Bikram yoga is a style of yogic practice developed by Bikram Choudhury, and involves doing a specific set of poses in a particular sequence. In its modern application, Bikram yoga is often interchanged with Hot yoga because both involve doing yoga poses in a heated, sauna-like room. The main difference between the two is that Bikram yoga follows a set sequence of poses, while Hot yoga is more "variable" in terms of the positions taught and practiced.
Who Can Do Bikram Yoga?
Bikram yoga is recommended for those who want to do yoga specifically for weight loss, but can be practiced by practically anyone. However, Bikram involves doing 26 poses in a heated room, so it does require a certain level of physical fitness and tolerance for heat. Bikram may not be the style for you if you tend to get dehydrated easily, because most Bikram yoga class instructors don't allow students to drink and rehydrate whenever they like. Some have set periods for "water breaks" to maximize the results of the workout.
Benefits of Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is popular among those who want to get into yoga for weight loss because the added element of heat enables them to sweat more while working out. But in addition to sweating buckets and shedding pounds, Bikram yoga is also a good way to detoxify your body, build stamina, and increase flexibility. Also, by practicing in a heated room, your muscles are more warmed up, allowing you greater access to certain poses that you might not be able to achieve otherwise.
What You Need to Know
A warm and heated environment causes the muscles to relax and stretch, making it easier for you to do Bikram yoga poses. However, you should still be careful of overexerting yourself (read: overstretching your muscles). You might not feel the stretch while in session because of the heat, but once you are back outside in normal temperature, that's when the muscle pain might kick in. Our last tips? Only work on a level that's physically comfortable for you, wear minimal clothing, and don't forget to bring water.