Bikram Yoga is a system of hot yoga, a type of yoga as exercise, devised by Bikram Choudhury and based on the teachings of B. C. Ghosh, that became popular in the early 1970s. Classes consist of a fixed sequence of 26 postures, practised in a room heated to 105 °F (41 °C) with a humidity of 40%, intended to replicate the climate of India. The room is fitted with carpets and the walls are covered in mirrors.
The hot yoga style is practised in a room heated to 105 °F (41 °C) with a humidity of 40%, intended to replicate the climate of India where it was created. Bikram Yoga trains its own teachers. They are taught a standardized dialogue to run the class, but are encouraged to develop their own delivery style. The author Brigid Delaney described seeing Choudhury in his first yoga studio in Australia, and was “shocked” by the environment and by Choudhury’s bragging and abrasive manner; she noted also the docility of his students and the “fawning” atmosphere, writing: What the hell was this practice?
Bikram Yoga has been criticized for its high cost, its cult-like atmosphere, and its founder’s history of sexual assault. However, it has also been praised for its effectiveness in improving flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health.
History of Bikram Yoga
Bikram Choudhury was born in Calcutta, India, in 1946. He began practicing yoga at the age of four, and by the time he was 10, he was teaching yoga to other children. In 1971, he moved to the United States and began teaching yoga in Los Angeles. He quickly gained a following, and by the 1980s, he had opened several Bikram Yoga studios in the United States.
Bikram Yoga is based on the teachings of B. C. Ghosh, who was Choudhury’s teacher. Ghosh was a renowned yoga master who taught Choudhury the 26 postures and two breathing exercises that are now the foundation of Bikram Yoga.
Benefits of Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga has been shown to have a number of benefits, including:
- Improved flexibility
- Increased strength
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Reduced stress
- Improved sleep
- Increased energy levels
- Improved mental clarity
- Reduced pain
- Increased self-confidence
Safety of Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga is a vigorous workout, and it is important to be aware of the potential risks before you start practicing. These risks include:
- Heat stroke
- Muscle cramps
It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard when you are first starting out. If you have any health concerns, you should talk to your doctor before starting Bikram Yoga.
How to Practice Bikram Yoga
If you are interested in trying Bikram Yoga, there are a few things you need to know. First, you will need to find a Bikram Yoga studio near you. You can find a list of studios on the Bikram Yoga website.
Once you have found a studio, you will need to sign up for a class. Classes are typically 90 minutes long, and they are held in a room that is heated to 105 °F (41 °C).
When you arrive at class, you will need to change into comfortable clothing that you can move easily in. You will also need to bring a towel and a water bottle.
The first part of class will be a warm-up. This will help you to prepare your body for the more challenging postures. The warm-up will include walking, jogging, and arm circles.
After the warm-up, you will start practicing the 26 postures. The postures are done in a specific order, and they are designed to work all of the major muscle groups in your body.
The postures are held for a few breaths, and you will be instructed to breathe deeply throughout the class. Deep breathing helps to detoxify your body and to improve your circulation.
At the end of class, you will cool down. This will help your body to return to its normal temperature. The cool-down will include stretching and savasana, which is a deep relaxation pose.
Bikram Yoga is a challenging but rewarding workout. It can help you to improve your flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health. It can also help you to reduce stress, improve your sleep, and increase your energy levels. If you are looking for a vigorous workout that will also help you to improve your overall health, Bikram Yoga may be the right choice for you.