There are many types of yoga, but Bikram yoga tends to stand out from the rest. Even though the practice is largely the same, you’ll immediately notice the difference in the environment — the room in which Bikram yoga is performed is heated between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit!
Bikram yoga follows a consistent program, employing 26 various poses, each of which you practice twice during a session.
The poses flow as follows. You’ll start with Standing Postures, then progress to Backbends. Then you’ll practice Forward Bends and Twists. You will do the poses using the Kapalabhati Breath or the Breath Of Fire techniques, which are advanced techniques known for their energizing and cleansing qualities.
It’s Getting Hot in Here
The purpose of the heat in Bikram yoga is to help you ease in to a deeper, safer pose. The heat helps your body’s flexibility, making it easier to achieve better postures and making your overall practice more effective. Some of the poses you’ll do in Bikram yoga are quite challenging, and the heat will help you enter them more comfortably, and ideally get more out of them. Also, with the increased temperature, your body will sweat more readily, releasing more toxins from your pores. The heat also lowers your risk for injuries.
When you practice Bikram yoga, you aren’t simply stretching the muscles in your body. You’re also working and massaging the internal organs, which helps to strengthen and lubricate the body’s glands and improve the nervous system. With Bikram yoga, you’ll work and strengthen your muscles, joints and ligaments. All this work — especially with the help of Bikram’s specialized environment — helps to flush toxins out of your body and provides the kind of exercise your muscles crave.
Can You Stand the Heat? Get Into the Kitchen!
Aptly named, this yoga practice was developed by Yogi Bikram Choudhury, who first began his yoga practice at the age of three, then studied yoga for a long while with the renowned physical culturalist, Bishnu Ghosh. Together they developed this form as one of the ultimate ways to help the body through series of especially challenging stretches and poses. It goes without saying that the Bikram beginner requires a skilled instructor to get started, as these poses are more challenging than some. The high temperature is also key to the process. As a result, more than other forms, you’ll need to take instruction at a yoga school or some of the higher end fitness clubs.
You can easily learn more about Bikram yoga to any of the on-topic books available on the Web. You’ll find that Bikram yoga offers a wide range of challenging poses, and many people find it a wonderful way of widening their yoga experience. If you’re ready to branch out and try something new, be sure to try Bikram yoga.
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Bikram Choudhury at a book signing in New York in 2007. Bikram Choudhury (born 1946) is a multi-millionaire Indian yoga guru and the founder of Bikram Yoga, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Bikram Yoga (Photo credit: Wikipedia)