If you are looking for a yoga practice that can help improve your health and fitness, then Bikram yoga might be just what you need. This popular style of yoga involves practicing a set sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises in a heated room. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of Bikram yoga, particularly for beginners who are new to this practice. So, whether you are looking to increase your flexibility, build strength, reduce stress, or improve your overall well-being, read on to discover the many benefits of Bikram yoga.
Introduction to Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s that originated in India. It combines twenty six hatha poses, two breathing exercises, and one meditation technique which must be practiced in a heated environment. The heated environment, typically between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit (35 and 40 degrees Celsius), with a humidity of 40%, is said to help the muscles to relax and release toxins from the body. This practice of yoga is meant to bring the body, mind and spirit to a state of harmony and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Bikram yoga is said to be beneficial for chronic pain, hypertension, joint stiffness, asthma, and many other disorders. It also helps tone, stretch and strengthen the body, improve flexibility, reduce stress, and increase mental clarity. With regular practice, practitioners report improved sleep, posture, metabolism, and general well-being.
Benefits of Bikram Yoga
Although Bikram Yoga is similar to other forms of yoga, it has a number of benefits that make it an attractive practice for many people.
- Improved Flexibility: Bikram Yoga is designed to combine the physical and mental benefits of stretching and the calming effects of breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga stretches and tones the muscles, whilst forcing the body to move to its full range of motion. This can lead to increased flexibility, which may reduce tension and stiffness in the body. Furthermore, increased flexibility can reduce the likelihood of getting injured during activities like sports, exercise and everyday tasks.
- Stress Relief: The specific sequence of poses, combined with tuned breathing exercises, can help to reduce stress. Posturing and breathing activities in Bikram Yoga enable practitioners to become more aware of their body and bring relaxation to the mind. As Bikram Yoga is done in a heated environment, practitioners are encouraged to focus on the moment, taking time to relax and let go of their worries.
- Cardiovascular Benefits:Bikram Yoga has some cardio benefits. With the addition of heat and humidity, the poses become more intense and require more effort which can lead to a rise in heart rate and improved cardiovascular health. Bikram Yoga also helps the body to strengthen its ability to respond to external environmental conditions, allowing the oxygen in the blood to become more efficiently distributed throughout the body.
- Strengthens Your Body: Bikram Yoga is designed to make the body stronger as it helps to enhance strength and improve posture. By practicing the poses, practitioners can experience improved muscular power, endurance and balance. This increased strength and flexibility can help practitioners perform everyday physical tasks with more ease and efficiency.
- Detoxification: The combination of heat and specific poses helps to improve blood circulation, which can lead to an improved ability to detoxify the body. The increase in circulation aids in flushing out toxins from the body and leaves practitioners with a feeling of cleanliness and clarity. In addition, the poses help to relax and stretch the muscles, which can improve circulation and digestion.
- Mental Benefits: Practicing yoga has long been associated with relaxation, improved mental clarity and enhanced focus and concentration. Bikram Yoga helps to bring practitioners into the present moment, enabling them to be conscious and aware of the body, mind and breath. As practitioners become more mindful of their body and breath through poses, breathing exercises and meditation, they can benefit from improved clarity, focus and relaxation.
- Physical and Mental Benefits Combined: By combining the physical and mental benefits of Bikram Yoga, practitioners can experience improved balance and coordination and an overall feeling of well-being. Through increased awareness of the body and enhanced flexibility, practitioners may experience less pain, improved sleep and even a greater range of motion. This can lead to improved energy levels, better mental and emotional wellbeing and an improved quality of life.
Read More: Detox Your Body With These Yoga Asanas
How to Get Started with Bikram Yoga?
If you are considering incorporating Bikram into your fitness routine, here are a few tips for getting started.
- Choose the Right Clothing: When starting out with Bikram Yoga, one of the most important things to consider is the clothing you will be wearing while practicing. Bikram Yoga is conducted in a heated environment, so the clothing you wear should be comfortable, lightweight, breathable, and suitable for intense, sweaty workouts. The best fabrics for Bikram Yoga are synthetic materials that offer moisture-wicking properties, such as lycra and spandex. Avoid wearing baggy or cotton clothing as these types of materials will become heavy and uncomfortable with sweat.
- Find the Right Class: Not all yoga classes are the same, and the same can be said for Bikram Yoga. When it comes to selecting the right class, it is important to take the instructor’s experience, level of instruction, and individual teaching style into consideration. It is also a good idea to find a class that offers a consistent schedule and does not overcrowd the studio. If you are new to Bikram Yoga, seek out classes specifically for beginners, as these classes offer more detailed instruction and help with the postures.
- Be Aware of the Risks: As with any physical activity, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with Bikram Yoga. It is also crucial to listen to your body and respect its limits, as pushing yourself too hard or quickly can lead to injury. Due to the intense heat and physical demands of Bikram Yoga, it is best to get a doctor’s approval before beginning a practice. It is also important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after practicing Bikram to ensure proper hydration and to help maintain your body temperature.
Bikram yoga is an effective way to improve physical and mental health by combining poses that increase strength, flexibility, and breathing. Practitioners experience deeper levels of concentration and relaxation with each pose, and beginners can benefit from improved posture, decreased stress, and increased endurance. The practice can also reduce stress, improve circulation, build immunity, and promote mindfulness, inner peace, and relaxation. It’s time to Discover the Benefits of Bikram Yoga for Beginners and start your yoga journey today!