Bikram yoga is a type of yoga that is performed using a number of specific poses in a room heated to ninety to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. This form of Yoga is named after its founder, Bikram Choudury, an Indian who spent some time studying with the brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, named Bishnu Ghosh.
This form of yoga, like other types, is designed to unify the mind, body and spirit, as well as to increase levels of flexibility and strength throughout the body. This is a form of exercise that has become more and more popular over the years, with many attracted to the benefits it can bring not only to our muscles, but the nervous, lymphatic, and endocrine systems.
With Bikram Yoga a series of twenty six poses is used, and these are performed in a suitably heated room using the temperatures specified above. Within this school, each of the twenty six poses is performed twice, and held for a specified time period. Amongst the Bikram yoga poses used are standing poses, back bends, forward bends, and twists.
The reason for the room being heated is because these levels of heat have been shown to improve the ability to go safely into the asanas, making the whole experience more comfortable and manageable. Bikram yoga poses can be challenging for some people, but the heat increases flexibility and makes practising these poses and holding them as required easier. People can reach a deeper level of physical practice more quickly.
These levels of heat also increase sweating, and will help you to expel toxins from the body. They also help reduce the risk of injury during practice. The actual Bikram yoga poses themselves are designed to strengthen and stretch both the muscles and the joints, as well as ligaments. It’s a style of yoga that is really geared towards providing physical health benefits.
Practising these asanas in the Bikram style can help to increase blood circulation and reduce stress levels, as well as develop muscle tone. Because the standing poses flow together, Bikram practitioners get something of a cardiovascular workout as well, which can help with weight loss.
According to reports, this type of yoga can benefit all sorts of people, including those with illnesses and diseases such as thyroid problems, arthritis, and diabetes. They may even find that regular sessions of Bikram yoga help ease their symptoms.
When Choudury was developing his style of yoga, he actually worked with scientists at Tokyo University to establish how different asanas stimulate the glands in the body. They also examined the effect of one pose moving into the next, which is why the order of the poses is considered important in this yoga. Bikram yoga has also been adapted to a practice suitable for pregnant women.
Overall, this is a physically active style of yoga that can be challenging, yet is suitable for people from beginner to experienced. The only caveat is whether you can stand the heat!