Yoga has long been touted as having numerous health benefits, but a specific form of yoga called Bikram has been intriguing enough people to make it a noteworthy topic. Bikram, or hot yoga, is not the yoga most are used to. Students experience temperatures above 100 degrees with 40% humidity, and the class consists of a sequence of 26 poses that make up the 90 minute class. If it sounds intense, it’s because it is. But with this intensity comes vast, unique health benefits.
Purging sweat from the pores is actually the body’s way of cooling itself down. Sweat, as a tool for detoxification, has become popular recently, but sweat really contains mostly water with just trace amounts of other minerals. So although sweat itself does not function to cleanse the body, the amount of sweating that is done in a typical hot yoga class can leave students with the cleansed feeling that comes from sweating more than one ever knew to be possible. Additionally, due to all the sweating, students are guzzling water during and after practice—and that is proven to cleanse the body’s systems!
The temperature of the hot yoga room definitely has an impact on the ability of muscles to stretch safely. A student practicing in a typical yoga room will usually require some time to warm up their muscles before accomplishing their full potential for certain yoga postures. Sitting for 5 minutes in a hot yoga room before class will warm the muscles sufficiently and prepare them for use during class.
Hot yoga is 90 minutes long! During this hour and a half class, yoga instructors will lead students through a carefully designed set of 26 challenging poses that address the entire body.
Accomplishing the hot yoga sequence requires a great deal of focus. The body is already under stress attempting to cool its core temperature,while simultaneously students are challenging and testing their limits of strength and balance. The mind must almost separate from the body’s discomfort to accomplish and excel.
The combination of massive amounts of sweating, stretching, utilizing muscles to their limits, and sustaining the mental focus necessary to participate in a hot yoga class will leave students feeling completely drained—yet totally rejuvenated.
By Sharon Page; All Rights Reserved @2013