HEALTH & WELLNESS: HOT YOGA
It’s no secret that yoga has been a fitness favorite amongst athletes, celebrities and everyday enthusiasts, but the long-appreciated workout regimen has recently undergone a transformation and a surge in popularity. One of the hottest trends to hit studios across the nation in recent years is Bikram yoga or better known as “hot yoga.”
Bikram yoga has captured the minds and bodies of yoginis from beginning practitioners to veteran followers. Bikram yoga brings the added bonus of sweating and flexing in rooms that reach over 100 degrees to better help the individual reach the highest levels of satisfaction.
Bikram yoga is the creation of master yogi Bikram Choudhury who founded the discipline after suffering a severe knee-injury that should have rendered him without the ability to walk. It was at this time that Choudhury took refuge in yoga and with great amounts of faith began his road to recovery. During this rehabilitation, he perfected the 26 poses that make up the entire sequence of exercises along with 2 breathing exercises. Choudhury added the use of heat when he was traveling abroad to places that were “too cold” and subsequently stumbled upon the added benefit of turning up the heat while practicing yoga.
The scorching hot heat of 105 degrees coupled with high levels of humidity – 50 % to be exact – actually helps yoginis do more than just break a sweat. Research has shown that “Hot yoga” can actually help with diabetes by reducing blood-sugar levels, respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies, and, in some cases, promotes thyroid regulation.
Traditional enrichments of increased flexibility, weight loss, and strength are taken to the next level in Bikram yoga. Maximum health benefits are reached through Bikram’s rigorous poses all done in sequence to stretch out one muscle after the other, each stretch setting up the perfect next stretch for every part of the body.
Choudhury’s classes are designed so that anyone may step in and embrace the challenges of Bikram yoga regardless of fitness level. From beginning classes for the curious to advanced classes for those who have memorized the poses by heart, no aspiring yogini will be left behind.
At each level, everyone practices the signature 26 pose sequence, which is what Bikram yoga. At the end of each 90 minute session, students stagger out of the studio leaving behind the stress of the day, channeling inner peace, and emerging as individuals with well-balanced emotions, well at least until their next session.
There are many hot yoga studies across the United States, but only one serves as the headquarters. Nestled in the hills of Los Angeles, Bikram’s Yoga College of India World Headquarters administers classes, daily.
For more information on Bikram Yoga and all it has to offer visit www.bikramyoga.com.