Hot Yoga classes
Article by Chris Boundikas
Yoga has been a practiced discipline for thousands of years (since 3300 B.C.E, according to some) Yoga involves many different practices with the purpose of cultivating a steady mind and body state. However, in the western world, it is mostly known as a form of exercise with a focus on different postures. During the seventies, these Yoga exercises, or hantha’s, gained an increased popularity in the United States prompting several practitioners of Yoga to open classes in the country. One of these practitioners, or Yogis, was Bikram Choudhury who opened his first hot yoga class in Los Angeles in the late seventies. Hot yoga utilizes high temperature to provide the body with flexibility and to induce detoxification through sweating. Thanks to Bikram, hot Yoga classes can now be found everywhere in the United States.
Hot yoga classes have criticized as being overly strenuous and Bikram Choudhury has been portrayed as materialistic and aggressive in his claims to copyright of his trademarked exercise sequences. The 100 plus degree temperatures that the class is held can induce dizziness in first timers due to dehydration and the rise in core body temperature makes hot yoga unsafe for pregnant women. Bikram has acted every part the mogul in his planned franchise expansion. He has sued other Yogi groups for using his methods and requires all Bikram Yoga instructors to be certified by his Los Angeles based world headquarters.
When going to a hot yoga class for the first time, there are a few things you should prepare for. First thing is that you dress appropriately. The studio is very hot and most people tend to wear as little as possible. Also, you must make sure to drink plenty of water before and after the sessions since you will be sweating a lot. It is also advisable that you abstain from eating for at least two hours before the class starts. Hot yoga classes are considered intense and many beginners feel fatigued after the first couple of days. This feeling will pass as you progress further and your body adapts to the heat and the routine.
Hot Yoga classes can now be found in almost every corner of the United States with studios in 35 of the 50 states. In San Francisco alone, there are eight studios run by certified Bikram Yoga instructors scattered throughout the city. Bikram Yoga has also spread throughout the world from Finland to the Philippines. The growing popularity of hot yoga almost guarantees the rise in rival practices that are similar to Bikram’s techniques yet are not necessarily certified by Bikram’s Yoga College of India. The instructors of these rogue hot yoga classes have claimed that copyright cannot be extended on techniques that are already many centuries old, yet have undoubtedly benefited from Bikram’s now famous name.
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