I remember my first Bikram yoga experience clearly; it was a cold day and my mom and I were keen to be in a nice warm room while it was pouring rain outside. Several people around me had warned me about Bikram yoga; ‘you can get very dizzy or feel nauseous’ or ‘it stinks and it is not enjoyable’. So we were a bit nervous after all those warnings. After we had minimized our clothes to a sport bra and a short trouser, we were ready to go. It was hot and sweaty for sure, but I did not felt nauseous, dizzy or unbearable uncomfortable. As a sauna lover I quite enjoyed the heat actually. Curious to know more about Bikram yoga?
Bikram yoga is developed from traditional Hatha yoga techniques by Bikram Choudhury. He began his yoga journey at age four and practised yoga 4-6 hours every day. The advertised health effects of Bikram yoga are endless; proper weight loss or gain, increased muscle tone, prevention of illness and injury, increased flexibility and it limits the effect of aging. The yoga is practised in a room heated to 38 – 40°C and with 40% humidity. The heat warms your muscles which allows for deeper and safer stretching, reduces stress and tension and detoxifies your body quickly and thoroughly. The classes run 90 minutes and consist of a unique series of 26 Hatha yoga postures and two breathing exercises.
People from all walks of life, ages and physical conditions can practice Bikram yoga, including beginners students. The best way to discover if Bikram yoga is suitable for you is to try it out a couple of times. The first class is probably overwhelming and intense, the main goal is to stay in the heated room for 90 minutes. During a second and third class you have another chance to feel and experience this yoga style more deeply. Since the class includes a fixed set of postures, there is not much diversity compared with a Vinyasa yoga class for example. Bikram yoga is a very personal practice, no music is used and you watch yourself in the mirrors while practicing the postures. Most people either love it or hate it. Bikram yoga provides you with the tools to refine your skills of concentration and determination, to build your patience, self-control and faith. In addition, your physical body will feel and look better. And remember:
“You are never too late, never too old, never too sick to do yoga and start from scratch again.”
– Bikram Choudhury –