Bikram yoga is a muscle-strengthening yoga that is comprised of doing 26 postures in a span of 90 minutes. It is also known as hot yoga because Bikram yoga classes are held in rooms that maintain a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Bikram yoga rooms are heated as such to make the muscles more flexible, allowing the body to perform deep poses.
If you want to gain strength and make the most out of a Bikram yoga session, follow the tips below:
- Listen to your instructor. It pays to give your full attention to your Bikram yoga instructor. If you listen to your instructor well, you’ll immediately learn how to do the 26 Bikram poses. However, if you keep on focusing your attention to other things besides doing the poses, you can strain your muscles for doing the poses incorrectly and you will not get the full benefit of the yoga session.
- Stay focused. As with any other activity, it is imperative to stay focused when doing Bikram yoga. Don’t do any activities besides concentrating on doing the yoga pose correctly to avoid injuries. Reserve talking with your fellow yoga students after the yoga session has ended. You will enjoy conversation more if you can talk freely and your attention is not divided. To help keep your mind focused on doing the poses, examine yourself on the mirrors surrounding the Bikram room and use them to check your body alignment and flow of movement.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water. Since the rooms of Bikram yoga sessions are meant to make you sweat profusely, it is easy to get dehydrated and experience muscle cramps. Because of this, make it a point to drink at least one glass of water before and after doing Bikram yoga. You should also keep yourself hydrated throughout the day by drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water. To make sure that you are drinking enough water, look at the color of your urine. If your urine is clear or light-yellow in color, it means your body is well-hydrated. Otherwise, your body needs more water.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Aside from doing the poses correctly, you also have to eat a well-balanced diet if you want to gain strength in Bikram yoga. If you don’t eat adequate portions of meat, fruit, and vegetable, your body will not get enough nourishment and you wouldn’t be able to maximize the strength-giving benefits of Bikram yoga.
Although it is recommended to eat something before doing any kind of exercise, performing an exercise with a full stomach can result to stomach upset. Because of this, make sure to allot at least four hours of digestion period before doing Bikram yoga. If your yoga class is in the morning and you have trouble getting up early to eat breakfast, eat foods that are easily digested such as cereals and energy bars. These foods will supply you with enough energy to last throughout your yoga session without giving you stomach cramps.