Bikram Yoga also known as ‘Hot Yoga’ isn’t what most expect. Yes, it is yoga but it strays away from the average 45-minute yoga class with soothing music playing in the background. Upon entering Bikram’s sauna, one must be prepared both mentally and physically. It’s not an easy class, but what you get out of it is beyond what any multivitamin can do for you.
So, you’ve heard of the 90-minute torture class taught in 105-degree temperature? Why even bother spending the money on something so grueling?
“Bikram Yoga’s twenty-six posture exercises systematically move fresh, oxygenated blood to one hundred percent of your body, to each organ and fiber, restoring all systems to healthy working order, just as Nature intended. Proper weight, muscle tone, vibrant good health and a sense of well being will automatically follow,” according to Bikram Choudhury’s website on his practice.
There are two series in the class: the standing series and the floor series. The standing series is all about balancing. After about 50 minutes, you have completed the standing series and move into the floor series for the remainder of the class. After the floor series is completed, you are left with one breathing exercise to complete and you’re free.
I’m going to admit that upon arrival, I’m not the happiest camper because I know the process that lies ahead—90 minutes in 105-degree room. Tough stuff. According to Tricia McDermott from CBS News from an interview with Choudhury “isn’t yoga supposed to be relaxing and meditative – not torture?”
Choudhury says no,”That’s the biggest problem in America. That’s the way yoga [was] introduced to America. Yoga [in America] means sit and close your eyes and you will look at the lamp and look at the crystal and meditate.”
All I know is that once I get in the room, place my mat on the floor, there’s something about it that just puts me at a place of ease. I feel at one despite the torrid temperature and sweaty individuals to my right and left. And the way you feel AFTER class, that feeling is indescribable. I feel so energetic and rejuvenated that it’s like I was reborn in just one 90 minute class.
You’d be a fool not to try this class, even if it’s just once. Go for the experience. Go so you can tell everyone you survived Bikram’s torture chamber. Really though, what you get out of the class is countless: weight loss, detoxification, back pain relief, increased vitality, a boost in mental clarity, etc. etc.
As the genius behind this practice, Bikram, coined, “Mind over the Matter.” With this, you can do anything. Think about it. Now, act on that thought.