What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga developed by well known Indian Physical Culturist, Bishnu Ghosh, brother of spiritual leader, Paramahansa Yogananda, and his student Bikram Choudhury which consists of a series of 26 postures (asanas) and two breathing exercises (pranayamas), carried out in a heated room.
Why the heat?
The studio is kept at a minimum temperature of approximately 105F (40C). The heat warms up your body allowing you to stretch into the postures (asanas) in a safer environment that is similar to India’s.
Can I lose weight?
Yes. With regular practice you can lose inches and develop muscle tone, strength and stamina. Your appetite and hormones will normalize and unhealthy cravings diminish. Between 350 to 1200 calories are burned in one Bikram Yoga class.
What if I am not flexible?
Perfect! This Yoga is for you! Yoga is not about how flexible you are, but about stretching your body and spine in all directions. All that matters is that you try the right way, go to your personal edge and you will get 100% benefit! With the heat and regular practice your flexibility (and strength) will increase dramatically.
What if I have never done yoga before?
Bikram Yoga is for everyone. Each class is open to beginners and follows the same format whether it is your first class or if you have been practicing for many years. It does not matter how well you do each posture, only that you try the right way.
Do I have to be fit?
Bikram Yoga is designed for all levels of fitness, but if you have special medical conditions or injuries, please consult your doctor first and inform your teacher before class.
What are the benefits?
- Provides total body workout
- Reduces stress
- Increases blood circulation
- Encourages detoxification.
- Excellent for healing and preventing back and knee pain, sports injuries and bad posture
- Strengthens your immune system and increases cell renewal
- Helps relieve arthritis
- Balances mood, improving mental clarity, learning patience and determination
- Regulates weight
- Revitalises skin and reduces the effects of aging
- Promotes relaxation and correct breathing
- Builds overall strength, flexibility, health and vitality
How often do I go?
The more you practice, the better and faster the results, unlike going to the gym you do not need a ‘rest day’ in between classes. Once, twice….7 days a week, as many times as you can! As a beginner, Bikram recommends practicing everyday for 60 days to change your body and experience the benefits of his series. After the 60 days you should still not feel complacent about doing your yoga. Doing this yoga class every day is like everything else you do in your life that is good for maintaining life. You don’t give up doing those things, because of the daily benefit you receive from them. If however, 60 days is not conducive to your schedule, Bikram recommends 3 classes per week minimum to begin to heal your body. The more you are able to come, the more benefits you will receive.
How will I advance in my practice if the poses are always the same?
There will always be deeper places to experience through yoga asanas. Not only will you start opening up your body in ways you never thought possible, you will realize giving 100 percent and achieving stillness in every pose is a lifelong journey. Finding the focus, discipline and one point of concentration through the duration of the class are other ways to advance your practice. After several classes you will begin to experience the magic of Bikram’s yoga. Each class is like trying it for the first time all over again.
“EVERY DAY YOU WILL LEAVE OLD ACHES BEHIND AND FIND NEW ONES, STOP SNAPPING OR CLICKING OR POPPING IN ONE SPOT AND BEGIN IN ANOTHER. DON’T SCARE. IT JUST MEANS YOU FOUND A NEW FRONTIER IN YOUR BODY.” ~ BIKRAM CHOUDHURY