Bikram yoga or “hot yoga” is a type of yoga practiced in a room heated up to 100 degrees Farenheit. Throughout the session, you are made to practice 26 poses while the heat stimulates your sweat glands and allows you to release toxins. Because of the rejuvenation, wellness, and restoration experienced by Bikram yoga practitioners, this form of yoga is becoming increasingly popular among young and old alike.
Read on to learn how to do Bikram yoga.
- Unlike other types of yoga, you can’t just buy a DVD and do the asanas (poses) in your living room. Because the full benefit of Bikram yoga can only be received if you do it in a heated room, you will have to sign up for a class at a local Bikram studio.
- A Bikram yoga class lasts for about 90 minutes, so be prepared to perform yoga in high temperature for that long!
- You will be sweating a lot due to the heat and the physical workout, so make sure you drink plenty of water beforehand. You must also bring a bottle of water with you during the class.
- Do not eat anything before your Bikram yoga class; otherwise you will experience cramping, pain, aches, and indigestion.
- Wear comfortable, lightweight cotton clothing that will not get in the way of the poses or that will expose any parts you do not wish to be seen. Women usually prefer wearing a sports bra and shorts; men can wear a cotton tank top. You might also want to wear layered clothing to control your body temperature. As you start feeling warmer, remove the layers, and then put them back on when you cool off.
- Keep a small towel close by. Because of all the sweating and the humidity, your mat will become slippery. Use your towel to wipe your mat, or your forehead and hands. There are also special yoga mats you can buy for Bikram that provide better traction in high humidity.
- Allow your body to relax during the cool down session towards the end of the class. Resist the urge to get up and start the day when the class enters the corpse pose. This pose is crucial because it will help your body temperature adjust.
Bikram yoga poses may make you feel nauseous or lightheaded, as your body is also experiencing a detox process. If you feel too hot and uncomfortable, sit or lie on your mat, but stay in the room. Moving quickly from a heated room to a cool room after a workout like that will shock your system.
Yoga is about healing relaxation. It is not a practice that asks you to push yourself to your limits. Know what your limits are and do not challenge yourself too much. You will get better with patience and with time.
If you have never done Bikram yoga before and have a lot of questions, speak to the instructor or a friend about your doubts and inquiries.