Bikram Yoga Instruction Style
Critics say part of what sets Bikram apart even from other forms of hot yoga is the style of instruction.
While most yoga classes, including many hot ones, encourage students to take things at their own pace, Bikram instructors often dont.
According to critics, teachers trained at the Bikram Yoga College follow a script.
The script calls for them to encourage students to stretch further into their poses and to not leave the room if they feel overwhelmed by the heat. Instructors sometimes follow students out of the room to persuade them to come back in.
Some liken the instructional style to boot camp.
But Rissel defended the instructors efforts to keep students in the yoga studio. The rationale is mindfulness, she said, or encouraging students to simply accept their feelings rather than escape them. Mindfulness can be effective at helping people handle psychological stresses.
However, the persistent urgings of Bikram instructors make it difficult for some people to listen to their own bodies, Caplan said.
Its hard to recognize your limits, she said, when youre pretty much being told, This is how you do it: Go deeper, go deeper!
The Myth Of Flexibility
There is a difference from muscular flexibility and joint flexibility. Your ligaments and tendons dont get much blood flow, especially your ligaments. The reason for this is because your ligaments are in place to stabilize the joints. When you are in a heated environment, your blood flow increases making you feel like you are more flexible then you really are. Being in intense postures like virasana may be more difficult if the studio is unheated because your joints give a stoppage point in the knees, whereas when its heated, you may not feel that stoppage point and surpass your safe zone. Ligaments do have some stretch to them, but not a lot. The more you continue to stretch your ligaments in joint-heavy poses, the higher your risk for tearing a ligament, or stretching them to the point where your joints are not as supported. Its important to understand that when ligaments stretch out they stay that way and cause joint instability.
For all of you athletes, keep yourself safe. Walk out if its too damn hot. Dont surpass your sticking point. And lastly, do your homework. Find a yoga studio and instructor that are right for you.
Hot Yoga: Is It Actually Good For You
Things you probably already know about hot yoga: its sweaty, its intense and my god it makes you thirsty. So is this hot yoga lark any good for us anyway? We quiz Hotpod Yoga co-founder Nick Higgins
Is hot yoga better than regular yoga?
The first thing to clarify is the differences in temperature of hot yoga. At Hotpod Yoga our pods are heated to a relaxing 37 degrees , which allows your muscles to warm and lengthen, providing a deeper, more relieving stretch great for preventing injuries . Whilst the personal preferences of the student should also come into consideration, heat is a great stressor of the body, meaning we accustom the body to stress so we become more resilient to the everyday stressors that affect us. At a cellular level hot yoga helps the cells get rid of waste materials that are not needed, which is called autophagy.
Can hot yoga help you lose weight?
Hot yoga is a great addition to any healthy, balanced lifestyle and practicing regularly will help improve both your mental and physical wellbeing. You are of course exerting yourself in a Hotpod Yoga class which naturally in turn burns fat. Our classes have similar effect to other cardio workouts in that they help to burn calories in turn helping with weight loss.
What about dehydration?
Can it cause you to overstretch?
Who cant practice hot yoga?
What are your tips to practice hot yoga safely?
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Improvement In Lung Capacity
Founder of Bikram yoga, Bikram Choudhury in his book on the practice, explains that many people only use about 50% of their lung capacity.
He claims that through Bikram yoga you can increase your lung capacity:
The more deep breathing is practiced, the more the lungs become flexible and capable of holding a lot of oxygen.
Strong, healthy lungs can efficiently help transport oxygen to the blood, purifying it and helping remove toxins from the body.
The 90 minutes of deep breathing practiced in a Bikram yoga class can increase the ability of oxygen to enter the body and cleanse its systems.
You Risk Heat Exhaustion
Even if you passed your last check-up with flying colors, if you cant stand the heat in a hot yoga studio, your blood pressure may drop, making you feel dizzy or nauseated, says Numbers.
And this sensation can totally sneak up on you. So while you might feel greatall purified and sweatyfor the first 30 minutes of class, it’s important to take note of how you’re feeling throughout the flow, especially if you’re a hot yoga newbie.
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How Hot Yoga Fits Into The Yoga World
If you are interested in learning how to do yoga, there is no reason to exclude hot yoga as an option. The style of yoga for beginners is matter of personal choice, philosophy, goals and your very own physical condition. The benefits of yoga, regardless of style, are real.
Each style requires varying degrees of physical ability. Some forms emphasize the spiritual, others place their emphasis on breathing exercises and yet others emphasize the yoga poses themselves. And yes, there are those that utilize some combination of the three. Hot yoga adds a new element to this. Practicing yoga in a room that is heated up to above your body temperature does not only make you sweat. It gives you an entirely new experience and shows you how your muscles and circulation react to an environment that you would normally not choose for working out. Sounds weird? Be warned Hot yoga can be addicting, and that is not only due to its many benefits.
