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You Asked: Will Bikram Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?

You're asking and I'm answering.

"Hey Fit. I've heard that people lose a lot of weight when doing Bikram Yoga. What's your take?"
Heated Heather

When I say Bikram Yoga is hot, that's quite an understatement. You don't know how hot it is until you set foot in a Bikram studio. It's like walking into a sauna. The room is heated to at least 105°F and 40 percent humidity. The extreme heat is meant to encourage your muscles to open up quickly, so you're able to get deep into poses. It's a grueling 90-minute class that many people endure because the stretching feels amazing and because they think that this specific kind of yoga promotes weight loss.

While Bikram will sure make you sweat out buckets, I'm sorry to say that it won't help you shed pounds. Any weight you think you've lost after a Bikram Yoga class is all just water weight. As soon as you drink to rehydrate your body, you'll gain those few pounds back instantly. Sweating is a natural process that's good for your body, but it isn't a measurement to gauge how many calories you've burned.

A Bikram yoga class done regularly (at least three times a week) will help you tone up and will burn calories, but if you have a lot of weight to lose, you'd be better off doing some more effective cardio training such as walking, jogging, using a machine, swimming, or biking.


carolsean carolsean 5 years
I HAVE READ AND DID MY RESEARCH ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF BIKRAM YOGA AND NOW THAT I HAVE DONE 60 DAYS STRAIGHT I CAN NOW TELL YOU WHAT I THINK. \u00a0 I am fit to begin with and I started doing bikram for 2 months and the first 3 days I did notice a little change around my waist and I did eventually get addicted to the way I felt afterwards, but over all this will not get your body toned and if without strict diet you will continue to look the same. \u00a0 I found it so easy to go everyday but doing the same 26 poses over and over your body will stop responding to these poses, and the sweat that is just your own water secreting through. \u00a0 I looked at everyone in all the classes and that is including the owner and her trainers were not fit in the least, one of the guy trainers his stomach was hanging out of his shorts and the female trainers were also quite chubby and no tone to their bodies. \u00a0 I saw one girl that I did see was toned but probably because of genetics but everyone else looked the same over the 60 days that I was there. \u00a0 The key to getting in physical shape and I mean that you have toned abs and arms/legs is to change your workout I mean mix it up. \u00a0 80% Is your diet so beware and do your research NO WORKOUT THAT MAKES YOU SWEAT WILL MAKE YOU RIPPED OR TONED WITHOUT PROPER DIET. \u00a0 If you're going to invest your money in yoga DO THE REAL YOGA. \u00a0
I-love-Yoga I-love-Yoga 6 years
I've been practicing bikram yoga for a month already, 3 times a week, and just recently startes the 30 day challenge this week. I haven't really lost weight yet, but I'm definetly more toned and flexible. The difference when you go 2-3 times a week against 5-7 is very noticeable, the more you go the better results you get, I just now started to really noticed a difference in the way I eat and think. It is a very powerful yoga that would help you give up the bad eating habits, and think more clearly, it is also very addictive like you guys said. One of changes I have noticed in my body from the regular practice of bikram yoga, is that I get really cold, my tolerance for the heat has increase noticeable, and intolerance for cold has arisen, this is very weird to me because I've always heated the heat. Has this happend to any of you??? One thing I'm a bit worried is that I haven't lost as much weight as I wanted, I haven't dramatically changed my eating habits, but I'm defenitely eating healthier and less quantity. Any advice?
foxymardy foxymardy 8 years
I think running was the sole contributor to my weight loss, but I just started doing Bikram at home (just holding the poses for 1 min without the heat) and it did contribute too. I was finding it tough to get rid of the last few pounds, so I tried Bikram. The scale moved! I wasn't sweating like in a Bikram studio, so I didn't think it was water weight. But I have to say, nothing works better than running for me. Took me only 6 months to drop down 3 sizes. But the high I get from running and bikram, is definitely the same. I want to try Ashtanga next!
LovinNHBikram LovinNHBikram 9 years
My experience with Bikram has been nothing but wonderful. Yes, the heat was something to adjust to and, as the studio advised, it took about 3 - 4 classes to get used to the heat for 90 minutes. I am trying to take at least 4 classes a week with the goals of losing some weight and gaining in flexibility. I believe I can reach those goals. For those who have experienced dizziness and nausea -- I also felt dizzy for the first few classes. Some poses were more "dizzy" inducing than others, like the rabbit and the camel for me. I listen to my body, ease myself into those poses if I feel the energy to do so, or I ride them out and stay in a Dead Pose until we move to the next in the series. The sweating was also something for me to get used to and, like the heated room, it took a few classes. I am there for me, do not care what I look like, sweat profusely (!), wear a bandana, and high-tail it home to shower. Showering after class is so wonderful and the hours following I feel so energized and healthy! Oh, by the way, I am over 50 years old and am exeperiencing inflexibility in my joints to the point that it's difficult to take the stairs or get in and out of my car. Since going to Bikram, I am seeing improvement. I echo an earlier post who is 47 years old. If I can do, trust me...ANYONE can!
