By Gina Paulhus, Owner of Home Bodies
Bikram Yoga is named after its founder - Bikram Choudhury, who studied Yoga with Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Paramahansa Yogananda. It is a series of 26 poses performed in a room with temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Each yoga pose is usually performed twice and held for a certain period of time. The series is very carefully orchestrated so that one pose leads to the next for a full body stretch and strengthening in the safest manner. Yoga sessions start with a special kind of breathing that helps warm your body up from the inside out. Then there are standing bends to stretch and warm up your spine. Balancing exercises and a cardiovascular series come next. Finally it’s time to do the floor exercises, between which there is a rest period where you lie on the mat and allow the benefits to be absorbed by the body. At the end comes another breathing exercise which helps eliminate toxins.
Why practice Yoga in a heated room?
*Heat is used in Bikram Yoga in order to allow you to go deeper and safer into a yoga pose.
*Your body becomes more flexible in the heat and since most poses used in Bikram are physically challenging, heat allows you to get into a pose that you never imagined you can do.
*It also reduces the risk of injuries, promotes sweating, and helps you release the toxins in your body.
*The Bikram Yoga poses not only work on your muscles but also on your internal organs.
*Each pose stretches and strengthens your muscles, joints, and ligaments and, at the same time release the toxins and work on your internal organs such as the glands and the nervous system.
Some people are often discouraged to try yoga by thinking that they are not flexible enough. Yoga is not about being flexible, but about strengthening your body and your spine in all directions with the goal of creating a union between the body, mind and spirit. All that matters is to try the right way without pushing yourself too far. Those who are strong tend to get much more flexible with yoga. Those who are flexible develop much more strength in yoga.
What are the Benefits of Bikram Yoga?
*Bikram Yoga is designed to ‘scientifically” warm and stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the order in which they should be stretched.
*The practice of Bikram Yoga promotes the cleansing of the body and release of toxins and utmost flexibility.
*It can also reduce stress and increase blood circulation.
*The practice of Bikram Yoga can help you reach an ideal weight and develop muscles.
*Anyone can practice Bikram Yoga: even people with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders may benefit in doing the yoga poses by reducing symptoms. Bikram is also one of the best ways to prevent any future ailments by keeping the body healthy.
In fact, it has helped its founder, Bikram, recover from a serious knee injury he acquired in his training for weightlifting. He had been told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk again. After consulting his yoga teacher, Bikram resumed his yoga practice and his daily performance of the asanas allowed him to rebuild his muscle and walk again. From celebrities, to athletes, to ordinary people, most everyone that tries it agrees that Bikram Yoga helped them in reaching high levels of performance, extending their careers, healing their bodies, achieving mental clarity and increased energy.
Personally? I have been practicing a couple of times a week for three months. I have been able to heal some chronic nagging injuries and prevent new injuries that I tend to develop from my other workouts. I have improved strength, flexibility, and stamina, am sleeping better at night, have more energy during the day, have less stress and anxiety, need less medication, and enjoy better digestion. I think that’s a pretty good deal!! Plus it just feels great--it’s like getting a massage inside and out.
Come join me at Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley
Or google bikram yoga to find a studio near where you live.
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