Bikram Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga that includes a specific series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, done in a heated room. While Bikram classes can certainly be challenging and offer plenty of physical and mental benefits, the intense heat can be difficult for some to adjust to. Whether you’re curious about Bikram Yoga or you’ve tried it before, here are five essential things to keep in mind before you give it a shot.
1. Accustom Yourself to High Temperatures
In a Bikram Yoga class, the room is heated to around 100-105°F. While it may feel initially intense and overwhelming, try to keep an open mind and remember that it will get easier with time. It’s important to remember that your body needs time to acclimenize, so go slowly and take breaks when you need them.
Wear the Right Clothes
To ensure that you stay comfortable during your practice, it’s important to wear the right type of clothing. Choose lightweight, fitted clothing so your body can have maximum range of motion without any extra fabric to disrupt your movement. If you’re someone who easily overheat, wear a moisture wicking fabric to keep yourself cool.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Hydrate Before Class
It’s essential to hydrate well prior to class, especially for a hot class of any sort. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and make sure that you have at least 16 ounces of water at least an hour before class to stay hydrated.
Stay Hydrated During Class
Remember to take regular sips of water during class as you need it. Pay attention to your body and if it’s telling you it needs a break, pause your practice and hydrate. Not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue, cramps and dizziness, which could get in the way of the practice and possible lead to an unpleasant experience.
3. Practice with Modifications When Needed
Be Aware of Your Limitations
Bikram Yoga is intense and can often seem daunting. While it’s important to challenge yourself, it’s equally important to know and respect your body’s limitations. Listen to your body and refrain from pushing yourself too far, as that way you will be able to reap the maximum benefits from your practice.
Choose the Right Posture Variations
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with simple posture variations and work your way up to the more advanced postures. If you have any injuries or sensitivities in your body, choose the appropriate modifications to ensure you stay safe and comfortable.
4. Don’t Forget to Breathe
Develop Your Awareness
Breathing is one of the most important aspects of a Bikram Yoga practice. Learn to focus on your breath and develop a consistent and steady rhythmic flow of breath throughout the class with each movement. The more aware you are of your breathing, the easier it will be to eventually connect your breath with each posture.
Use Different Types of Breathing
To further your practice and get the best out of it, practice different types of breathing such abdominal, thoracic and clavicular. You can also incorporate Kapalabhati, Dirga and Ujjayi breath to improve the intensity and benefits of the practice.
5. Get the Teacher’s Guidance
Have Realistic Expectations
Before you come to class, it’s important to have realistic expectations and to remember that it’s going to take some time to get used to the postures and the intensity of the heat. Even if you practice other types of yoga, try to leave any expectations you may have practiced and let the practice unfold naturally.
Seek Out Guidance
One of the biggest benefits of practicing in a studio is that you can get personal guidance and assistance from the teacher. During the class, never hesitate to ask the teacher any questions you may have or if you require assistance.
People Also Ask
Is Bikram Yoga good for beginners?
Yes, Bikram Yoga is suitable for beginners. However, it is a good idea to start with simple posture variations and to go slow and listen to your body.
What should I wear to a Bikram Yoga class?
It is best to opt for lightweight, fitted clothing so your body can have maximum range of motion without any extra fabric to disrupt your movement. Wear a moisture wicking fabric to keep yourself cool if you tend to overheat easily.
How often should I practice Bikram Yoga?
It is best to practice Bikram Yoga 2-4 times per week for maximum benefits. However, it is important to listen to your body and adjust the frequency of your practice as needed.
Can I drink water during a Bikram Yoga class?
Yes, it is recommended to stay hydrated during a Bikram Yoga class. Take regular sips of water or take a break when you need it.
How will I feel after a Bikram Yoga class?
After a Bikram Yoga class, you may feel detoxified, energized and more flexible. Make sure to take rest afterwards, drink plenty of water and eat a healthy meal.
Bikram Yoga is a great practice that can be greatly beneficial to your physical and mental health. With the right preparation and guidance, you will be able to get the most out of your practice. Make sure to pay attention to your body, drink plenty of water, listen to your teacher and have realistic expectations. With a little effort, you will soon be able to reap the rewards!