Why is Bikram Yoga so hot?
Bikram yoga classes are held in a studio that is heated to 105 degrees fahrenheit. The heat in the yoga room helps warm the body’s muscles and joints, encouraging blood flow, and helping protect the body during stretching exercises and postures.
Why is Bikram Yoga Unique?
Bikram yoga comprises a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises – and it is the repetition of Bikram’s yoga series that allows beginners to develop concentration and body mind awareness.
Each posture in the Bikram series is completed twice. The first set of a posture is designed to warm you up, and the second set enables you to work deeper within your body. Between each set and each pose, twenty seconds of rest (savasana) is taken, which allows complete relaxation while the oxygenated blood equalises and moves to all parts of the body, rejuvenating the body’s cells and organs.
Mirrors are used within the yoga studio to enable practitioners to observe the body objectively, improving body awareness and refining body alignment. The constant eye contact with yourself reinforces the process as an open eye meditation.
The following reasons are why it is so beneficial to practice
Bikram yoga in a hot room:
Muscles, fascia and connective tissue become more elastic allowing for greater flexibilty with less chance of injury
Promotes sweating which assists the detoxification process using the body’s largest eliminating organ – the skin
Blood becomes thinner which clears the circulatory system
When the body is warm, T-cell output from the thymus gland is multiplied 20 fold. T-cells fight infection which in turn keeps the immune system functioning properly
Warmer temperatures produce a fluid like stretch that allows for greater range of motion in the joints
Heart rate becomes elevated which improves the cardiovascular system (heart and lungs)
Warm muscles burn fat more effectively. When we stretch, the fat has no room to sit so it redistributes to the blood stream which we then use as energy
Capillaries respond to heat by dilating. This allows more oxygen to muscles, tissues, glands and organs helping in the removal of waste products
Higher temperatures improve the function of the nervous system, meaning that messages are carried more rapidly to and from the brain or spinal cord (you think more clearly)
Improves strength because proteins can be utilised more effectively
Speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids
Provides strengthening of willpower, self control and determination through the challenging environment
Some of the benefits of Bikram Yoga
Teaches you to breathe fully and correctly
Builds strength, flexibility, balance, and tremendous endurance
Prevents chronic illnesses and injuries
Promotes better sleep
Deep sense of well being, vibrant health, and a peaceful mind
Weight loss and toning
Maintains youthful appearance, as the oxygenation and cleansing improves skin tone
Works every system of the body: cardiovascular, nervous, lymphatic, endocrine, immune, digestive, reproductive, muscular, and skeletal
Works every organ, gland, muscle, tendon, ligament in the body
Improves heart and lung capacity
Eliminates back pain
Greater flexibility of your spine in its full range of motion, allowing the central nervous system to function optimally, resulting in high levels of energy
Integration of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which improves memory, learning, coordination and balance
Builds mental strength by holding your mind in a focused meditative state