Bikram Yoga is hot! In more ways than one… With its cult following (Beyonce’s a fan), this is yoga for the hardcore amongst you.
Carried out in a temperature of around 105 degrees, this sweaty workout provides some major health benefits.
1. It’s awesome for weight loss…!
Sure – you sweat. And that means that you lose water – and also weight. But this isn’t any good when it comes to sustained weight loss, because as soon as you drink again (and boy, will you be guzzling the H2O) you’ll put all that fluid weight loss back on again.
But fear not, because Bikram Yoga really is a great for weight loss. And it’s because of the following reasons:
- Practicing yoga in such a hot environment increases your pulse rate far more than regular yoga. And when you do this on a regular basis, it increases the metabolism of the body. When you do this, the body burns more calories – not just when carrying out the exercises, but afterwards as well – sometimes for hours…
- Sweating profusely (and oh yes, you will) has the effect of improving the lymphatic system. This in turn helps to flush toxins from the body. And any time you do this, you help your system (and that includes the digestion) work more efficiently.
- It increases muscle tone. More than anything, increasing muscle mass will help you lose weight. Because lean muscle burns more calories than fat – even when you’re asleep. And ladies, don’t worry… It’s impossible for you to bulk up – you simply don’t have the hormones for it…
2. It has amazing beneficial effects for your well being
Looking for ways to reduce stress? Well look no further. Getting hot and sweaty in a Bikram Yoga class is an amazing stress reliever. Why is that? Well, 60-90 minutes of busting your ass holding various poses and sweating like a horse really is a case of mind over matter!
But it’s when you finish that it really counts, because you’ll experience a massive endorphin ‘rush’, that’ll make you feel incredible. In addition, knowing that you can get through such a session will do amazing things for your self confidence.
3. It does wonders for your fluid intake
It’s recommended that you ensure you drink enough not only post-class, but the day before as well. If you take on board the advised 10 glasses of water that day, and then a couple of glasses two hours before the class, plus whatever you need during the class, then you’ve already drunk way more than most people tend to on a regular basis.
And hey – you’ll continue to drink fluids after the class at a higher rate as well. This is, with no question of a doubt, the very best way to moisturize your skin. Sure, you can spend hundreds of bucks on specialized lotions and potions. But the purest and simplest way to keep your skin (and the rest of your body) hydrated is to drink enough water.
4. You’re less likely to injure yourself
Contrary to popular belief, carrying out yoga in a hot room DOES NOT increase the likelihood of you overstretching. In fact, it’s completely the opposite. With the warmth increasing the blood flow to your muscles, they become more pliable. So practicing Bikram Yoga actually makes you even more flexible.
5. It can assist with the healing of various musculoskeletal injuries
OK, so we say this one with a caveat… And that’s that if you do have an existing injury, you should always consult your medical specialist before undertaking such physical activity.
However, Bikram Yoga creates what instructors like to refer to as ‘the tourniquet effect’. Although this isn’t an official term, it does describe what it does in a literal way. And this is to squeeze the blood through the system, moving oxygenated blood around the body in a faster than usual rate. This means an increase blood and nutrient flow rate, and this aids any joint and/or ligament issues in their recovery.
Your flexibility is increased during the poses, and the pauses afterwards allow the blood to rush through the system (and injured part of the body), carrying away toxins and bringing nutrients to the area.