Guest article on Bikram yoga (aka hot yoga) written by Yoga and Fitness Instructor Emily Brathen.
Done in a room with a temperature of 104 degrees and 40% humidity, hot yoga or Bikram yoga as it’s popularly known is practiced for 90 minutes and consist of serious postures including 2 breathing sessions. It’s not only beneficial for your inner health but your outer health as well. Whether you are a veteran or you are thinking of about practicing Bikram hot yoga, there are some important things that you need for the sessions. However, if you are going for your first training, do not buy the items before you know your plan. Before looking at the essentials, here are the health benefits of Bikram yoga.
The Health Benefits of Bikram Yoga
1. Weight Loss
Practicing poses in 104 degrees room allows you to remove all the unnecessary weight and some fat from your body. You can also get rid of weight from your digestive functioning and improved metabolic rate.
Breathing heavily helps remove toxins from your body. The heat inside the yoga room also allows you to go little deeper because your muscles are at ease. The balancing, the stretching, and the increased body temperature help rid the blood of all the toxins.
3. Increases Blood Flow
Once your muscles have loosened, there will be an increased flow of blood throughout the body. This will in turn, boost your lymphatic system by distributing the white blood cells and massaging the lymph nodes thus improving your immune system.
4. Improves Breathing
With heat, you will not have to struggle a lot when breathing. Basically, there is no yoga without breathing. Once you start Bikram yoga training, you will learn how to breathe in the best way.
5. Improves Your Focus
The Bikram yoga routine can also help you improve your training. As you improve in your training, your determination will also improve and you will have a tremendous focus that can even carry over to your daily activities.
6. Improves Strength
Bikram yoga is not only low impact but also uses many muscles. The main focus of the exercise is the spinal cord which will in turn, help you have a healthy living. By holding the stretches and the poses for a long time, your muscles are strengthened, eventually giving you full body strength.
7. Balance And Mobility
Bikram also enhances a range of motions and joint mobility. This help supports your skeletal muscles as you try to balance against the gravity.
8. Promote Healing
Bikram yoga is primarily meant to promote healing. With regular practice, you can heal your injuries and prevent future injuries.
Essentials for Bikram Hot Yoga
Yoga Mat And Yoga Towels
Although having a yoga mat is very important, a towel is equally important. For most people, a normal width mat is just fine. However, you should avoid buying a rather too thin travel mat since some poses are practiced when you are kneeling down hence an extra cushioning is very much important. Because you will sweat a lot during training, you also need a yoga towel. If you are just starting out, a beach or a bath towel is just fine. But once you start attending the sessions regularly it’s advisable to have a yoga towel. You also need to have a hand towel to wipe out sweat from your face and eyes.
During the session, you may want to hydrate yourself. Having a good water bottle is the best way to do this. A squeezable water bottle is ideal since it will help your water stay cool in a hot room. It is also freezer safe, dishwasher, and less expensive.
Best Meditation Cushion
If you want to establish a dedicated space for meditation and to program your mind to go into meditation then you need the best meditation cushion. Remember, one of the reasons yoga came is to allow people to sit for long as they meditate without suffering any pain. This means meditation cushions is a very important requirement when it comes to practicing Bikram hot yoga
If you are going for Bikram yoga classes, don’t even think about wearing cotton clothes’. Instead of wearing a cotton shirt, choose a light fitting yoga top that has some straps. Some people are even wearing bra top in a Bikram class. Even if you don’t want to wear a top bra, you should know that it comes with a lot of benefits. Just like the top, putting on a light short is very important. Many people prefer small shorts that allow them to adjust to the height that they choose. However, you need to avoid shorts having zippered pockets as you will lie down a lot and these might interfere or make you uncomfortable. If you choose loose fitting shorts they should have internal liners to avoid having additional layers.
Mat And Clothes Bags
Currently, there are several mat bags and clothes bags in the market. The most important thing to note is what you are doing after the practice. You should also know how you will be reaching the studio. If you are walking back home, your needs are different from the person who is driving straight home. Once you are through with the practice, avoid rolling the mat. You can just fold them loosely because they are so damp. You also need to have a cute bag where you can drop your wet clothes once you are through with the training.
Yoga and mostly Bikram yoga has been a big fitness hype for a long time. Hot yoga is especially very popular because it can help you boost your heart rate and achieve deeper stretches. Although it’s not for the faint hearted, once you get used to it you can start enjoying its amazing benefits. Some of its benefits include detoxification, increased blood flow, improved breathing and focus, and improved strength and mobility. However, before you can start training it’s important to know the items that you need such as yoga mat and yoga towels, water bottle, best meditation cushion, clothes and mat bags. If you prepare well, you will have the best experience.
Emily is founder of BodyShape101.com, a blog where she and her associates talk about exercise, fitness, and yoga. Their aim is to help people like you to achieve perfect body. BodyShape101 is concentrated on exercise & fitness tips, and making the most out of it. She is also a mother of one and she tries to find balance between her passion and her biggest joy in life.