Bikram yoga is quickly becoming one of the most popular types of yoga practiced in the United States. Bikram Choudhury founded it in the 1970s, and he has attempted to copyright this style of yoga in order to ensure other instructors practice it correctly no matter where in the world they are.
A form of hot yoga, Bikram yoga follows a very strict formula in the way it is practiced. Exactly 90 minutes long, it includes 26 yoga positions (called asanas) and two breathing exercises, and it is practiced in a room that is 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% humidity.
Choudhury claims that these specific circumstances help to set Bikram yoga apart from other types of yoga. Proponents of the practice maintain that it allows for unique benefits such as:
- Deeper stretching
- Injury prevention
- Greater stress reduction
- Deeper detoxification
- Improved circulation
- Enhanced tension relief
It is believed that Bikram yoga benefits every joint, muscle, and organ in the body and must be practiced correctly in order to achieve the level of results it is intended to provide.
As with any new health practice, you should consult with your doctor before you begin participating in Bikram yoga. All types of hot yoga are not considered to be safe forms of prenatal yoga due to the high temperatures they are practiced under, and you should approach these techniques with caution if you have sensitivity to heat. Your primary care provider will be able to help you determine if you are healthy enough for Bikram, or any type of yoga.