Bikram Yoga: Everything You Need To Know

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Bikram yoga is a hot yoga type that was created by Bikram Choudhury.

This type of yoga is very popular and it has a lot of benefits for the body but at the same time, there are some dangers when practicing this type of yoga which you have to be aware of.

Yoga has been around for centuries and is an ancient movement, breathing techniques, meditation, or relaxation. Yoga combines physical postures with mental calmness to create a complete experience that leaves you feeling refreshed in mindset and physically after practicing on your own time without any external obligations!

Yoga is much more than just physical exercises to keep fit; yoga involves connecting with ourselves in a way that leads to self-awareness. Yoga also helps with increased flexibility in your body which improves muscle strength and tones it up! So yoga can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety while at the same time keeping you relaxed.

In this article, we will be discussing Bikram yoga, which is one of the most popular types of yoga. After reading this article, you will know everything about Bikram yoga, such as the poses involved and how it helps in stress relief; you will decide whether this type of yoga is for you or not.

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga is a system of hot yoga that became popular in the early 1970s. The class consists of 26 postures practiced at 105 °F (41 °C) with 40% humidity, intended to replicate India’s climate, unlike some other hot yoga classes taught in heated rooms around 90 degrees. This type also includes mirrors on walls and carpets throughout room-as well as instructor adjustments for your own personalized experience!

Bikram’s yoga practice is based on the idea that every position prepares your body for what comes next. The class never stops moving and building upon itself, says Donna Noble from Curvesome Yoga – a community-focused in making yoga and wellbeing accessible to everyone!

So, Bikram yoga is an intense yoga class that heats your body to produce sweat and detoxify the muscles. This style of hot yoga is known for its ability to strengthen, stretch, improve balance and stamina, and promote muscle tone!

Bikram Yoga Benefits

Bikram Yoga Can Strengthen Your Muscles

According to published literature in NCBI (The National Center for Biotechnology Information), Bikram yoga has been shown to improve lower body strength, lower and upper body range of motion, and balance in healthy adults. So, Bikram yoga is one of the best exercises to improve overall muscle strength, range of motion, and balance.

Bikram Yoga Can Improve Your Core Stability

The benefits of practicing Bikram yoga don’t stop at muscle strength. Core stability and growth will also improve, thanks to the natural workout your core gets from this practice that requires intense relaxation techniques for you, toning and enhancing other areas like balance or coordination!

Bikram Yoga Can Help You Reduce Stress

In a 2017 study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Bikram yoga is linked to lower stress levels. Also, in other studies, it has been shown that Bikram yoga can help reduce cortisol levels in your blood, a hormone related to stress!

Bikram Yoga Can Increase Range of Motion

according to an October 2015 review in Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. Bikram yoga is an incredible workout that improves total-body range of motion and balance, helping to reduce the risk for falls.

How safe is Bikram yoga?

Bikram yoga instructors claim that the heat of their studio prevents people from getting injured. They say you can scale positions to your current ability and stop at any time for a break, so it’s safe!

In Bikram yoga, some health experts say that exercising in a hot room can be dangerous because it puts you at risk for heat-related illnesses, according to what the Mayo Clinic says.

A study in April 2015 by the ACE (American Council on Exercise) found that practicing Bikram yoga in a room heated to 105 degrees can raise internal temperatures and heart rates, which is dangerous for those who participate. This study was published in the same period of 2015 in the Gundersen Medical Journal. If you want to know more about the subject, you can download the study as a pdf and investigate!

Warning!

People who are pregnant or have heart disease should avoid hot yoga, including Bikram, according to NCBI (The National Center for Biotechnology Information)

What to Expect in Your First Bikram Yoga Class?

When taking a Bikram class, the first thing you’ll notice is how much time these exercises take. There aren’t any quickie workouts like those found in most gyms, where people can go on their phone or read a magazine while they wait for equipment to become available.

So, Bikram yoga classes begin with standing pranayama, a deep breathing exercise, and then a sequence of poses for 45 to 50 minutes. After the standing posture, expect two minutes Savasana before transitioning into floor sequences that can last up to 40 minutes! So, for a total of two hours, you can expect to be in the hot room!

Bikram yoga is accessible to yogis at all levels, including beginners. So, when you get into the class, you need to see if you can identify the coolest part of the class and lay your mat there. Prepare the morning before your course by drinking plenty of water and eating a light meal. Wear comfortable clothes and bring your mat, towel, and water bottle, so you don’t have to pay the studio for this! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break and drink some water.

So, you ready started! Try the maximum to avoid comparing yourself to anyone else in the class because that will only make you feel bad about yourself and your practice. So, be prepared to sweat! And drink water throughout the course to stay hydrated.

