Bikram Yoga is the original hot yoga
What is Bikram Yoga?
It is a precise series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, practiced for 90 minutes in a room heated to 40°C with 40% humidity. Each Bikram Yoga class consists of a standing series and a floor series.
We begin with a standing series of warm-up postures that safely elevate core temperature, heart rate and metabolic rate to induce physiological and mental change in the body.
The rest of each class concludes with the floor series, which allows the body to continue healing in the heated conditions, even as the heart and metabolic rate lowers. The floor postures are separated by a brief rest to allow you to recover, re-oxygenate your body and prepare for the next posture.
Why the heat?
The heat makes you sweat, cleansing and flushing the body of toxins.
Muscles, fascia and connective tissue become more elastic, allowing for greater flexibility with less chance of injury.
The heat thins the blood, allowing it to flow more easily and deeply into tissues and organs to help in healing injured areas.
Warm muscles burn fat more effectively. When we stretch, the fat has no room to sit so it redistributes to the blood stream, which we then use as energy.
Higher temperatures improve the function of the nervous system, carrying messages to/from the brain more rapidly, allowing you to think more clearly.
The heart rate becomes elevated, improving the cardiovascular system.
The challenge of performing this yoga in the heated environment strengthens discipline, determination and concentration.
How does it work?
The postures are designed to stretch and strengthen your muscles, ligaments and joints, stimulate your organs and glands, in the order in which they should be moved, and to prepare for the following posture. By the end of this unique class you will have worked every muscle, ligament, organ, gland and nerve while systematically moving oxygenated blood to 100% of your body, restoring your body’s systems to a healthier and more vital state.
In a 90-minute class, each posture is completed twice. Postures are held between 10 and 60 seconds. The first set warms the body up and the second set enables you to work deeper. In a 60-minute class, not all postures are repeated.
What are the benefits?
Detoxifies the body
Facilitates healing of the body
Improves muscle tone
Increases energy levels
Fights anxiety and depression
Improves the health of the spine, vital for optimal health and well-being
Safer, easier stretching
Burns fat effectively and improves metabolism, helping with weight loss
Builds strength, stamina and flexibility
Revitalises the mind
Improves sense of well being
Is all Hot Yoga Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga was established 40+ years ago. It is a fixed sequence that lasts 90 minutes in 40° C heat, with 40% humidity. It takes place in a specially designed carpeted room, minimizing the risk of injury through slipping. Postures are held for a specific length of time so that the body is held in stillness, using focus and breath to create change. Postures are separated by a brief rest, allowing the student to recover, re-oxygenate their body and prepare for the next posture. Teachers are Bikram Yoga certified. Each Bikram Yoga studio forms part of a huge network of hundreds of genuine Bikram Yoga studios worldwide.
Hot yoga is an offshoot of the popularity of Bikram Yoga and began mainly in the last decade. Class lengths vary but are usually only 60 minutes. Classes often take place on hard floors, in lower heat. The sequence of postures tends to vary by studio. The style of the yoga is usually flow with, typically, no breaks in between postures. Teachers have various teaching backgrounds. Hot yoga studios tend to be single studios or small groups of studios.