Bikram Yoga for Beginners

Background

This is a type of yoga style that was founded by Bikram Choudhury in 1946. Having learned yoga at early age, he was able to develop and later popularize this style with his wife Rajashree. The couple later moved, where they founded the Yoga College of India. While there, he developed his yoga method making it popular even among the elite and celebrities in the region. To date, it remains one of the most popular styles of yoga asana practiced in the US.

The Basis of the Style

There are two key things that define Bikram Yoga; the performance of yoga in a hot room and the repetition of the style in 26 similar postures. The yoga classes, which in most cases run for 90 minutes, are conducted in a room where temperatures are about 105-degree Fahrenheit and the humidity is 40 percent. As such, it falls under the category of hot yoga. Students and teachers practice the exact same 26 postures during every yoga class plus two breathing exercises.

The inspiration behind these postures is that they have very specific benefits to the practitioners. They are designed to give every part of the body a thorough workout, thereby maintaining ligaments, muscles, veins, and internal organs in optimum health.

The Health Benefits of Bikram

Research conducted by various groups show that Bikram Yoga has a host of health benefits. These include:

Psychological:

Improvement in mood, attention, and concentration.

Helps a have a better self-image

Helps decrease anxiety.

Physical:

Helps develop physical balance, normalize weight, and increase energy.

Improves dexterity and endurance.

The heat creates the need for the body to cool itself, thereby producing a dramatic aerobic effect.

The sweating that starts almost immediately the exercise begins is beneficial in detoxifying and cleansing the body.

Safety Precautions

The health benefits stated above notwithstanding, Bikram Yoga, also caries various risks. The first health concern is that as the classes progress, the body temperature of everyone can spike to unhealthy levels. This may put those who have certain types of health concerns at the risk of illness.

It is in fact not uncommon for participants in a Bikram yoga class to feel weak or dizzy during the exercises. Pregnant women, people with heart disease, or other existing health concerns are advised not to participate in Bikram Yoga. To avoid instances of this from happening, it is recommended that one should not take food two to three hours to the time of exercise. In addition, one should cut back on processed foods and caffeinated drinks.

Preparing for a Yoga Bikram Class

There are few considerations that one should make before attending a yoga Bikram class. First, remember that this is a hot yoga class. There will be a lot of sweating, so one should prepare accordingly. Here is what you should do:

Be well hydrated – attending a hot yoga class dehydrated can be quite risky. Drink a lot of water.

Ensure you do not push yourself beyond your limit. Always take a break when you feel overwhelmed or nauseous.

Carry a washable non-slip mat – one that can absorb sweat and is safe to use when wet.

Bring some towels.

Have yoga straps.

Have breathable clothes, like these shorts, and comfortable shoes.

Remember, even if you have never attended any other type of yoga class, you can begin yoga by participating in Bikram Yoga.

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