How often should you practice Bikram?

It is difficult to give a specific number of classes that you should take per week. The type and frequency will depend on how much time your body has available and what kind of person you want it for! Finally, it is essential to try a few classes before you make up your mind about whether or not yoga will work for you.

What to Bring and Wear to your Bikram Yoga Class?

To get the most out of your yoga experience, you must be prepared. One way for this can include bringing a water bottle and towel with which you can dry off after class or use as extra padding on particularly sweaty days if needed!

Many Bikram yoga practitioners still wear shirts or sports bras to stay calm. If you’re comfortable doing so, too, then go ahead!

So, before you even pack your bag for class, drink plenty of water, wear comfortable clothes that you can quickly move in; the last thing you want is to feel restrained during your practice!

How you can find a Bikram yoga near you?

A quick web search can find the closest Bikram yoga studio near you. Read through the descriptions on their website to ensure that it’s not just any hot class, but it’s the Bikram yoga! Then, please fill out their online form and request a class or find the number to call.

The 26 Bikram Yoga Postures

Pranayama

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The Bikram yoga sequence starts in a standing position with the ‘Pranayama,’ an optimal breathing exercise. By inhaling and exhaling deeply, you will be providing your body oxygen and improving circulation; all this improves focus!

Half Moon Pose

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The next posture is Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon Pose. This pose strengthens the abdominal muscles and spine while stimulating organs necessary for digestion!

Awkward Pose

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Utkatasana, or Awkaward Pose. Often referred to as Chair Pose in other yoga lineages, this pose strengthens the lower body while increasing blood circulation and mental clarity!

Eagle Pose

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The only way to challenge your balance is with Garudasana or Eagle Pose. This pose taps into all major joints of the body by strengthening them and stretching out their muscles while providing greater mobility for improved posture!

Standing Head-to-Knee Pose

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Dandayamana Janusirsana, or Standing Head to knee pose, is a highly challenging balance posture that engages the entire body. Specifically, this position strengthens and stretches your legs, core muscles, and arms while boosting concentration levels!

It would help if you made sure to work into the pose slowly. It’s not a race, so the last thing you want is an injury.

Standing Bow-Pulling Pose

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This pose is said to have a circulation effect, which will make your blood flow equally from one side of the body to another.

Balancing Stick Pose

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The next pose in the Bikram sequence is Tuladandasana or Balancing Stick Pose. This balancing act requires balance, determination, and core strength to maintain for an extended period! It also increases circulation (significantly affecting your heart and brain).

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose

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Take a break from balancing with Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana (what an abominable mouthful!), also called standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose. This pose will stretch the legs, spine, and sciatic nerve to improve the function of abdominal organs!

Triangle Pose

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This version of the Triangle pose practiced in Bikram yoga is very different from the norm. Specifically, this position would be called Extended Side Angle, and it’s an excellent stretch for your side body!

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

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Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana is an intense stretch in the legs and opens up your shoulders. It’s said that practicing this posture can help internal massage organs, increase metabolism rates, among other things!

Tree Pose

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Tree pose is to stretch and strengthen all areas of your body. This Bikram pose improves posture and strengthens the joints in ankles, knees, & hips!

Toe Stand

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Toe Stand is an excellent pose to finish off your standing series. It stretches the feet, ankles, and knees while also building mental stamina and focus!

Corpse Pose

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Savasana (Corpse Pose) is the perfect pose to fully relax your body and mind after practicing standing or seated yoga. It’s also a great place for mindfulness meditation, which can help you be more focused during other parts of Bikram yoga!

Wind Removing Pose

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The Wind Removing Pose benefits your lower back by gently stretching it out. It also engages the core and increases hip flexibility for a more comfortable pose in seated series such as the one that follows next!

Sit Up

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The pose known as Sit Up (Pada-Hasthasana) in Bikram yoga is a great way to center your mind, energize the body and stretch out those legs. You can also do head To Knee Pose variation on-demand with other styles of yoga!

Cobra Pose

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Cobra Pose is an excellent pose for strengthening the core and can prevent back pain.

Locust Pose

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Locust Pose or Salabhasana is a great pose that engages the entire body and tones your buttocks. This yoga position also strengthens hips and legs while deeply relaxing for meditation!

Full Locust Pose

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Building from the previous pose, Full Locust Pose works the mid-body.

Bow Pose

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Dhanurasana is a great pose to open up your chest and shoulders. This backbend will increase mobility in the spine, making it invigorating for both mind and body!

