What exactly is Bikram Yoga?
When most people think of yoga, images of chanting and people maneuvering into seemingly impossible positions come to mind. This is NOT Hot Yoga.
Bikram Yoga is a series of beginner yoga postures that become an energetic form of exercise. The series of postures will help you align your body for optimum health.
Bikram Yoga is NOT just for the fantastically flexible. In fact, if you are not flexible, if you cannot touch your toes, or perhaps cannot even see your toes, you are a perfect candidate. There are benefits in this series for everyone; whether you are athletic
or cannot touch your toes.
Bikram Yoga class consists of 26-postures and two breathing exercises done in a heated room. It is a "beginning class" in the sense that there are no advanced postures that might cause injury.
The "beginning postures" are, in actuality, the most physically and mentally demanding. However, students at all levels of practice will be able to perform them to some degree. One does not "do yoga". One "practices yoga". If it is your first time or your hundredth, the benefits are obtained in the correct attempt.
Bikram Yoga instructors emphasize performing each posture correctly, while maintaining the highest degree of safety. The sequence of the postures is critical. Each new pose is preparation for the next. Each action will have its opposite. Every part of the body will be utilized -- from skin to bone, and fingertips to toes.
Each pose is performed in precise order, and to the best of one's ability. Students learn to steadily place new demands upon themselves, working harder yet more calmly, and gaining focus with each succeeding class.
Physical exertion and relaxation are most effective when performed in tandem. Controlled breathing [pranayama] and intense concentration maximize the results.
Bikram Yoga is based upon the principles of Hatha Yoga: "active postures" [asanas] provide an intensely concentrated exercising of the body, after which "rest poses" [savasanas] allow freshly oxygenated blood to circulate through the muscles, joints, internal organs, and endocrine system.
Bikram Yoga offers no instant gratification, nor will it magically change the world around one. Yoga is a science, with a history of more than 5000 years. Unrivalled as a means of improving health and muscle tone, reducing stress, and creating peace of mind, one's rewards are commensurate with one's effort. Patience and determination are the only requirements.
The HOT YOGA ROOM is hot by design. Be prepared to work hard, to make demands upon yourself, and to sweat. Though yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach, hydrate well before each class, and bring bottled water. Sticky-mats and towels are necessary for floor poses. Lycra active-wear is preferable for both women and men.