Its Not For Everybody
If you’re pregnant, have a heart condition, or suffer from a cardiovascular disease, you should probably look for a different form of exercise. And if you do fall into any of these camps, at least be sure to talk to your doctor before attempting yoga that involves heat, advises Numbers.
Or, honestly, if you just don’t feel comfortable in a super heated, humid room, this probably isn’t the best workout for youno matter how many of your friends swear by it.
How To Prepare Your Body For Hot Yoga
Numbers is all about hydration. Up to 24 hours before you take a hot yoga class, load up on your fluids, especially ones with electrolytes. And if you eat before yoga, leave a two-hour window between the meal and the class for proper digestion.
You also want to wear clothes that youre comfortable sweating in such as a sweat-wicking or breathable fabric, because youre going to be sweating a lot.
Lastly, Numbers says to listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, stop and load up on water and electrolytes.
Bottom line: Hot yoga is a perfectly safe form of exercise for most people. Just follow pre-class safety measures, pay attention to your body, and be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
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Hot Yoga Does Not Make You More Flexible
One of the most popular claims made by hot yoga teachers is that hot yoga makes you more flexible. Flexibility in your body is a function of your ligaments and tendons. To maintain their stability, they have lesser blood flow compared to other parts of the body.;When you work out in a heated room, there is a natural increase in blood flow which;makes you feel more flexible than you really are.
Your ligaments have a stoppage point beyond which they begin to tear or break. During hot yoga, you may be putting more strain on your ligaments without realizing it, increasing your chances of a ligament tear. Also, when ligaments are over-stretched, they stay that way causing;joint instability.
The Myth Of Sweating Toxins
Does your yoga instructor tell you that the sweating is good for you because you are releasing toxins from the body? Well, this statement is not 100% true. Most of what you are sweating is water, but there are other chemicals that make up sweat including salt, potassium, ammonia, and urea. True toxin elimination comes from the kidneys and liver, and some from the colon. Doing a ninety-minute hot yoga session and sweating to death is not releasing toxins. You really are just dehydrating yourself and losing only water weight. I hate the burst the bubble, but my statement is true to the facts of bodys biological systems. If you really want to eliminate toxins from the body, it’s best to talk to your physician or purchase an over-the-counter liver, kidney, or colon cleanse made out of natural ingredients.
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Is Hot Yoga Good For You
Hot yoga can be good for your physical and mental health, but it can also pose risks, particularly if the room is heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. One concern is that you can overheat, which might cause dizziness, feeling light-headed, passing out, or even heat stroke.;
The American Council on Exercise sponsored a small study on hot yoga in 2013. The study had people participate in a 60-minute basic yoga class at 70 degrees, and then, a day later, participated in the same class except it was 92 degrees and more humid.;
The study found participants’ core temperature and exercise intensity was only slightly higher in the 92-degree class, so they concluded that concerns about this degree of heat were unwarranted.;
However, the ACE researchers conducted another study in 2015 involving a 90-minute class at 105 degrees and 40% humidity and found seven of the 20 participants had a core temperature higher than 103 degrees, and one hit 104.1. While none showed signs of heat intolerance, 104 degrees is the temperature at which the risk of heat-related illness increases.;
Important: Make sure to adequately hydrate before a class and to take water breaks during class when necessary to prevent overheating, Porcari says.;
Think Youre Ready To Give It A Shot
When it comes to hot yoga try attending a few basic or beginner yoga classes first. Then when you feel comfortable, try incorporating a heated class. ;;
There are different styles of yoga, so if you try a class that doesnt appeal to you, try another type of yoga or a different instructor, Sauer says. The heat isnt for everyone and thats perfectly OK!
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Lower Your Blood Sugar
If youre at risk for type 2 diabetes, you might reap extra benefits from hot yoga.
To be clear: Any type of exercise will help reduce glucose levels in your bloodstream. But a 2013 study found that a short-term hot yoga program boosted glucose tolerance especially well in older adults with obesity.
Potential Advantages Of Doing Hot Yoga Vs Regular Yoga
That said, there is a growing body of evidence that artificially exposing our body to heat, aka hyperthermic conditioning, might actually be good for health and athletic performance. All of the studies so far focus on sauna bathing and not on exercising in a hot yoga room, but there is a reason to assume that the following processes may take place during a hot yoga class as well. Researchers so far conclude that heat might positively affect the following physical and mental aspects:
On a physiological level, when your core temperature goes up, plasma volume and blood flow to the heart tend to increase. This means that your heart rate lowers and the hearts works less hard, decreasing the cardiovascular strain and improving endurance.
