If you’ve kept a ear open for yoga trends, you’ve probably heard the term ‘bikram yoga’ being thrown about very frequently. Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, involves performing a specific series of 26 yoga postures in a very hot environment. And by very hot, we mean up to 104 degrees. Most people immediately get scared off from trying bikram yoga because they’re not sure they can handle the heat. We’re not going to sugarcoat it; the heat can be pretty difficult to get used to. Most people trying bikram yoga for the first time usually don’t go beyond their first class because they find it too difficult. However, once you get past your first class, the following ones get successively easier. Here are some of the reasons why you should stick it out and continue with bikram yoga.
1. It Aids Detoxification
The most obvious result of doing bikram yoga is that you sweat a lot. The heat allows your body to flush out toxins in the form of sweat and get it out of your body for good. The sweat will also cool you down, so don’t be in a hurry to wipe it off. Bikram yoga studios have much the same effect that saunas do in detoxifying your body.
2. Promotes Weight Loss
Apart from the calories you’re going to be burning doing the yoga poses, the heat also helps you shed weight. Because you’re going to be sweating a lot, you will lose a lot of water weight. The heat also boosts your metabolism so you’re going to be burning a lot more fat than you would be in an air-conditioned yoga studio.
3. Lets You Breathe Deeper
The cornerstone of yoga is the right breathing technique. Yoga calls for deep, full breaths which complement whatever yoga asana you’re doing. Bikram yoga places even greater importance on breathing as breathing properly is crucial to surviving the intense heat. The improved breathing techniques you pick up from bikram yoga can actually benefit you in other areas as well. People who practiced bikram yoga reported that with the breathing techniques, they were able to perform squats and deadlifts a lot better.
4. Increases Your Heart Rate
The high temperature of the room increases your heart rate and forces you to expend more strength in performing your asanas. The faster heart rate this causes ensures that you’re getting a good cardiovascular workout. It also results in you burning a lot more calories due to the extra energy it requires to perform yoga in a hot environment.
5. It Makes You More Flexible
Yoga demands a certain level of flexibility from you, which can be very difficult for beginners. Hot yoga on the other hand, can be easier as the heat loosens up your muscles, making you more flexible. Bikram yoga also improves circulation, boosts the lymphatic system and calms inflammation. This means that you’re a lot less likely to feel sore after a bikram yoga class than you would at a normal session.
6. Strengthens Your Back
Bikram yoga poses are low-impact, strength-building postures, which won’t cause you any injuries. Most of the poses are aimed at strengthening your spinal cord and improving your posture. As we age, the spine tends to curve and we find it more difficult to stand up straight. Bikram yoga can keep your back muscles strong and ensure that you won’t face any difficulties later on.
7. It Heals Your Body
The heat combined with the specific yoga poses heals old injuries and improves your resistance to new ones. So if you’re suffering from an old injury and are afraid of doing strenuous exercises, give bikram yoga a shot. The poses will not aggravate your injury and will help you recover from it a lot faster.