably, but they’re not exactly the same thing.
Bikram yoga, developed by a yogi named Bikram Choudhury, is done in a room heated to 105°F (41°C) with 40 percent humidity. It consists of 26 poses and two breathing exercises that are done in the same order in every class. Bikram yoga sessions typically last 90 minutes.
Bikram yoga, on the other hand, really just means that the room is heated above normal room temperature.
Bikram yoga sessions can include any variety of poses, and the time of each class will vary from studio to studio. And unlike Bikram yoga, which is a quieter, serious practice, hot yoga often includes music and more interaction among the people in the class.
Bikram yoga works with lost followers in recent years due to assault allegations against its founder. Some studios may use the term “hot yoga” rather than “Bikram yoga” to describe their heated classes.
What are the benefits of hot yoga?
Regardless of the room temperature, both hot yoga and Bikram yoga aim to provide relaxation of the mind and improve physical fitness.
A heated environment can make the practice of yoga more challenging, but some of the benefits may be worth it. especially if you’re looking to make progress in one of the areas outlined below.
If done correctly and safely, hot yoga can provide the following benefits:
1. Builds bone density
Supporting your weight during a yoga pose can help build bone density. This is especially important for older adults and premenopausal women, as bone density declines as you age.
A 2014 study of women who participated in Bikram yoga over a 5-year period found. That premenopausal women had increased bone density in their neck, hips, and lower back.
The postures of Bikram yoga use your body weight to give your muscles a resistance workout. You may see noticeable gains in your strength in a matter of weeks with regular Bikram yoga practice.
2. It makes you more flexible.
“Temperatures are usually up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Numbers, and the humidity is way up there, too, at around 40 to 60 percent.
The warmer room will make it easier for your muscles to stretch. The steamy temps “allow you to increase their range of motion and stretch deeper within each pose,” since heat makes muscles more pliable, says Numbers. Unlike stretching it out in a standard cool yoga studio, the heat will have you feeling like a pro and extending further than you thought you could. When you stretch muscles, as in many of the 26 poses of Bikram yoga. those muscles gain a fractional amount of greater elasticity and range of motion. If you stretch frequently enough, this can improve your flexibility. It won’t take long before you touch your toes without bending your knees.
3. It helps kick stress to the curb.
One of the main reasons people practice yoga today is to relieve stress. In this fast-paced world. stress has become an epidemic and is one of the top reasons for many ailments and diseases. In Bikram Yoga, the combination of exercise, stretching. and breathing meditation creates a feel-good sensation that you can feel during the workout session and for hours afterward. Stress reduction through Bikram yoga is accompanied by physiological changes including regulated heart-beat. These changes happen as an immediate response when practicing Bikram yoga.
4. It burns major calories.
“Any kind of movement that increases your heart rate will help burn calories and promote weight loss,” says Numbers. And how Bikram yoga works is a pretty good calorie-torcher. Even though you’re not running and jumping around, again, that hot room gets the heart going. One study from the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found women burned an average of 333 calories during a 90-minute slow-moving, heated yoga session. Add a fast-moving Vinyasa practice to that mix (which made the Women’s Health list of top calorie-burning exercises). You are likely to come out of a Bikram yoga session half a kilo or lighter than you went in. Bikram yoga does burn calories, up to 750 – 1,000 per 90-minute session depending on your weight and intensity of practice.
The more you practice, the better results you will receive
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