The study on the effect of sauna on the runners endurance performance showed that 3 weeks of sauna bathing after the exercise increased athletes run time to exhaustion by 32%, which was highly correlated with the higher blood volume. Though the sample size is very small, several other studies support given findings. Like this research, for example.
- Muscle Growth
Many report feeling happy, rejuvenated and high after a hot yoga class. While we still dont know why it happens, heat might actually have something to do with it.
From a biological point of view, heat stress triggers short-term hormonal changes, particularly the increase in beta-endorphin. The more intense the stressor , the better we feel afterward.
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Is Hot Yoga Good For Weight Loss
Yoga is unlikely to be the first choice for people who are trying to lose weight. But when it is, hot yoga often comes first to be advised for a weight management program.
Available studies on Bikram yoga suggest that, if practiced several times a week, it promotes positive changes in musculoskeletal fitness as well as can be considered as an exercise of light-to-moderate intensity. These results are hardly surprising considering the fact that Bikram as well as most other hot yoga styles use the postures from Hatha yoga.
The advocates for hot yoga though state that it is not only the intensity of the postures but the demanding and sweat-inducing environment that will make your body work harder and subsequently lose weight. You don’t have to search long to find claims that youll be able to lose up to 1000 calories per hot yoga session and burn more fat than in a non-heated class.
Undoubtedly, any physical exercise will help you wear off those nasty calories. But there is no evidence to confirm that we can burn more calories just by raising the temperature of the room. Take this 2014 study, for example. Trying to examine the metabolic rate during the session of Bikram yoga, researchers revealed that during the 90 minutes of the workout, men burn an average of 460 calories , and it is even lower for women 330 per session.
Best For: Improving Flexibility
Its thanks to the heated room that hot yoga can provide calorie-burning and flexibility benefits. According to a study by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, for young, healthy, experienced Bikram practitioners, a single session of Bikram yoga produces moderate metabolic responses , robust heart rate responses, and a substantially elevated core temperature. Increasing ones body temperature also increases their metabolism.
As far as flexibility goes, the term warm-up before a workout helps explain it: when your muscles get heated, they stretch more easily and are less likely to experience injury.
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Hot Yoga Benefits: What Is It And Why Is It So Good For You
Youve heard of yoga, but have you ever heard of hot yoga? People are raving about hot yoga benefits and how it makes them feel amazing! So, what exactly is it? Why is it good for you? Are there any risks involved? Here, we delve into 5 incredible hot yoga benefits and what you must know before getting started.
Helps With Relaxation And Mood
Yoga originated in ancient India, where the practice was much more than physical exercise it had a meditative and spiritual purpose. Today, its still well-known for its relaxation and mood-boosting benefits.
Of course, depression isnt one-size-fits-all: What works for someone else might not be your thing. Yoga is not a magical elixir for flawless mental health and serenity, but it just might give you some relief.
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Why Do People Even Like Hot Yoga
Im a fitness editor who has never taken a hot yoga class. I still cant decide if thats impressive or shameful, since its my job to try new workouts. Its not that I dont like yogaI really enjoy taking a Vinyasa flow or a power yoga class every now and then. But the reason Ive avoided hot yoga thus far in my life and career, no matter how much praise for the practice I hear from everyone around me, is because just thinking about exercising in 105 degrees makes me sweaty and uncomfortable.
Lets talk really quickly about what hot yoga actually means. Hot usually means over 100 degrees. Heated is usually somewhere in the low to mid-90s, Jessica Matthews, M.S., a yoga instructor, American Council on Exercise spokeswoman, and ACE-certified personal trainer and health coach, tells SELF. While hot yoga can be any kind of yoga, many people have heard of a type of hot yoga called Bikram, which is a specific set of yoga poses done in a heated room. Though I see the terms interchanged often, typically when you say hot, you mean a Bikram or Bikram-like class. Heated is more like a power Vinyasa .
For the purpose of this article, you can assume that hot yoga refers to Bikram or Bikram-like yoga, where the room is heated to 100 degrees or more.
While the idea of working out in a very hot room sounds dangerous, experts suggest that hot yoga probably is low-risk for most people.
Yoga Helps You Manage Stress
According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.
Try It:;Corpse Pose ;Lie down with your limbs gently stretched out, away from the body, with your palms facing up. Try to clear your mind while breathing deeply. You can hold this pose for 5 to 15 minutes.
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