What is Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is the 26 Postures Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.

Bikram Yoga’s goal is toward general wellness. Bikram Yoga is performed in the heated studios that facilitates deeper stretching and injury prevention, while reducing stress and tension. It is also often called as hot yoga. Bikram  system stimulates and restores health to every muscle, joint, and organ of the body. According to Bikham Choudhury, many people only use up to 50 percent of their lung capacity and thus the lungs must be stretched in order to withstand holding more oxygen. In a 2007 interview, Choudhury stated that when one is practicing pranayama she or he will eventually be able to enhance oxygen conversion and absorption, as well as improve blood circulation, as in many other forms of cardiovascular activity. Practicing yoga not only increases our supplies of oxygen, but it also teaches us how to use that oxygen properly – we learn to control the breath through pranayama.

bikram yogaIt has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function.  Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

Bikram Yoga can be practiced under the guidance of a certified Bikram Yoga Teacher at one of the affiliated Bikram Yoga studios. These studios are built in such a way that you always get the proper heating (104F) which help you to do your postures optimally.

Why 105 degrees?

Yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Difference of Hatha and Bikram Yoga

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishment to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin.

Controversy of Bikram Yoga

Safety of Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga has been the subject of much debate as to whether or not performing strenuous exercise in a room over 100 degrees Fahrenheit is safe. It is common for Bikram practitioners to experience dizziness and nausea, especially in the earlier stages of their practice. Instructors advise those who are feeling discomfort to rest and lie down until the feeling passes, and to join back in when they feel ready to do so.

Competition of Bikram Yoga

Another controversial component of Bikram yoga pertains to the prevalence of Bikram competitions, regionally and nationally. While practitioners of other forms of yoga maintain that competition contradicts the idea of peace and unity, Bikram contends, “Competition is the foundation for all democratic societies. For without ‘Competition’, there is no democracy.”

Please click here to view 26 Bikram Asanas

FAQ

How does Bikram Yoga work?

By the tourniquet effect: stretching, balancing (using gravity), and creating pressure all at the same time. The blood supply in arteries and veins is being cut off, creating pressure. When released, a lock gate effect is created, causing blood to rush through veins and arteries, flushing them out. Also, pressure is applied to the heart by its relative position to the rest of the body.

What is happening in my body during Bikram Yoga?

Muscles are contracted and stretched at a cellular, biochemical level. Lipids and proteins reorganize optimally in such stretching, allowing for better circulation. Joint mobility and range of motion is increased, and strength is built by the use of gravity. Muscles and joints are balanced.

Blood and calcium are brought to the bones. Working against gravity strengthens the bones. The organs of the immune system within the bones (red marrow) are boosted.

The lymph nodes are massaged, lymph is pumped throughout the body, and white blood cells are distributed throughout the body as the lymphatic system works more efficiently.

There is compression and extension to the thymus, spleen, appendix and intestines; lungs are stretched and flushed out by increased blood circulation. The endocrine glands are encouraged to secrete appropriate hormones, and the communication between hormones and various glands and systems of the body is perfected. Toxins and waste are eliminated through the organs of elimination.

The nerves are stimulated by compression and extension, improving communication within the systems of the body and supplying fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout. The brain is stimulated by improved circulation and by varying blood pressure.

How many times a week is Bikram Yoga recommended to practice?

In the beginning, do the Full Class religiously each day for two months until you are performing all but the very difficult poses such as the Standing Bow Pulling and Stretching Pose eighty percent correctly.  If you are restricted by any medical condition or have any chronic disease, you should continue daily until your condition is resolved.

Even when your progress is measured in fractions of inches that add excellence to what is already good, rather than in bold strokes, like being able to balance on one leg for ten seconds, you should continue your Yoga practice daily.

When you are performing ninety percent of the postures ninety percent correctly, you should still not feel complacent about doing your Yoga. Doing this Hatha Yoga class every day is like everything else you do in your life that is good for maintaining life. You don’t plan to give up doing those things because of the daily benefit you receive.

Practice while following Bikarm’s Beginning Yoga Class CD or casstte tape is an ideal method to practice the postures, as best as possible without being in an actual Bikram Yoga class.

Some tips: Set aside a special time of the day to create a regular daily practice.   Set aside a regular practice area in your home, and if possible, equip it with a mirror and an extra heater or two. Wear clothing that does not restrict your movement. Do not eat within 2-3 hours of practice.

How good is this Yoga habit?

Look at someone who has been doing this yoga for over twenty or thirty years. Don’t ask their ages. They have become timeless.