Whether you call it Bikram or hot yoga, there is no denying the popularity of this type of yoga. While it is synonymous with fun for some, others find hot yoga rather rhymes with… discomfort. The great heat has its advantages and drawbacks, so here are a few things that might be useful to know before your first experience.
Indeed, pretty hot! The temperature in the room where a Bikram yoga class takes place is maintained at 40.6 °C. It’s not for everyone – if you are not particularly comfortable in the scorching heat during the summer, a sequence of 26 yoga postures in a heated room might not be adapted to your needs.
What to wear and bring?
The key word in Bikram is hydration. It’s essential to bring a bottle of nice cool water to drink to your heart’s content throughout the class. Plan ahead – make sure to drink enough in the hours before and after your session.
Don’t sweat it – just don’t forget your towel! Clothing-wise, many will tell you to wear as little as possible and to opt for fabrics that breathe. It is really a question of taste because in such heat, your clothes will soon be soaked through with sweat.
Benefits of Bikram
As you might have guessed, the intense heat maintained throughout Bikram sessions serves a purpose. Among other things, it increases your body’s flexibility by warming up your muscles, thus reducing the risk of stretching-related injuries. According to some sources, sustained sweating throughout Bikram sessions enables your body to eliminate toxins.
Not only good sides
The heat maintained in a Bikram yoga studio can bother those who are not as used to it – that is where hydration plays a key role. In some cases, yogis can feel dizzy or nauseated. In any event, if you have a medical condition that requires follow-up, talk to your doctor before getting started.
While Bikram is not for everyone, thousands of people practice it, whether they are beginners or experienced. Remember to go at your own pace, take breaks whenever you want… and be ready to get wet! Some enthusiasts claim they found out, much to their surprise, that even their elbows could sweat! Bikram adepts, do you have any tips – or anecdotes! – to share with those who would like to try it out?