What is Bikram Yoga?
Article by Adrianna Noton
Also known as ‘hot yoga,’ Bikram yoga is a type of yoga that concentrates on the cleansing of the body and on improving one’s physical strength and endurance. It is practiced in rooms that have a temperature of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) or a bit more. Yoga master Bikram Choudhury is the creator of Bikram yoga. This type of exercise consists of a series of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises that are performed twice in a 90 minute session.
When Yoga is performed at a very warm temperature, it causes one to perspire. It is believed that the sweating process helps the body eliminate accumulated toxins, infection, and bacteria. As well, the warm temperature makes stretching the muscles much easier because the muscles become more flexible when warm. The entire process is designed to rejuvenate the body and improve ones over all health and well being.
The warm room helps one to stretch more effectively, alleviate tension and stress, provide pain relief, tone muscles, burn calories, strengthen the spine, increase energy levels, increase balance and coordination, and prevent muscle, tissue, and tendon injury. The result is stimulated blood circulation and restoring health to the joints and muscles.
When engaged in Bikram yoga, one will be taken through a series of 26 poses which stimulates and improves brain activity, lungs, muscles, heart, mental fitness, and blood circulation. There are two descriptions of the 26 poses that are referred to as pranayama (breathing exercises) and asanas (postures.) Both work in unison to provide optimum results. For instance, many people have reported an improvement in lung capacity. This is because oxygen exchange is improved as well as the increase in blood circulation.
When one follows the 26 poses in order, the increase in blood circulation will deliver a fresh oxygen supply to the organs, joints, and muscles. As one holds a pose, circulation is temporality slowed thereby causing the heart to work harder which delivers fresh blood throughout the body. Once one ends the pose, the fresh oxygenated blood delivers nutrients throughout the body, including the organs, while removing toxins, bacteria, and other harmful substances. The result is a restoration of the health of the body’s organs, muscles, and tissues.
It helps one to strengthen muscles, maintain their weight, and relax the mind and body which improves one’s emotional well being. The overall effect is a feeling of good health, both mentally and physically.
Originating in India, yoga is the practice of physical poses which is designed to improve the body, mind, and spirit. Millions of people from all over the world now practice yoga. Since its inception centuries ago, yoga has evolved to encompass many different types with their own unique benefits.
Bikram Yoga is one type of yoga that has become very popular in recent years. It is a relatively new form of yoga that is rooted in ancient yoga practices that are popular for those who want to achieve optimum mind and body fitness levels while engaging in an effective body detoxifying practice.
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