For many years, many people are doing yoga because of its health benefits. Regular practice of yoga does not only relieves stress and boost your mind, it also helps in improving muscle strength and increase flexibility. There are different forms of yoga and each form differs in intensity. One form of yoga that is considered challenging is the Bikram yoga.
Bikram yoga or hot yoga as others call it is done in a heated room like an infrared sauna or the traditional steam sauna. The session usually runs for 90 minutes, and it consists of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. The room should be heated at about 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40.5 degrees Celsius. Just imagine how hot that could be!
Some yogis who practice hot yoga swears by its benefits while some believe that it does no better compare with the regular yoga. But what benefits do you really get from Bikram yoga and are there really disadvantages? Find out below.
Benefits of Bikram Yoga
It is believed that the heat from the sauna opens your pores and causes heavy sweating, thus releasing all the toxins from the skin. Also, it helps you to have a clear complexion.
Bikram yoga focuses on spine strength. The different postures and stretches during the session aids in giving you not only strong muscles but also full-body strength.
Good for the Heart
Performing yoga in a heated room elevates the heart rate and makes your body work harder. If done along with a cardiovascular workout, Bikram yoga helps in developing your tone, flexibility, and strength.
The heat from the sauna warms up your muscles and gives it a deeper stretch. This, in turn, aids in healing old injuries and decreases muscle soreness.
Doing yoga in a heated room allows your body to get rid of body fats and water weight. It also improves the digestive and metabolic functioning, thus helping you to lose weight.
Disadvantages of Bikram Yoga
The intense heat from the sauna will make you sweat and makes you thirsty. This could lead to dehydration if you do not drink enough water during the whole session. Before going to class, it is advised to drink at least two liters of water to keep you hydrated. Nonetheless, Bikram yoga will still leave you thirsty after the session.
Regular yoga classes last for 45-60 minutes while Bikram yoga lasts for 90 minutes. If you are a busy person, you need to make some adjustments to do hot yoga.
If you are not used to intense heat, it will make you feel dizzy and nauseated. If this happens during class, step out and do some deep breathing.
Can cause injury
Working out in the heat helps you achieve a deeper stretch. However, pushing yourself too hard might cause injury to a ligament.
Yoga is all about balance and its main purpose is for you to feel relaxed while gaining strength. And while there are still debates on whether the Bikram yoga is better than the regular yoga, what’s important is that you are able to reap more benefits in whatever type of yoga you choose to take.
Besides, the best workout that you can get is not just the one that will make you feel good; what is important is the sense of accomplishment you get.
The combination of heat and yoga is indeed intense and difficult, especially for first-timers. Do know that performing yoga either inside an infrared sauna or outside sauna have beneficial effects.
If you are taking a regular yoga class and you want to give Bikram yoga a shot, try to do this in your home sauna to experience the feeling and its benefits. However, if you think this one is not for you, stick with the regular class.
Furthermore, before engaging in this activity, consider any medical condition you have and seek professional help to know if Bikram yoga is for you.