While in Melbourne I found a Bikram Yoga studio offering new members unlimited classes for $30 for one month. I simply couldn’t wait to get started. I took my very first Bikram class when I first moved to Melbourne and I have been hooked since. If you are not aware Bikram is yoga completed in a heated room of 40 degrees Celsius (that’s 104 degrees Fahrenheit for you people in the States)!!
Bikram was founded by Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury in India. He started practicing yoga at the age of four and eventually practiced from 4-6 hours a day. Eventually he composed the sequence of 26 different postures including 2 breathing exercises which together form Bikram. Each Bikram class is 90-minutes long and every pose is done twice. The practice is a branch of hatha yoga.
There are countless benefits to Bikram, including the heat involved. Bikram works every part of your body including organs, veins, muscles, and ligaments. The heat allows for more flexibility by relaxing the muscles and nerves, and prevents injury. While sweating from absolutely every pore you flush out toxins and other impurities. Every cell in your body is nourished. The heat also causes blood vessels to dilate while the tissues expand which helps increase the flow of oxygen throughout the body. Additionally, the heat gives your immune system a boost. The breathing techniques enhance the functioning of your respiratory system. The poses constrict and release blood flow, improving the circulatory system. You will sleep better, feel amazing, and walk away toned and energetic.
The first class you should expect to feel dizzy and maybe even nauseous. Don’t be discouraged though because this is completely normal. Try and stay in the room and lay on your back so blood can flow to your head and focus on deep breaths. Make sure you don’t eat 2-hours before attending. Drink up to three liters of water 24-hours before class. You will leave completely drenched so make sure you have a towel to put on the yoga mat. Wear proper gym clothes (less is more) with absorbent material. By your third session, you should be acclimated to the heat and see improvement in your poses. You will also notice your focus and determination improve in and out of class. Yoga is therapy for all aspects of your life.
“It’s never too late, you’re never too old, you’re never too sick to start from scratch again, to be born again.”-Bikram Choudhury, Founder, Bikram Yoga.