As health and fitness continue to come to the forefront of modern culture, more and more people are becoming aware of yoga.
People now realize the numerous health benefits that come with practicing yoga regularly and want in on its secrets. But, did you know that there are 8 separate types of yoga?
Some focus more on the length of the pose, some focus more on copious amounts of poses in a short timeframe, and some focus on the breathing more than anything else.
Possibly the most strenuous of them all is Bikram Yoga.
Here are 7 super interesting factoids about Bikram and why so many people swear allegiance to it.
1. It Gets REALLY Hot
While most people that have heard of Bikram Yoga know it’s nicknamed “Hot Yoga”, they don’t realize how hot a Bikram class can actually get.
Generally, you can expect a Bikram Yoga class to last 90 minutes long and reach upwards of 100 degrees with around 40 percent humidity. That means that you’re standing in 3-figure heat for an hour and a half.
Bikram is not just about giving you physical benefits, it’s also about mental strength — and you’re going to need every inch of it.
The main test is to not go for a drink of water or wipe the sweat away with a towel (more on that in a moment).
For now, you’re solely focused on bettering your mind and spirit through the harsh elements.
2. Teaches How to Cope with Stress
As previously mentioned, Bikram yoga forces you to prioritize your mental strength by preparing yourself for the tough 90-minutes ahead.
However, as soon as you’re 30 minutes in, all that preparation goes out the window and you’re forced to make real-time decisions.
Should I take a drink of water? Should I grab my things and leave? Am I even capable of doing this?
Variations of these thoughts are bound to pop into your head, but it takes a mentally strong individual to force that stress aside and find inner peace instead.
Such is the way of life: in a world that’s pushing you and pulling you in different directions, you can either run from your problems or face them head-on!
3. Rids Your Body of Toxins
Many people look at Bikram yoga and wonder is it really necessary to force someone to sweat THAT much? In short: yes, it is.
There are many unwanted toxins that creep into your body, such as excessive amounts of salt. The best way to rid yourself of those toxins is through sweatin’ it out.
If you find no other peace while sitting in the sauna yoga class known as “Bikram”, take solace in the fact you’re ridding your body of harmful minerals.
4. Lessen Your Chance of Injury
One of the most well-known facts of yoga as a whole is its ability to help speed your muscle recovery.
But Bikram yoga takes that a step further with the heat factoring in. The heat helps your muscles to loosen more and elongate into the poses for a further stretch.
Your muscles and joints will never feel better than when in the sauna, as it lets them operate at the temperature they were meant to. Have you ever wondered why your joints hurt when it’s cold? Now you know!
This allows your blood to pump more freely and give yourself more of a workout than in a typically-cooler gym temperature.
No such worry in a Bikram yoga class, where the instructor is purposefully cranking up the thermometer and letting the glass fog up from the humidity.
5. Great for Your Skin
Have you always wanted to have skin that glows, but haven’t been willing to drop huge amounts of money on skincare products to do so? You’re not alone.
Thankfully, Bikram yoga can help you achieve the same goal.
Due to the high heat conditions and rigorous sweating, your dead skin will be no more.
Gone are the days of applying aloe and cocoa butter to your dry spots 2-3 times a day. Just do Bikram yoga 1-2 times a week and you’ll achieve the same result.
It’s worth noting that you’ll want to be diligent about cleaning your yoga mat consistently after Bikram yoga.
6. Don’t Eat Within 2 Hours Before a Bikram Class
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make before going into a Bikram class (besides drinking so much water you’ll need to urinate constantly mid-class) is eating within 2 hours before the session.
Make sure to eat something light before going in, but save the entrees for either 2 hours before or an hour after class.
Having a full stomach will make you uncomfortable and also restrict your muscle motion. It could also lead to stomach pain; the room will be hot enough already, so be courteous to your fellow yogis.
Most importantly, be sure to have some form of electrolytes ready-to-roll after the class concludes.
7. Refuse to Wipe… the Sweat Off
Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually a bad idea to wipe the sweat off of your body while in a Bikram class.
The sweat is there to try and keep your body as close to a normal temperature as possible. By wiping the sweat off, you’re wiping off the only AC you have access to during class.
If it’s getting into your eyes, that’s one thing; otherwise, try not to wipe off any sweat and battle through it instead!
Bikram Yoga: a Yoga Practice Revelation
Now that you know a lot more about Bikram yoga, it’s time to give it a go for your first trial… after that, you’ll be hooked!
Be sure to read this article on yoga terminology for all you beginners out there to familiarize yourself with the terms.
Check back with Imcentered.com frequently for up-to-date articles on helpful yoga information and trends!