Bikram Yoga: Internal and External Health Benefits
Bikram Yoga gained popularity in the 1970’s and has remained popular in both India and the United States for the healing powers associated with the 26 pose series. Whether you suffer from debilitating thyroid or kidney conditions to heart disease or arthritis, the benefits of Bikram are widespread.
What to Expect In a Bikram Yoga Class:
Imagine holding a tough pose for a set amount of time in a heated room. That’s what you can expect when attending a Bikram Yoga class. Your session will be taught by a trained professional who has mastered the Bikram training program and will be able to guide attendees through correct breathing and posture to give the best experience possible.
A sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises will be conducted in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This 90 minute session is aimed at increasing flexibility, reducing stress and tension and aiding in overall health—both internal and external. To receive the benefits of Bikram, it is recommended to attend 3 to 4 sessions per week.
Is Bikram The Solution to Your Problems?
- Weight loss: Attending a regular 90-minute session of Bikram Yoga can help to burn between 500-1000 calories, according to Livestrong.com—the equivalent to over an hour of running!
- Blood Pressure: If you rely on blood pressure medication to reduce high blood pressure levels, Bikram Yoga is a great alternative to taking medication and can naturally lower your blood pressure. After the first week, patients with high blood pressure may see a slight increase although this is normal. After the second week of regular attendance, blood pressure levels naturally decrease. Be sure to consult a physician if you are unsure of the effects that Bikram Yoga will have on your health.
- Back Pain: Do you suffer from debilitating back pain or sciatica nerve pain? Easing your way into each stretch will help to alleviate the pressure on your back. Each pose is designed to comfort the spine and move it in every direction to keep the muscles surrounding the back in tune and flexible to each series of movements.
- Cholesterol: By aiding in circulation, the Bikram Yoga poses allow blood to flow through the body, helping to cleanse the arteries. This, in turn, naturally reduces bad cholesterol.
- Stress: Mental stress can play a huge role in performance—both at work and at home. If you feel weighed down, Bikram Yoga allows you to take time to yourself to focus on you and your body—increasing mental “clarity” and calming the body.
Make sure to consult a cardiologist if you have family history of heart disease or are unsure of the effects that Bikram Yoga can have on your heart health.
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