Bikram Yoga: You get so much more than you can imagine out of one 90-minute class!
Yesterday, I was sore from surfing and thought of how nice it would be to have a massage. Then I remembered: I don’t need a massage, I’m going to yoga tonight!! I started thinking about all the things Bikram yoga is–it’s like getting a workout, a massage, a chiropractic visit and a detox all at once! That’s one of the greatest things about Bikram yoga; though 90 minutes seems like a long class, you get SO MUCH out of those 90 minutes it’s incredible.
Here’s 5 things you get out of one Bikram yoga class:
1. A Workout
Many people start Bikram yoga as an exercise regimen. This is great, if you’re looking to trim up, you will get that from Bikram yoga. The statistic is that you burn 600-1100 calories in a 90-minute class. In addition, you get:
- strength training
- flexibility training
- cardiovascular training
Instead of having to worry about each of these elements of a good, all-round fitness program individually, like people who work out in the gym often do, you get ALL of it from one class of Bikram yoga. All without causing any impact to the joints or tearing down your muscles, as with sports, weight training, or running.
2. A Chiropractic Visit
When done correctly, Bikram yoga poses fix the alignment of your skeleton; most importantly, your spine. You do this by using your muscle strength to hold poses in a correct, therapeutic alignment. If you’re a regular practitioner, you’ve undoubtedly had some audible “adjustments” during class. I know I do nearly every class! Bikram often says that in yoga, you are your own chiropractor.
3. A Massage
So how does Bikram yoga replace massage? When I was a professional athlete and before I started yoga, I used to get massages nearly every week because I was so sore all the time. Then when I started practicing regularly I noticed I no longer was sore and I didn’t really feel the need for as many massages (or chiropractic visits). What an incredible money-saver! The reason is that the poses in Bikram yoga make sure that ALL of your muscles get lots and lots of blood through stretching, contraction and compression. The blood does two things to help soreness. First, it brings the muscle cells oxygen and nutrients that they need to repair and be happy. Secondly, it flushes the muscle of the lactic acid associated with soreness as well as any other toxins or waste products.
4. A Detox
I’ve never been much for cleanses like the Master Cleanse, which is really just a personal choice… I know it does wonders for many people and I think that’s cool. But I do take some solace in knowing I get a great detox every time I go to Bikram yoga class. You sweat your brains out for 90 minutes, which allows the body to detox via the skin. Also, you have two breathing exercises and continual breath work throughout class which helps you detox through the lungs as well. Poses like Wind-Removing Pose stimulate the colon to help you detox that way too. And really, all detox avenues the body has naturally are stimulated because all of the organs in the body are stimulated through the 26-postures. But for 2 of the largest detox organs–your skin and your lungs–it’s easy to see where the detoxing comes from in Bikram yoga.
5. A Trip to the Doctor and Pharmacist
Here’s the absolute best thing about Bikram yoga. If you practice it regularly, you become your own doctor. Your body becomes its own pharmacy, just like it was designed to do. In the last 5 years of being a dedicated yogi, I’ve probably only taken a prescription drug maybe 2 times. Out of complete desperation, and then I wished I hadn’t. I think in the last 2 or maybe 3 years I haven’t had any. Instead, if I start to feel a little unwell, I rest and do as much yoga as my body can handle. The yoga will strengthen your immune system by stimulating the organs of defense and increasing circulation. When the body is in ideal condition, the body can produce the chemicals and compounds it needs to heal itself, just as it was designed to do. The yoga brings us back to this ideal state. The yoga, practiced over time, will also give you so much more awareness of what is going on inside your body so you can respond appropriately to its needs to help you stay healthy (like resting when you need to rest… and not when it’s “too late”).
Those are the 5 I can think of off the top of my head. Any more you’d like to add?
The moral is… why wouldn’t you do Bikram yoga? A 90-minute investment for such a huge return is SO worth it!