Yoga is a millennial practice performed by millions of people around the world. However, there are different ways to do it, so the ideal would be to know all its variants to know which one best suits your needs. Bikram yoga is one of the variants available and, perhaps, the feature that can attract our attention the most is the fact that the room in which we decide to practice it must be at a minimum temperature of 40 °.
The Bikram yoga is one of the disciplines required when searching for relaxation and exercise. The heat allows for greater flexibility in making movements. In this way, practicing it turns out to be much easier and in passing from one position to another there is no pain.
It is important to underline that, although this discipline arose many years ago, it has only recently begun to spread to various Western countries. On the other hand, due to the difficulty of its positions, it is a branch of yoga that requires a certain familiarity.
How was Bikram yoga born?
This type of yoga was born thanks to Bikram Choudhury. His motivation to seek a greater connection with his body arose by chance, when he discovered that physical activity carried out in an environment where the temperature was high favored this communication.
He achieved his goal and calmed the pain he felt during exercise. From then on, he gradually surrounded himself with people who wanted to do the same; people who, obtaining excellent results, became the best propaganda for his method and his ideas.
Thus, Bikram Choudhury gave birth to a new technique applied to yoga that exploits Eastern and Western knowledge. A session lasts 90 minutes, during which 26 asanas, or positions, must be performed completely. These positions should be accompanied by breathing exercises in a room that is at high temperatures.
Each of the asanas is aimed at treating the different systems of the body. The positions take advantage of balance, breathing and different stretching exercises to be performed on a mat. Although they are not difficult, to perform each asana perfectly you need to have strength in the arms and legs.
During Bikram yoga, one must wear comfortable and light clothing to be comfortable and withstand the temperature of the room.
What are the benefits of Bikram yoga?
One of the most significant benefits of Bikram yoga is the expulsion of toxins. Exposure to high temperatures allows the body to release toxins at a faster rate through perspiration.
A study published in Environment International ensures that sweat eliminates toxins from the body. In this sense, it seems that people who practice this discipline produce a liter of sweat every session. Therefore, the ideal would be to hydrate the body well before starting the lesson. Also, carrying a bottle of water is highly recommended if you want to avoid dehydration.
The high ambient temperature promotes muscle relaxation. The muscles of the body will be much more relaxed and vascularized, which also increases their flexibility. In the case of rehabilitation after an injury, the heat also contributes to the reduction of pain.
There are no training levels
Bikram yoga can be practiced by both beginners and experts; in any case, the ideal would be to start approaching the asanas gradually. The presence of heat, in fact, could confuse those who have never attended a yoga class, making it difficult to carry out the exercises.
Some contraindications to consider
Bikram yoga is contraindicated for pregnant women and for individuals suffering from certain circulatory problems (it is always good to consult your doctor before starting to practice this discipline). This happens because the heat dilates the blood vessels, so the pressure tends to drop.
Also, the older you get, the more you need to be careful about exposure to high temperatures. Nonetheless, many people over the age of 60 practice this yoga without experiencing any kind of side effects.
It should be emphasized that in the presence of particular conditions, for example if you have a cold or fever or even after a particularly hot week, it would be better to avoid practicing Bikram yoga. However, it can help ease tension and regain your mental balance.