A couple of years ago, a friend of mine who had moved to the East Coast from the LA area introduced me to Bikram Yoga. Bikram Yoga consists of a series of 26 traditional hatha postures, held for up to 60 seconds, performed in a very hot room, usually around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat allows the deep stretching of muscles, ligaments and tendons without injury. It also promotes profuse sweating, which helps eliminate toxins from the body. It somehow manages to be both relaxing and a serious workout at the same time.
The benefits of regularly practicing yoga include increased flexibility, increased muscle strength, increased muscle mass, stress reduction, weight loss, detoxification, improved cardiovascular endurance, enhanced immune system, improved concentration, not to mention a new perspective.
Bikram Yoga is practiced in front of a mirror. At the beginning of class, I often find myself scrutinizing all of my imperfections, but after an hour-and-a-half of Bikram Yoga, I see myself very differently -- I actually look thinner, younger, happier and taller to myself! I recently met someone who is also a fan of Bikram Yoga, and she agreed saying that after doing her practice, she feels 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter and 2 inches taller.