It used to be that people thought of yoga as a mild and relaxing activity, perfect for those who want to unwind and meditate. Calmness and mindfulness are still part of the very essence of yoga, but these days, it has also become a key to fitness. The many asanas (poses) of the different types of yoga all present their own challenges, and even breathing is different because you have to learn how to breathe properly to let your energy flow better and help you maintain your pose. Yoga also contributes a great deal to your strength and flexibility, since you will be using a lot of muscles that you normally take for granted.
If you’ve seen yoginis or know anyone who regularly practices yoga, you might notice that they’re all quite fit and lean. This is because yoga does tone up the body; poses that require you to stretch and hold a pose or stand on one leg can do that to you. One particular type of yoga that could help you lose weight is bikram yoga.
Bikram yoga was founded by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s, and what makes it different from all the other systems of yoga is that it is performed in a hot room, usually with a temperature of 105F and 40% humidity. This is supposed to assist in improving one’s flexibility and prevent injury at the same time. The heat, naturally, causes you to sweat a great deal, expelling any bodily toxins you might have.
When attending Bikram yoga classes, it always helps to be prepared. Bringing your own mat is a basic step, but you also need a large towel to lay on top of it to prevent your swear from pooling all over your mat and the floor. You can bring a smaller towel to wipe off your sweat. A container of cold water is a necessity as well, since you need to rehydrate after staying in the heat for over an hour.
Most people are also surprised by the temperature, so you should know by now that the air will be scorching and it will feel heavy and moist. Some experience dizziness and nausea the first time they try Bikram yoga. But if you can endure the heat or get used to it, you’ll be fine. Just remember that you can take breaks in the middle of the class if you feel exhausted and need to catch your breath.
People might say that all the pounds you’re losing is nothing but water weight. This may seem to be the case after every session, but there is no doubt that Bikram yoga is a serious form of exercise, allowing you to stretch your muscles to their fullest potential and pushing you further to achieve poses you never thought you could ever do. Some poses also target your thyroid in an effort to improve your metabolism.
If you ever opt to do Bikram yoga, you should be aware that any weight loss you will experience will take some time, although you will be stronger and more flexible if you attend classes several times a week. This not only improves your ability to do the poses, but also improves the way your body moves and feels. Another benefit of Bikram yoga, or yoga in general, is that it could even help you work out all your aches and pains. In time, you will feel your balance getting even better, and that you’re gradually achieving the toned physique you’ve been aiming for.