Practicing Bikram yoga creates many benefits to both mind and body. We’ll briefly explore the top 5 Bikram yoga benefits of one of the world’s most popular forms of yoga, plus explore the benefits of doing a Bikram yoga 30 day challenge.
1. Increased Vitality
If you want to gain more spring in your step and recover the “vim and vigor” of youth, the Bikram series practiced in a heated room is a great form of yoga. It has the potential to reverse the elements of aging, giving you the ability to take much deeper breaths to navigate your way through a hectic modern world or simply run up a flight of stairs! Keep up with a consistent practice and you’re guaranteed to look and feel younger.
2. Weight Loss
Practicing Bikram in a heated room creates a much safer approach to your yoga practice as it allows you to stretch quicker and deeper. This is turn leads to stronger flexibility in the muscles which burns fat. As every fitness trainer knows, building muscle burns fat — doing the Bikram sequence in a hot room jump-starts this process.
Additionally, one of the overall effects of Bikram yoga is a general improvement in diet as the body craves healthier food. As the practice itself sharpens our perception of the mind-body connection, so does our overall awareness of what the body needs, reinvigorating the body’s natural processes to long for healthier food.
The massive elimination of toxins from the body occurs during hot yoga, primarily thru sweat. It’s possible to drop up to 10 pounds of sweat (which includes oil, salts and water) during a class. As water rushes out during the course of a 90 minute class, this creates immense benefits such as super clean skin and the detoxification of pores in the body’s largest organ — the skin.
4. Increased Mental Clarity
As the body is cleansed, the mind is sharpened. Regular Bikram practice leads to improved mental clarity, clearing out the “fuzz in brain” caused by the modern world’s list of negative stimuli — traffic, stress, bad food, pollution, etc.
In addition, poses with significant time spent in forward bends sends blood rushing to the head, which is a fantastic way to “clear out the mental cobwebs.”
5. Reduced Stress
Perhaps one of the most significant Bikram yoga benefits is the increased connectivity with the body, gained from regular practice. The intense focus in the sequence causes the chatter of the mind to decrease, leaving one less mentally preoccupied, both in and out of the class. Also, with consistent practice, the muscle memory of taking deeper breaths carries over into daily life, automatically providing instant relief to the temporary stressors that plague our modern world.
The Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge
A common practice at hot yoga studios around the world is the “Bikram yoga 30 day challenge” and it’s pretty much what it sounds like — 30 days of hot yoga in a row. Most studios will allow you to do a double (two classes in one day) if you happen to miss one, so there’s usually nothing to worry about it if you miss a class here or there.
The benefits of doing a 30 day challenge are immense. Making this commitment sparks an intensive healing process in the body and raises the bar on one’s personal expectations of what is possible. Many of us think we couldn’t possibly do hot yoga for 30 days in a row, but even within the first few days, we find strength, determination and passion that previously didn’t exist. Committing to this challenge allows for the possibility of discovering something about ourselves — that we are much more powerful and capable than we would have imagined.
Another major benefit of the 30 day challenge is how much it brings out buried problems, allowing us the opportunity to work through them. Previous injuries surface with this kind of consistent practice, giving us the chance to heal and break through old problems long stuck in the body.
Having a goal of taking 30 classes in 30 days really encourages you to stay active every single day. All you need to do is focus on the emotional reward of completing your thirty days, but mindful of the benefits you’ll receive along the way… extra energy, better sleep, increased flexibility, etc. It contains all the myriad ways hot yoga benefits us, but so much more when concentrated into a 30 day challenge!
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