How hot is too hot. Hot yoga for beginners good idea or bad idea. Hard to know. Not a yoga practice I have done before. Bikram yoga as it is also known.
By all accounts great for flushing out the toxins we store in our bodies. This post will be everything you wanted to know about Bikram yoga but were afraid to ask.
Bikram Choudhury was born in Calcutta in 1944, Choudhury was practicing yoga at age four.
He has stated that he practiced yoga 4–6 hours every day.
He claims that at the age of thirteen he won the National India Yoga Championship and was undefeated for the following three years and retired as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion.
There are claims of fraudulent behavior as he had left the country when these events took place.
This is going to be a little bit more about the creator of Bikram yoga than i first had anticipated.
The research I have found namely on Wikipedia which I will leave links too.
Have claims of all sorts of improprieties which I won’t go in to detail in this post.
Feel free to read the attached link if interested.
Choudhury later devised the 26 postures sequence of Bikram Yoga and founded the Yoga College of India.
He has also written books and sings.
The postures are simply Hatha Yoga in hot conditions.
B.K.S Iyengar also created is own Iyengar yoga so not the first or should I say last to do so.
As of 2006, he had 1,650 yoga studios around the world.
In 2012, there were 330 studios in the United States and 600 worldwide.
A success story I have to say.
Health Side Effects:
A 2013 review of adverse issues from yoga discovered that Pranayama and Bikram were the most known quoted styles, and discovered injury arising mostly from teachers who trained intensely over a long time and who used difficult positions like handstands.
In Bikram most of the unfavorable events arose from the heat and included low salt levels due to consuming too much water and sweating.
Wear Light And Airy Clothing:
Due to hot conditions it is advisable to wear light and airy clothing.
Shorts sound like a great option for these types of classes.
You will sweat a lot. I practice Hatha Yoga and especially in summer conditions I have sweated a lot myself.
Be under no illusion you don’t need to be Nostradamus to know it going to be a sticky environment.
What to Bring?
The obvious is a yoga mat, two towels which is recommended by articles i have read.
They say you need to cover your mat with a towel and a personal towel to wipe the sweat away.
Water is going to be required to avoid cramping and feeling nausea.
Starting to get the impression this hot yoga is more challenging than expected.
Can You Eat Before Class?
Best to eat 60-90 minutes before your class so you are not to full.
Hard to do any type of yoga on a full stomach.
Drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated throughout the day, is highly recommended whether doing yoga or not.
Hot And Humid Conditions:
Some say get there early to acclimatize to the hot and humid conditions.
Best to advise your teacher, that you are new to the practice of Bikram Yoga.
You will need to shower now that you are dripping with sweat.
The toxins will sit on your skin and result in acne.
Depending on outside conditions you may need some warm clothing.
Drink plenty of water or some suggest Coconut water as it contains electrolytes which have been released from your body due to sweating.
90 Minute Classes:
Every Bikram Yoga class is 90 minutes and includes the 26 Bikram poses. During a class, you will perform all 26 poses twice.
By the end of the class, your whole body will have cleansed itself of any impurities and all of your organs will be massaged and functioning in top condition.
Bikram Yoga is done for general well-being and has both mental and physical benefits.
By increasing the release of endorphins, Bikram Yoga relieved one of every day stresses.
Bikram yoga comprises 26 yoga asanas and two pranayama exercises that never change.
The class is done in a hot and humid room which is heated to 105°F (40°C), in order to replicate the temperatures in India.
People who practice Bikram yoga practice these postures and pranayamas in order to lengthen and strengthen their bodies, and the heated room helps to stretch into the posture and sweat out toxins.
Bikram Yoga is often referred to as the 26+2 which makes up the 26 same poses and 2 breathing exercises.
Most poses are performed twice and they’re typically held between 6-60 seconds depending on the pose.
Below, you’ll find the 26 poses of Bikram yoga, so you can try it out for yourself at home with the heater going full blast.
Are you feeling it; personally what i will term as normal Yoga will do all the above.
The extra two Bikram sequence finishes in a kneeling posture and a pranayama exercise.
Specifically it’s the use of Kapalbhati breathing while in Vajrasana.
Copyright claims on Bikram Yoga:
Choudhury has claimed that Bikram Yoga is under copyright and that it could not be practiced by anyone whom he had not given authority to do so.
Choudhury began making those claims in 2011.
In 2011 Choudhury commenced a lawsuit against Yoga to the People, a competing yoga studio founded by a former student of Choudhury’s and with a location near one of the Bikram Yoga studios in New York, and later commenced another against the Florida-based Evolation Yoga.
Choudhury lost in both cases and appealed the decision, but the Court of Appeal ultimately dismissed his copyright claim over yoga poses in Bikram Yoga.
As a result of that lawsuit, the United States Copyright Office issued a clarification that yoga postures (asanas) could not be copyrighted in the way claimed by Choudhury, and that Yoga to the People and others could continue to freely teach these exercises.
Not sure how you can even consider copy writing Yoga as it has been available to the masses for 5000 years.
Quite bizarre to say the least.
Having digested all this information have to say i am little confused about the background of Bikram yoga and what it stands for.
I was considering trying a class but not at all interested now.
I dislike being negative about Yoga.
I will leave the moral judgments for you to decide.
I will say these findings are disturbing and go against what yoga is about.
The personal gratification one attains from yoga is of great concern to me.
My opinion would be if you are not an experienced yogi the classes could be a difficult starting point.
All the indications on hot yoga is it could be quite demanding under the conditions one has to practice these asanas.
So beginner beware. You have to know your limitations.
You are young person that is quite fit no problem for you.
A senior would be advised to avoid these types of classes especially if you are beginning your yoga journey.
I will not tell you what to do as we all have the right to choose for ourselves.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.
I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.
I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet