Hi yogis, welcome, welcome back to my humble yoga blog 😀
In this episode or post, we’ll be going through Bikram yoga for beginners out there comme moi! I’m going to go over Bikram yoga and hot yoga in one shot as there are very little differences between these two.
Sometimes, people are more accustomed to or more familiar with Hot yoga classes rather than Bikram yoga nowadays (or at least in my experience). But Bikram, through my readings is basically the founder of the yoga practice, practiced in a hot sauna-like room.
So, if you’re interested in getting to go a bit deeper into Bikram yoga and what it’s all about, let’s get to it! 🙂
P/s: To read on where I do my daily yoga practice, check out my review on Alo Moves here.
Read More: Different Types of Yoga And Their Benefits
History of Bikram Yoga
The name Bikram yoga comes from its founder, Bikram Choudhury who had been practicing and teaching yoga internationally for a long period of his life.
He basically discovered “hot” yoga when he used to switch on the heaters in a room in order to make it easier for the students to actually go into the poses and basically stretch the body. He did this when he was teaching in Japan and took this practice of his to be an integral part of his yoga studio or school when he was teaching in the US.
Bikram believes that in order to properly stretch, detoxify the body and to reap the many other benefits, the practice has to be done in a precise 26 poses yoga sequence that must be performed in a hot sauna-like room, around 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celcius. It is true that our body can go into a deeper stretch in hot temperature by the way 🙂
*While Bikram yoga has a very strict sequence, Hot yoga on the other hand, does not.
However, if you’re a fan of Bikram, I’ve got some bad news for you….
Apparently, he had been sued multiple times for sexual harassments (also others like defamation) from about 7 different women. And some also say that he hadn’t been living the “yoga” life at all looking at his spending and “greediness” when it comes to people going to his teacher training as well as franchising his yoga practice.
Anyway, he filed for a bankruptcy for not getting able to pay the lawsuit and hadn’t been in the US ever since. He now still teaches this practice and hold teacher training in Mexico.
This is probably why there’s a new branch that came out after Bikram yoga, called Hot yoga, perhaps in response to the allegations.
But don’t let that stray you away from trying out Bikram or Hot yoga!
The Class Is… Interesting!
So…. yes, the class can rather be interesting. I mean Bikram or Hot yoga, to be compared with other yoga types out there are pretty different on its own already. There are a few things that are a bit different than a normal yoga class:-
- It’s practiced in a hotttt big sauna room with mirrors. Mirrors for you to see how your body moves.
- The instructors are less likely to demonstrate the moves. They will say the instructions and you gotta listen to them very carefully. The instructors are trained to teach like this. But it’s okay, you’ll get the hang of it after a few classes 🙂
- They have copypasted sequence of 26 yoga poses & the teachers will sort of have a script of how to meditate the class.
Sometimes staying in the hot sauna-like room for 90 minutes can be a problem for some people, especially when you’re not used to the temperature. It can make you feel dizzy perhaps due to dehydration. You can first just take a sit and try to focus on your breaths but if it’s not getting any better, you can step outside. Some people say it’s rude to interrupt a yoga class, but boo boo, your safety comes first.
Remember, listen to your body!
What To Prepare Before The Class
- Hydrate yourself well.
- This doesn’t mean that you need to chug the whole water bottle before the class. But try to time yourself throughout the day before your class to always have at least a few sips of water.
- Don’t go after a drinking night.
- When you consume alcohol, your body tends to be dehydrated. And you just don’t want to de dehydrate yourself again by going to Bikram or Hot yoga. Some say it’s going to help with removing toxins in the body, but I’m afraid that’s not really correct… You can Google it :/
- Don’t overeat.
- Try not to eat too much a few hours before the class. My personal routine is to eat 3 to 4 hours before. I can take a bread or banana with honey before the class just to give a little energy boost but definitely nothing that’s too heavy.
- Don’t be late to the class.
- It’s good to have a little bit of time to get your body used to the heat first 🙂
- Wear breathable workout clothes.
- I usually wear cotton during my yoga practice cause my body doesn’t sweat that much (only my palms do). But don’t do that with Bikram or Hot yoga. Wear something that will keep you rather dry – which is definitely NOT cotton.
- Bring a towel.
- & bring a good gripping yoga mat.
26 Postures Repeated Twice
So I’m pretty sure by now, you’d get the idea that Bikram yoga basically has a rather strict sequence of 26 yoga postures, repeated twice in a room that feels like a sauna and 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celcius, & 40% humidity, for 90 minutes straight.
You can take a look at the postures here: https://www.bikramyoga.com/about/26-postures/
Below are some videos on Bikram yoga that are available on YouTube for you to get a further idea of what Bikram yoga is all about 🙂
Oh by the way, Bikram also published a book. It’s called:
Don’t Push It!
Due to the heat, like I’ve mentioned, you will be able to go into the poses even deeper. It’s good to train your body flexibility but you can somehow over stretch your muscle if you’re not really listening to your body. Just be a bit careful with this, especially if you’re already a pretty flexible person.
And with the humidity in the room, it can feel a lot hotter than what it is, since there is pretty much less room for your sweat to evaporate. You can feel and be dehydrated, even though you’ve hydrated yourself enough.
Bikram or Hot yoga are being done in a different setting and some people can adjust to the condition without any problem and some don’t. My advice is to really really listen to your body because you know your body best.
Like I’ve mentioned, if you’re not feeling good, you can step out of the room to be excused. Your well-being is far more important!
Anyway, have you guys tried Bikram or Hot yoga before? How do you guys like it? Let me know in the comment section below 🙂
Till my next post, Namaste.