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Class Act: Bikram Yoga – It's Hot

Class Act: Bikram Yoga – It's Hot

Bikram yoga is hot — and that's an understatement. The room is heated to 100 sizzling degrees, to help your body warm up quickly, so you can get deeper into the poses.

Bikram is named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury, and it is a series of 26 postures. They are usually repeated twice and held for a certain amount of time.

Class begins with Standing Postures, and then moves onto Backbends, Forward Bends, and Twists. The poses are accompanied by Kapalabhati Breath or the "breath of fire" which helps to warm up the body even more.

I took a Bikram Yoga class and when I walked in the room, I was NOT pleased to see that the entire front wall was one huge mirror. I'm more into feeling the poses and having the mirror there was too much of a distraction - I found myself sneaking a peak of myself and making negative judgments, which is the opposite of how you should feel in a yoga class.

And because your body warms up so much, you'll tend to go deeper into poses than you normally would, so you've got to be careful not to push yourself past your edge. You sweat like a pig during the class, so bring a towel and make sure to drink a lot of water a few hours before you go to a class, otherwise you can risk getting dizzy from dehydration.

For some people, Bikram is the only way to do yoga, so give it a try if you love the heat. Already a fan? Tell me about it at Stretch and Tell.

Want to see all 26 postures? Then

Mei1 Mei1 10 years
I totally hated my fist bikram class. But that was a year ago! although I felt totally miserable DURING the class, I felt completely wonderful AFTERWARDS. It cured my colon, hernia, and I think only as a child I've slept better. Even now I sometimes wonder what the #"!$% I'm doing there, but the sensation after a bikram class it's absolutely priceless. It's really addictive.
amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
I've really only known Hot Yoga actually. I have an instructor who trained under Bikram Choudhury at my yoga centre and he's pretty good - I sweat more in his class usually. At my yoga centre there's Hot Hour - 60 minutes condensed version, Hot 1 - full 90 minutes, Hot 2 - more advanced, Hot 3 - DIY and Hot Flow - vinyasa in a hot room. I sweat a lot in Hot Flow but I usually do Hot Hour, less time taken up and it's still a good workout. I'm not very advanced so I don't do Hot 2 and Hot 3. I did Hot 1 once and I found that I got really dizzy after the first hour, so I reverted back to Hot Hour. Especially since now I'm only going four times a month as my GCEs are in November. After my GCEs, I'm getting the unlimited package and focusing on my yoga.
suzanne suzanne 10 years
Thank you for the feedback. I'd like to try... The visiting instructor knows it'll be my first time. If I can't handle the heat - I'll give myself permission to bail out. I'll let you inow how it goes.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Hey Suzanne - I think it's fine for anyone to try - just know that it's really HOT in there. Drink lots of water a few hours before you go to class, and I'd talk to the instructor before class and tell them it's your first time. I'm curious to know what you think of it!
suzanne suzanne 10 years
I have a Bikram instructor houseguest arriving next Thursday and he's going to visit a class here. I plan to give it a try. I am not so comfortable with normal yoga yet... is this something a novice can do?
mugres24 mugres24 10 years
I love this type of jogga. It gets your heart beat going like if you were doing cardio. I would get the same results going twice a week than if I went 5 days to the gym. It also helps you to relax, you sleep like a baby!
fickletwister fickletwister 10 years
I just posted this in Stretch and Tell, but I thought I'd repost on the main page. (sorry if that's a violation -- I'm new) I went to my first Bikram class last night. It was the hardest thing I've done in a long time. I've been doing yoga at home off and on for several years, but this was completely different. There were several times when I had to sit out a pose. I had moments where I was really dizzy and a little nauseous. I know it sounds crazy, but I can see how someone could be addicted to it. There were also poses that I've never been able to do at home, that I could do in the heat of Bikram. I really liked how it felt so cleansing afterward. If anyone is interested in Bikram, I have a couple suggestions (some from my studio's site, and some from my experience last night). Bring other clothes to wear after class -- even underwear. You will get NASTY! But it's a good sweat. Do not eat 4 hours before class. I had a Luna bar about 2 hours before, and I think it's part of the reason why I felt nauseous. Also, drink a ton of water before class. I did, and I ended up sweating a lot. The instructor will tell you it's okay to drink water, but try not to, if you can. I got dizzy after I would take a sip. If you're obviously dehydrated, do it, but try to hold off for as long as you can. Your stomach will thank you. Don't be afraid to sit down if you get shaky or dizzy. The instructor will encourage you to do this, but get up and try it again as soon as you can. If it's your first time, try to set up more toward the back of class. I was in the front, but I wanted to see how other people were doing. Above all, have fun!
snowdaytoday snowdaytoday 10 years
Bikram? NO THANKS. Yoga in a sauna is NOT for me. Had a bad expereince...
fickletwister fickletwister 10 years
I'm taking my first Bikram class later today. I've done yoga at home for years, but it's my first time in a class. It sounds awesome, but I'm kind of nervous.
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
I bet you come out of that class weighing about 5 lbs lighter, right??
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