Yoga has long been hailed as a great exercise used to reduce stress, relax your muscles, and get in touch with your heart chakra…ommm.
Yoga classes have always promoted a healthy mind and body, and there are so many different classes you can choose to take. Lately, Bikram yoga has become the new trend in this yoga craze. But what exactly makes practicing a sequence of 26 specific yoga poses in a room set to 105 degrees with 40% humidity so appealing?
Here are some advantages of participating in Bikram yoga compared to a regular yoga session.
- Bikram is a very effective muscle conditioner. The muscles of those practicing Bikram have been trained to become more efficient in oxygen absorption and heat circulation, which ultimately results in better muscle endurance during a workout. The sequence of the poses in Bikram has been made to build the muscle’s strength. As an added bonus, because muscle conditioning is directly linked to the amount of calories burned during exercise, Bikram promotes a more efficient calorie burning session
- The Added Challenge. There is something to say for taking a 90-minute class in an extremely high temperature environment. While you can get many of the benefits from Bikram in a regular yoga class, working through your pains and stretches in a heated room really adds a surprising level of intensity.
- More Intense Aerobic Exercise. The heat and the humidity of the room create a much higher oxygen demand from the body. Studies show that in regular yoga practice lung expansion ranges from 35%-40%, but in Bikram the lungs will typically expand to 50% of their capacity. The heart will need to pump more blood, and your lungs will need to work harder in Bikram. This causes a much higher intensity level of aerobic exercise than regular yoga.
While Bikram yoga has a lot of great health benefits, regular yoga can be just as effective. If you want to try Bikram yoga for the first time be sure to stay properly hydrated and always, always, always bring a towel!