Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class a 90 minute Hatha Yoga class consisting of a specific sequential series of twenty-six Hatha Yoga postures and two breathing exercises performed in a room heated to approximately 105°F and 40% humidity. The instructor does not demonstrate the postures, but gives specific verbal instructions on how to safely enter and exit the posture and get maximum benefit while in the posture. All Bikram Yoga classes are taught by certified instructors who have graduated from Bikram's Yoga College of India's nine week intensive training program. In 90 minutes you will work your entire body; nothing is left out!
Why is the room heated?
The room is intentionally heated to approximately 105°F and 40% humidity to increase your flexibility by warming your muscles and allowing you to work deeper with less risk of injury. Bikram likes to use the analogy of making a sword from a piece of steel. You first heat the steel so it becomes soft. Then you can use a hammer to change the shape into the sword you want. If you tried to hammer a sword from cold steel, you would break your hand, your hammer, your arm, and all your connecting joints. You are the piece of steel, the hammer is the posture. When you do Hatha Yoga in the heat, your body is malleable; you are changing the construction of your body. The heat also stimulates the cardiovascular system and promotes sweating which flushes toxins from your body (including organic chemicals, solvents, drugs, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metals). The heat/humidity combination is SO good for you! The conditions of the room relieve asthma, bronchitis, pain (both chronic and incidental), joint immobility, rheumatism, psoriasis, symptoms of the common cold, appetite loss, depression, consequences of congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high levels of stress hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin. Furthermore, the heat/humidity/exercise combination increases performance in endurance sport, plasma volume and red cell volume, decreases systolic blood pressure, significantly improves exercise tolerance, increases peak respiratory oxygen uptake, and enhances anaerobic threshold, improves vasodilation, improves heart arrhythmia, and reduces heart rate on exercise.
What if I'm not flexible?
No problem! You come to yoga to gain flexibility and strength, creating a healthy, balanced body composition! This is the most common misconception that prevents people from coming to a yoga class. Yoga is NOT about how flexible you are, but about strengthening your body and spine in all directions. All that matters is that you try the right way, go to your personal 'edge' and you will get 100% of the benefit! You will be amazed by how quickly your flexibility will increase with a regular Bikram practice.
Is it a cardiovascular workout and CAN I LOSE WEIGHT?
YES! No matter what your level of fitness, you will find Bikram yoga very challenging. Each posture combines strength, flexibility and balance to work your whole body "inside out from the bones to the skin fingertips to the toes." Whenever you are moving your body, you are burning calories. In a 90 minute Bikram yoga class you can burn up to 1,200 calories! You'll find as you feel better about your body, you'll begin to make better food choices. Meanwhile, your cravings for sugar, fat and caffeine will decrease, and you'll eat less junk — good news for your waistline! With persistence, patience and dedication, you can lose inches and develop muscle tone and strength that might never come from other forms of exercise.
What are some of the benefits of Bikram Yoga?
There are abundant benefits to Bikram yoga! It promotes relaxation, increases energy, reduces stress, increases blood circulation, and improves strength, flexibility, balance, concentration, determination, willpower, patience and self-esteem. Regular practice (at least three times a week) can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of many chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and thyroid disorders. It also encourages you to make better food and beverage choices. Bikram Yoga is proven to help those suffering from insomnia, depression, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, shoulder, knee and back injuries. After several months of regular practice you will notice that you do not need as much food or sleep to feel healthy, happy and energized throughout the entire day!
What is the difference between Bikram Yoga and other kinds of yoga?
The biggest difference is that Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class is accessible to EVERY body. No matter your age, weight, gender, disease, disorder, injury, level of fitness or previous yoga experience you CAN do Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class and get 100% of the benefit for your body. Every class consists of the same breathing exercises and Hatha Yoga postures in the same order. This consistency allows you to improve your body more rapidly and SEE your improvement! Also, Bikram Yoga is the original HOT yoga.
What should I wear to class?
Wear something you are comfortable sweating in and that allows free movement of your whole body. Keep in mind that your sweat is like your air conditioning system. The more skin you have exposed, the cooler you will be. Also, you will use the mirror to match your body to the spoken words of the teacher, so the less obstructed view of your body, the better! Women should wear:
shorts (or tight fitting Capri pants) NO bikini bottoms please,
a leotard, jog bra or halter top Men should wear:
snug fitting bathing trunks or shorts with underwear
Please remember to remove all make-up and jewelry and tie your hair back.
How much water should I drink?
LOTS! You can lose up to 1.5 liters of water during class. Living in an arid climate, you should be drinking at least 2 liters per day, every day. On the days you practice Bikram Yoga, you'll need up to 5 liters. Most of your water intake should be at least 2 hours before and after class. Don't fill up on the way to class, or during class; a full stomach may make you uncomfortable.
How often should I practice?
As often as you can! Bikram says, "for great results, practice three times per week. For life changing results, practice six days per week." One class is better than nothing. Six classes per week (with one day rest) is amazing!
Do I need to supplement my diet?
Everyone is different — it is a matter of learning how to listen to your body. If you're feeling sluggish, dizzy or even nauseous during or after the class you may be dehydrated or mineral deficient. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. You might also like to try some electrolytes for a perfect ratio of sodium and potassium. We offer a variety of supplements for purchase so you can find what works for you!
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