Bikram yoga: what is it?
Bikram yoga is a discipline that has existed since the 1970s. The 90-minute session is based on a series of 26 postures, from Hatha yoga, and two breathing exercises, scheduled at the beginning and at the end of the session. .
It is a very dynamic postural yoga, which is for everyone. Whatever the level, both the beginner and the more experienced person can enjoy the benefits of bikram yoga.
The specificity of bikram yoga, compared to Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa yoga or even Kundalini Yoga, is that it is practiced in a room heated to 40 ° C. Of course, the rooms in the yoga studios are continuously ventilated, so that the air is renewed.
As Marine Ochin, a bikram yoga teacher in Paris, points out, in a room heated to 40 ° C, there is ambient humidity, “but the body gets used to this heat very quickly, which is much less intense than in a sauna or a hammam. This makes it a suitable place for performing yoga postures.”
The benefits of bikram yoga
An effective anti-stress
Yoga in general is beneficial against stress. But bikram yoga is particularly effective in learning to better manage stress, emotions. The fact of being in a heated room, of sweating, allows you to empty your head completely: the mind is what it is doing, here and now, focused on the realization of postures, and not on everyday worries. For the duration of a bikram yoga session, we put aside the negative waves, we disconnect, we are soothed when we go out, and the moral benefits last long after.
We strengthen our concentration
The fact of being in a hot and humid environment places more demands on the body and the mind, which must be concentrated to carry out the proposed session. We are almost in a kind of meditation, under the effect of heat. When you start, the body and mind must adapt to the specific conditions for the practice of this discipline, and always be present at the maximum thereafter, to go further in the effort and practice. We work in this way, concentration, and determination.
A real plus for the back
With regular practice, there is a marked improvement in the back: we soothe joint pain on the upper chest, we soften the back, we strengthen the cervical, the spine, we sheath the abdominal strap, and by d training, you greatly improve your posture.
The whole body works
All the muscular chains and the joints of the body are stressed and strengthened thanks to the work during a session. This prevents the risk of injury, strengthens the body, and improves the general condition.
All the muscles being stressed, and the cardiovascular system being stressed in a room heated to 40 ° C, we can hope for weight loss with the regular practice of bikram yoga. As a bonus, the silhouette is refined in a harmonious way.
Bikram yoga: can you lose weight by practicing regularly?
By practicing 3 times a week, we can hope to obtain results on the silhouette already after a month.
The fact of sweating during the session, offers a vasodilating effect, which will help the muscles to stretch, to develop, and to refine.
The realization of dynamic movements, where we solicit all the muscles, combined with the work of the cardiovascular system with heat, contribute to weight loss.
Finally, the letting go offered by this practice, calming the mind, managing emotions, contribute greatly to weight loss.
To obtain results, it is of course essential to associate a healthy lifestyle with your regular bikram yoga practice.
Yoga postures that allow you to refine yourself
All postures are recommended for refining, letting go, and feeling better, both mentally and physically. Some will strengthen certain areas of the body, or improve the silhouette in a harmonious way, such as:
- The half-moon posture: it will allow you to work and refine the abdominal strap. As a bonus, it provides heating of the spine.
- Cobra posture: it will target the strengthening of the back and abdomen.
- Camel posture: it will help gain flexibility, promote the opening of the rib cage, and strengthen the mobility of the body.
- The chair posture: she will use all of the leg muscles (thighs, calves) and glutes.
Finally, all the breathing exercises offered by pranayama will not only increase the respiratory capacity, and help the body to get rid of tensions. A real plus, to improve your lifestyle, and move towards a healthier diet, less prone to emotions and stress.
5 tips to optimize your Bikram yoga session
To have the best possible experience, go there without pressure, without idea of performance
- Stay well hydrated before the session
- Stay hydrated after the session
- Do not come with a full stomach, but do not fast the previous day either!
- Do not put pressure to lose pounds, go at your own pace, and let yourself be carried away by a regular practice, which will make you want to change things little by little in your daily life, in terms of your lifestyle
- Listen to your body, your feelings, understand what makes us feel good
Thanks to Marine Ochin, Bikram yoga teacher, director of Yoga Bikram Paris, www.bikramyogaparis.com
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