Fixed Firm Pose

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Next up is Fixed Firm Pose (Supta Vajrasana), giving yourself a minor release from backbends. With this posture, you’ll stretch the leg muscles and joints as well as your ankles, lower back, and hips!

Half Tortoise Pose

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Half Tortoise (Ardha Kurmasana) is the most relaxing posture in Bikram yoga. It’s a great position to lay down and relax while gently stretching your hips, neck, shoulders & more!

Camel Pose

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Only you need one more backbend to go with this pose.

Rabbit Pose

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Rabbit Pose is excellent for backbends.

Head-to-Knee Pose and Stretching Pose

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The seated stretch, Head-to knee pose is combined with Stretching Pose (Janushirasana) to provide optimal benefits.

Spine Twisting Pose

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This Bikram pose will realign your spine and make you feel like an all-new person.

Blowing in Firm

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Finished with a kneeling posture and pranayama exercise, this final sequence is called the “Kneeling Pose” or Vajrasana. This practice also includes using Kapalbhati breathing while in that position as well.

Bikram Yoga FAQs

Is hot yoga always Bikram?

Though there are many different hot yoga classes, Bikram yoga is the original style that has proven to be among the best known and most famous hot yoga styles.

Is Bikram suitable for beginners?

Yes, even beginners will enjoy practicing Bikram yoga. The 26 postures and two breathing exercises are specially designed for them because it’s so easy to fall in love with this form of exercise.

Can you practice Bikram yoga without heat?

The answer to this question is yes, but it will take some adjustment. For many years of practicing in a hot room, we never thought about doing Bikram Yoga without the traditional “hot room”!

Can you lose weight with Bikram hot yoga?

Hot yoga is an excellent way for people who don’t want to spend too much time exercising and still get the same benefit. It burns calories quickly, which can lead you to lose weight even if it’s just through movement!

Is Bikram Yoga still popular?

Mmm, I would say so. The heat has a way of melting away all your worries and stress while you’re in session- not to mention that it’s super affordable!

Is Bikram yoga a franchise?

The $10,000 cost to open your studio may be too high for some people.

What is the difference between Hatha and Bikram yoga?

Bikram yoga consists of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, as the name suggests. In contrast to this more advanced form, hatha yoga is not practiced in a heated environment and does not follow a prescribed set of postures.

What is the difference between Vinyasa and Bikram yoga?

Vinyasa yoga is a moving meditation that combines poses to create an energizing and dynamic flow. Unlike the static Bikram style, you can do vinyasa at any temperature with variable sequences for you to stay engaged throughout your session-whether it’s 90 minutes or not! Bikram yoga is also different in that it incorporates two breathing exercises into the practice; there are 26 postures and two breathing exercises designed to be practiced within 90 to 120 minutes in a heated environment.

What is the difference between yoga and Bikram yoga?

A difference between yoga and Bikram yoga is that yoga does not have a standard sequence of poses or postures. In addition, yoga is typically done in a non-heated environment and may be practiced alone or with others. In contrast, Bikram yoga is practiced in a heated environment and does not involve other students. Additionally, Bikram yoga consists of 26 postures and two breathing exercises designed to be practiced within 90 to 120 minutes.

Is Ashtanga the same as Bikram?

Both classes are hot, but this heat is built very differently. Bikram yoga is typically practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, Ashtanga yoga is not done in such extreme conditions, and the heat may be self-generated by performing Sun Salutations.

Is Bikram harder than Ashtanga?

The practice of ashtanga is seen by many as the most challenging physical yoga style, but some follow Bikram. The reason for this? Both schools have passionate followers who would never want them categorized into one category or another!

How many days a week should you do hot yoga?

The answer to this question depends to some degree on the intensity of your practice. If you are a beginner, I recommend practicing three times per week to get comfortable with the postures and breathing exercises. As you progress, you may want to increase the number of days you practice. However, four or more days per week is generally too much for most people.

What is a common temperature for Bikram yoga classes?

The typical temperature for Bikram yoga classes is between 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

What muscles does Bikram yoga work?

Muscles do Bikram yoga work are mainly the muscles of your back and legs, as these postures are typically held for some time. Additionally, the intense heat of the room will cause you to sweat profusely, which will help to detoxify your body and improve your overall health.

What To Conclude?

Bikram yoga is not only an excellent way to work out, but it has the power to improve your mental health and wellbeing. You’ll find that you become more confident, happy, and focused after just a few sessions of this intense workout regimen. After all, how can anything be harmful when it makes us feel so good about ourselves? If you want to give yourself the opportunity for better results in life, try giving Bikram Yoga a shot! It may surprise you with its effects on your body and mind. Have any of these benefits resonated with you? What other ways could I apply one or more principles from my reading today?

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