Millennial’s obsession with Bikram Yoga has everything to do with the ability to burn 500 calories in a 90 minute session and the feeling like you unloaded the same amount of sweat from an intense cardio workout.
Yoga leads to an amazing flexible body, but when you add intense temperatures you burn more fat.
Yoga bodies are hot and those looking to double-down on that chiseled look, they go for Bikram.
Here are some tips for first timers:
Safety and posture is everything. Make sure you are well hydrated before going to a Bikram Yoga class. I encourage beginners to become familiar with yoga and start with light Vinyasa before attempting Bikram. Come fully stretched to prepare your body for the intense 26 poses and breathing exercises. The 42 Celsius- humid room makes it a challenge, but if you are well hydrated and prepped, you will survive.
The beauty of Bikram is that you aren’t doing cardio-like exercises, but you’re reaping the fat loss of cardio. Bikram works your body out more intensely than yoga because of the temperature, the intensity it causes when you are aligning your body to do the poses while doing the breathing exercises. Although you are very relaxed doing this, your body is exerting sweat and toxins.
It is very important to pay attention to the instructor who is giving instructions on how to breathe and move into the pose. To avoid injury you need to follow the technique. Attempting to get into a pose without using the technique can result in injury.
My personal experience varies. Sometimes I can make it through 90 minutes without seeing stars, or some days at the 60 minute mark I start seeing stars. My advice, take a quick break. Drink some water and lie back on your mat for two or three poses and resume. Eventually, you will have no problem making it through 90 minutes unless you are really dehydrated that day.
Sometimes your body is perfectly fine and is reacting to the conditions around you.
Bikram is intense even for the most athletic athletes. I knew a Navy Seal at his prime who tried it and called it a very intense workout after assuming it looked easy.
Another great thing about Bikram is it is a great way to release stress. My body has a tendency of absorbing stress. I get knots and aches when I am under a great deal of stress. Yoga helps release knots and alleviates aches. The breathing exercise is like a form of meditation.
Join a reputable place, make sure it’s clean. Many apps are available to give you ratings and reviews on different places. Make sure to disinfect your mat before and after. Always bring an extra towel.