Bikram Yoga is a special form of Yoga which was founded by the Indian Yoga guru Bikram Choudhury. It subsequently gained quite a bit of popularity. This yoga regime consists of sessions of a duration of about 90 minutes. In this duration the Yogi needs to go through 26 poses in succession. The special characteristic is that this form of Yoga needs to be performed in rooms where high temperature is maintained. The temperature typically goes as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Also the humidity is kept high at around 40 percent.
In recent times, different form of hot Yoga has become prevalent. But it must be remembered that Yoga performed in hot temperature is not necessarily Bikram Yoga. There has been lack of understanding among many people as to what is and what is not Bikram Yoga. A sizeable percentage of people doing hot Yoga erroneously think they are performing Bikram Yoga. In reality they might actually be performing Vinayasa Yoga inside a hot room.
Bikram Yoga and Its Creator
Bikram Choudhury was a seasoned Yoga practitioner and guru for many years in India. He created this form of Yoga and all the poses within, from his long experience and deep knowledge. Bikram had proven his mettle, time and again, in this ancient art and actually was able to develop this special branch which proved to be quite an effective one.
No matter what his life incidents suggests, Bikram Yoga no doubt has created buzz all around. Numerous Yoga studios throughout the world has embraced Bikram Yoga and has found celebrity fans like Robin Williams, Demi Moore and George Clooney
Bikram Yoga needs to be performed in special chambers where hot temperature is maintained. It has been claimed that this heat improves flexibility of the body. A common question is whether this extremely high temperature detrimental to the body or not. In many parts of India, during hot summer days, temperatures sore to this level. People have been living in these areas for years.
So, no, this temperature is not necessarily anything bad for the human body.
On the contrary performing Yoga in heat will make the body sweat heavily. Which is known to be an effective way of the body cleansing toxins.
Bikram Yoga Poses and Benefits
Now let’s talk about the 26 poses of the Bikram Yoga. The series of poses increases muscle strength, improves body flexibility and overall energy. As a result the practitioner feels holistically good. Although it may be the case that right at the beginning this form of Yoga may seem physically demanding. Also the high temperature may prove to be an extra deterrent.
But that should not discourage you to continue. As time passes your body will slowly adapt to the regime of Bikram Yoga. And the poses will eventually become easier to perform.
There are many poses which are included in Bikram Yoga sessions. Few of them and their good effects are mentioned below.
Hands To Feet Pose: Improves tone for joint ligaments and muscles for back and the upper portion of the body. Also proven to make the spinal cord more flexible.
Awkward Pose: This pose is particularly good for bones and joints. Known to be good for arthritis patients. It improves body balance and is good for people suffering from slipped discs. Also facilitates better blood circulation.
Half-Moon Pose: This one helps to increase core muscles strength thus making the body holistically strong. Also it has a good effect on proper kidney function and vertebral flexibility.
Standing Bow Pose: This particular pose may be a bit difficult to master. But if done correctly it can be excellent for the strengthening the spinal cord in the long run.
Balancing Stick Pose: The balancing stick pose is particularly good for the heart. In addition it helps to achieve improved concentration and good body posture.
Eagle Pose: This pose consisting of intricate body posture helps to open up the entire skeletal framework of the body. Not only that, it helps in improved blood circulation to the kidneys and the sex organs.
Standing Head to Knee: This can surely be said to be one of the challenging Yoga poses which both needs balance and flexibility. It is extremely good for the hamstrings and helps to make the body immensely flexible.
Out of the 26 we have talked about only 7 and you can already see the tremendous health benefits of Bikram yoga As Bikram Choudhury claims, if all 26 poses are done correctly and regularly, Bikram Yoga can surely provide a workout for every part of the body ranging from head to toe. There is a book authored by Bikram Choudhury himself. That can be an authentic source of information for this form of Yoga.
So before getting started with a Bikram yoga regime do your research either by reading relevant books or by searching the internet. And if you decide to join any institute, ensure that they offer authentic Bikram Yoga before enrolling. It is beyond any scope of doubt, the Bikram Yoga, if done correctly can yield tremendous health benefits. So if you feel motivated enough, there is no harm to give it a try.