tspoon tspoon 9 years
I love Bikram. I started in 2 summers ago.. went on hiatus for a year and picked it back up again this summer. I haven't lost as much weight as I did that first summer, but I am fully addicted to it. My start was the same as most... felt totally ill the first time, didn't hydrate enough the next four times and ended up with a huge headache. I eat fruit and veggies all the time now. This time around, I am noticing how this yoga is helping me change my eating habits. I do try to do cardio, but love bikram so much, I use my precious free time on that instead! Do try it!!! and believe EVERYTHING on this board!
SweatIsSweet SweatIsSweet 9 years
Oh, and by the way, I'm 47 years old. If I can do it, so can you!
SweatIsSweet SweatIsSweet 9 years
I've been doing Bikram for 6 weeks, 4 to 5 times per week, and I've lost 12 pounds so far. I have about 15 more to go to reach the goal I started with. I've never done any kind of yoga before. I hated the heat at first. I still hate it, but have found that the challenge of tolerating and overcoming it has increased my stamina and endurance in other activities as well as my self-esteem and powers of concentration and will. This is definitely not the best workout for people who value comfort over achievement. But it teaches you many things: how to listen, to be humble, that you are capable of more than you thought you were if you apply yourself, and more. I went to the doctor for a physical a week before I started Bikram, and when I went back for a followup a month later, my doc could not believe the transformation. He says I look healthier than I have in years. I feel that way too. My advice to anyone thinking of trying Bikram is to give it a fair shot: Go to 10 classes or so before you judge whether it's right for you or not. It took me about 7 or 8 classes before my dread of attending the next class turned into anticipation. Now, when I skip even one day, I feel like I'm missing out. This yoga is highly addictive! Try it!
luxelys luxelys 9 years
I like Bikram yoga, but I think the weight loss is a result of the detoxing and me losing my appetite for foods that aren't really good for me. I think I'll loose much more when I incorporate cardio back into my plan with the yoga...
bayarea1 bayarea1 9 years
I was an avid Bikram follower for 3 solid years, attending classes a minimum of 5 times a week. I even completed the "Bikram Challenge" and did 60 classes in 60 days...I loved this yoga (still do)!!!! Full time student status has restricted my ability to attend classes for the last 12 months. The "thing" about Bikram is getting past the heat is hard to really get into the poses and work the appropriate muscles when you are cursing yourself for 90 minutes, struggling to maintain your balance and wondering HOW LONG are they going to hold this %$#@!@ pose!?!?!? (that's what I did when I started anyhow). Thus, the results assocaited with THAT much sweat may not be seen right away. It will change your body (and mind, if you are interested in that), but not right away.
normrugger normrugger 9 years
I completely disagree with the statement, "I'm sorry to say that it won't help you shed pounds" This is completely untrue. I am an avid runner with a muscular lower body. I initially started Bikram Yoga to help with my flexibility. After 3 months of practicing, I'm not only almost pain free..but I've dropped 3 sizes. A fellow yogi has dropped 35 pounds in 6 months. The practice is not only challenging..but after wearing a heart rate monitor for a 90 minute Bikram Yoga class, it calculated that I burned almost 800 calories. -Bikram WILL HELP YOU SHED POUNDS....and allows for the long, lean, sculpted look. DON'T KNOCK 'TILL YOU TRY IT!
IndigoMisfit IndigoMisfit 9 years
Both my friend and I did Bikram yoga regularly last summer, 3-5 times a week. Both of us lost a significant amount of weight. I found that a Yoga routine combined with Weight Watchers plan had helped. But when I stopped both I gained the weight back. With exercise, in order to get the benefit you have to push yourself further and harder the next time you perform it. Also, just toning your body can do wonders for your appearance. P.S. No one loses weight with exercise alone, you also need to keep tract of the calories you are taking in, not just the ones you are burning. If you are having trouble losing weight, I would suggest seeing a nutritionist.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I did Bikram for a year, and I did not lose weight. I loved how I felt the day after the class, but not directly after the class because I would always get a migraine. Bikram really changed my body...negatively and positively. I got great tone in my legs, like outrageous tone in my legs...but everywhere else kinda started to go south, FAST. So, after my yoga contract finished, I started the gym thing again with other types of yoga, cardio, and weights, to try and tighten things up.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
i find aerobics or step aerobics to be most effective for weight loss. and it produces so much energy.
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