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What is Bikram or Hot Yoga?


Posted by Stephanie B.

Bikram Yoga consists of a series of 26 postures that are done in the same order in every class. A key part of Bikram Yoga is the "hot" room. The room must be heated to high temperatures with a certain level of humidity, ideally 105 degrees. This is supposed to make your muscles more limber for the poses.

Bikram was founded by its namesake, Bikram Choudhury, a guy who has a reputation for having a big ego. Choudhury has filed lawsuits against practitioners for using his sequence without permission, which is why the more generic term "Hot Yoga" is now being used by many studios. (Hot Yoga might also modify the posture sequence slightly to avoid the claims of copyright.)

While many practitioners swear by Bikram Yoga, many health professionals are increasingly concerned that the high levels of heat can increase the chance of injury to the muscles. Additionally, there is a danger of being dehydated in class. Take it slow, listen to your body, make sure you drink plenty of water, and supplement yourself with salt and potassium tablets prior to Bikram Yoga class.

 
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I have done Bikram Yoga in Texas where the temp outside was 100 degrees all day, but cooled down to about 90 in the evening. In the studio we cranked up the heat to get it back up to 100! We went through a ton of water and sweated like crazy but it was fun. Not something I'd do everyday, but talk about getting rid of toxins. I say give it a shot!
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