Since it became popularized in the West during the early 1970s, Bikram Yoga has gone from relatively unknown to quite popular, and is now one of the most widely practiced yoga styles.
One of the main reasons for its popularity is that the hot, humid environment is believed to offer unique health benefits that the other styles of yoga don’t provide. Keep reading to learn all about the benefits of Bikram Yoga.
Benefit 1 – Better Balance
Bikram Yoga involves many poses that test your balance to the limit. For example, Dandayamana-Dhanurasana (Standing Bow Pose), Dandayamana-Janushirasana (Standing Head To Knee Pose), Garurasana (Eagle Pose), Padangustasana (Toe Stand Pose), Tuladandasana (Balancing Stick Pose) and Tadasana (Tree Pose) all involve supporting your body on one leg. By mastering these poses, your balance and core stability improve significantly.
Benefit 2 – Better Breathing
Proper breathing is emphasized throughout every 90 minute Bikram Yoga session. In addition to this, the first exercise in the sequence – Pranayama (Standing Deep Breathing Pose) and the last exercise in the sequence – Kapalbhati In Vajrasana (Blowing In Firm Pose), both fully focus on the breath and help to strengthen your lungs and improve your breathing technique.
Benefit 3 – Detoxification Of The Body
When you sweat, toxins are expelled from your body. Bikram Yoga maximizes sweating in two ways. First, every Bikram Yoga session takes place in a heated room with a temperature of 104°F (40°C) and a humidity of 40% which naturally stimulates sweating. Second, Bikram Yoga exercises are performed at a high intensity which promotes further sweating and toxin release.
Benefit 4 – Enhanced Circulation
The hot environment of a Bikram Yoga studio has a positive effect on your circulation. Bikram Yoga exercises also help to relax your blood vessels and stimulate the flow of blood within your body.
Benefit 5 – Enhanced Flexibility
One of the biggest benefits across all styles of yoga is enhanced flexibility. The challenging poses stretch out your joints and muscles and enhance their range of motion. This increased flexibility that you get from practicing yoga helps to lower your injury risk, reduce tension within your body, soothe aches and pains and improve the quality of your day to day life.
Benefit 6 – Healthier Mind
Bikram Yoga doesn’t just enhance your body, it also enhances your mind. All 26 exercises help to develop a deep level of focus, lower your stress levels, reduce thought and promote mental clarity. As you continue to practice Bikram Yoga, you’ll find that you feel increasingly calmer and more relaxed, both inside and outside the yoga studio.
Benefit 7 – Increased Fat Burning
The hot, humid atmosphere of a Bikram Yoga class combined with intense nature of the exercises is perfect for fat loss. According to FitDay, Bikram Yoga blasts through an impressive 630 calories per hour which is 360% more calories than traditional Hatha Yoga (which uses up 175 calories per hour). With Bikram Yoga classes running for 90 minutes, you’ll actually burn off 945 calories per session and this makes it one of the best fat torching exercises out there.
Benefit 8 – Improved Posture
Many of the Bikram Yoga poses stretch out your spine and promote proper spinal alignment. By practicing them regularly, you can permanently strengthen and straighten your spine and improve your posture. Not only does this help alleviate spinal problems but it also improves your breathing and enhances your circulation.
Benefit 9 – Protection Against Chronic Disease
Bikram Yoga helps combat chronic disease in multiple ways. First, it helps calm your mind and reduce your stress levels. Stress is one of primary causes of chronic disease and by removing it from your body, you immediately protect yourself. Second, the higher level of physical health that you get from performing Bikram Yoga regularly lowers your chronic disease risk.
Benefit 10 – Stronger Muscles
One final benefit of Bikram Yoga is that it strengthens all the muscles in your body. Each of the poses engage multiple muscles and by completing a full Bikram Yoga sequence, you get a great full body workout.
As you can see, there are so many reasons to give Bikram Yoga a try. No matter what your fitness goals are, Bikram Yoga can help you achieve them. So if you haven’t done so already, give Bikram Yoga a go and unlock all the benefits that it provides.