Saturday, June 25, 2011
Is Bikram Yoga a Good Idea?
By Faye Martins
Bikram Yoga is a type of yoga in which 26 poses and two breathing exercises are done in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, at 40 percent humidity. Developed in the early 1970s by Bikram Choudhury, Bikram Yoga has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years. Beginner’s classes run for exactly 90 minutes, and each class is performed in exactly the same way, every time. Bikram Yoga is often called “hot yoga.”
There are some definite pros and cons to this type of yoga. Some of the benefits include weight loss due to the large number of calories lost during each session. The profuse sweating that happens with each session helps to cleanse the body of toxins, and the warmth allows for more flexibility and deeper stretching.
Some other pros are that Bikram Yoga offers a great cardiovascular workout that is especially challenging during the first half of the class. Since each session will not vary at all, there can be a certain repetitive comfort to it. Bikram Yoga training is often less expensive than other flavors of yoga as well, because it has many attractive introductory offers.
Since some people don’t enjoy hot temperatures at all there is some controversy that has come out of this style of yoga, which includes the possible safety hazards of doing such strenuous exercise in a hot room. Some practitioners actually have spells of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, which could be related to a sudden loss of potassium and other electrolytes. If one is taking medication for high blood pressure it would be wise to consult with your doctor prior to practicing yoga in a hot room. Additionally, there is also a component of competition with these classes, which is unheard of in other types of yoga.
Some other cons are that the classes can become quite monotonous as there is never any variation to look forward to, and the 26 poses are done three times through the 90 minutes. The series of poses have been copyrighted by Bikran Choudhury, so deviance from the series is strictly forbidden, and there is also a reputation for Bikram Yoga instructors to be rather draconian. There is little attention given to the upper body with these poses, and there is a lot of standing, especially during the first half of the class.
Bikram Yoga is one of the most controversial styles of yoga in practice. There are those who believe that it is simply unsafe and those who believe that it is more of a brand than something that will bring the body, mind and spirit together as one. Some believe it is a physical style that makes one pay for the sins of bad health. It is certainly not a style of yoga that’s for everyone, but it has a very devoted following. Many loyal practitioners mention how much it has personally done for them. Others mention how a hot asana practice removes toxins from the body.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
See our selection of inexpensive yoga teacher training courses.
If you are a teacher, studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!