Bikram Yoga in Phoenix, Arizona

All Bikram yoga is hot yoga, but did you know that not all hot yoga is Bikram yoga? The two terms are often used interchangeably; however, it is not correct to do so. They are completely different types of practice.

Bikram yoga was popularized during the 1970s in California by Bikram Choudhury. It’s been called “The Original Hot Yoga” and uses a set series of 26 postures and two pranayama exercises that are done two times during classes, which are 90 minutes long.

What Makes Bikram Yoga so Unique?

Here’s why this type of practice is so unique and why instructors must be specifically trained to teach it: the postures must always be done in the exact same order every single class session with no variation at all. There’s a good reason for this, too! The idea is that when you are familiar with a routine and you’re aware of which pose will come next, you’re better able to focus the mind on your inner world, as opposed to paying attention to what is going on around you in the outer world.

The temperature of the room for Bikram yoga is often elevated to 90-95 degrees. This sets you up for an intense workout that invigorates your circulation and improves muscle and heart function. This heated environment also softens muscles, preparing the body for dynamic movement while your body is better able to cleanse itself of toxins.

The Benefits of Bikram Yoga

This type of yoga is considered a path toward efficacy and self-realization. The systematic repetition of poses is not only familiar and soothing, but also allows students to focus on inner strength.

Instructors do not demonstrate moves in class; in contrast, they talk you through the flow as part of the moving meditation that makes Bikram yoga so unique and so popular. Other benefits include:

  • Stress relief
  • Improved glucose tolerance
  • Tone, stretch, and build muscle
  • Detoxification of the body
  • Relieve chronic pain like knee injuries, arthritis, and joint aches
  • Improved blood lipid profiles
  • Increased bone density
  • Boosts heart health

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