Bikram Yoga: do you know this form of hot yoga?
Bikram is a part of Hot Yoga, also called Hot Yoga. It is surely one of the most controversial styles among yogis. However, its universal practice makes it one of the most practiced yoga styles. Bikram was created by Bikram Choudhury, an Indian yoga specialist in the United States. The yogi would have developed this practice in order to heal a double knee fracture. It has been practiced in specialized centers throughout France since 2001.
Find out in this article:
- How does a Bikram session work?
- The Origins and History of this yoga
- The Differences between Bikram and Hot Yoga
- The B he Benefits and Dangers of this Yoga which divides
- How to practice it in optimal conditions
- The equipment adapted to this activity
- Resources to go further: by taking courses, finding training or retiring and reading books on the subject!
HOW DOES A BIKRAM SESSION WORK?
A CODIFIED FORMAT
- A course is standardizedwhich allows it to be franchised worldwide
- The sessions last 90 minutes
- It is a combination of 26 different postures repeated twiceas well as 2 additional breathing exercises
- Each of the positions is carried out in a predefined predefined order.
- The sessions are systematically done in a room heated to room heated to 40.6 degrees
- A humidity level of about 40%.
A SUPERVISED PRACTICE
- It is important to know that this activity is performed exclusively in centers with dedicated rooms.
- These rooms guarantee the heat and humidity necessary for the proper conduct of the sessions.
- It is thus necessary, contrary to other styles of yoga It is therefore necessary, unlike other styles of yoga, to go to a place specialized for Hot Yoga.
Since Bikram is a closely supervised teaching, consider checking if your instructor is certified to teach this activity. This guarantees that you will receive a quality course in the respect of the tradition, which follows a specific order in a special environment.
“TO BE IN A BAD POSITION SIGNS THAT WE ARE HUMAN, TO BE IN A GOOD POSITION SHOWS THAT WE ARE YOGIS”
– Bikram choudhury
A RENOWNED FOUNDER
The eponymous founder of his own style of yoga, Bikram Choudhury was born in Calcutta, India in 1946. During his youth he was a yoga champion, recognized throughout his country. The same goes for his wife, Rajashree, who has helped him perfect and develop his style of yoga. Learn more about the life of Bikram Choudhury
A MODERN DISCIPLINE
In 1974, Choudhury founded the Yoga College of India . It is an institute where he hopes to teach his method and train new yogis in it. Bikram quickly became one of the most popular styles of yogas practiced in the West. The Bikram Yoga book to read about the discipline!
TOO MODERN ?
Often called the “guru of the stars”, Bikram Choudhury is often accused of not respecting the fundamental and traditional bases of yoga. He would propose an “efficient, ubiquitous, self-service version (with little teacher intervention), soulless and devoid of spirituality.” His attempt to patent his routine and the requirement to take his (expensive) training in order to teach Bikram classes is not well received by most of the yogi community.
DIFF É RENCES BETWEEN BIKRAM YOGA AND HOT YOGA
WHAT IS HOT YOGA?
Hot Yoga is a family of yogas that are practiced with a form of heat. When a yoga is practiced in a heated room, with candles or in an infrared room, it can be qualified as Hot Yoga.
BIKRAM YOGA, A SUB-FAMILY OF HOT YOGA
Bikram is therefore a form of Hot Yoga. However, where some Hot Yoga is very flexible in its practice, Bikram is very codified.
OTHER FORMS OF HOT YOGA
There are other styles of Hot Yoga like Moksha Yoga or Modo Yoga in Canada (his country of origin). Many studios also offer their own concept of Hot Yoga, often practicing classic Yoga, such as Vinyasa in a heated room.
Watch this initation to Bikram Yoga realized by the teams of France 3 in 2017, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
The host of this video, though used to yoga, underlines the difficulty of teaching. However, she also praises the atmosphere and the well-being felt during her introductory course in Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga.
A FUNDAMENTAL PRUDENCE
- Although intense and practiced in atypical conditions, Bikram is not a fitness or cardio activity as many would have you believe, but a yoga in its own right.
- Its primary goal is to perform a combination of relatively simple postures under high heat, maximizing the flexibility of the body.
- However, as with any sporting activity, knowing and listening to oneself and one’s body is essential.
- Indeed, a high temperature increases theintensity of the effort tenfold and increases the risk of pain.
- Caution is therefore called for, but the benefits remain numerous.
- Choudhury insists in particular on the capacity of this activity to lower its level of stress, to breathe better, to evacuate the tensions.
A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
- The teacher’s incantations, a quieter than usual atmosphere, the pronounced heat, are all parameters that create a unique atmosphere of concentration.
- This atmosphere allows you to focus on yourself, your body, your breath, your inner strength…
- Listening to oneself allows a strong progression over the sessions.
8 BENEFITS OF BIKRAM
The 8 major benefits of a well executed Bikram class are:
- an improvement of the balance
- more strength and tone in the legs
- less joint pain
- unique body introspection
- stress reduction
- reduced sleep disturbances and deeper sleep
- strengthening of joints, tendons and articulations
- reduced risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease
UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS SHOULD BIKRAM YOGA BE PRACTICED?
a supervised environment
There are many studios offering classes of this yoga (and other hot yoga) in optimal conditions. These rooms must be hygienically clean, with ventilation designed to maintain healthy air, anti-allergenic and anti-bacterial rubber flooring (carpeting is to be avoided for all Hot Yoga!).
In France, specialized studios exist in all major cities: Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Annecy…
In Paris, we recommend: Modo Yoga Paris, The Yoga Factory, Yoga Garden Rive Gauche…
A MENTAL AND NUTRITIONAL APPROACH
Finally, themental approach of the session is also fundamental. Contrary to what many people say, no, Bikram is neither a detox nor a way to lose weight. This is an exercise of mental hygiene which serves first of all to reconnect body and mind.
His conditions of unusual practices require a concentration and a strong rigor. In addition, a pronounced hydration the hours before the session and during the session itself is recommended to avoid dehydration.
WHAT MATERIAL TO USE FOR BIKRAM YOGA
BE READY FOR THE HEAT
For a Bikram session, remember to wear very light clothes, take a water bottle and a light towel. The heat can be harsh, so it is important to be equipped in order to follow the 90 minutes of the course in all serenity.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT YOGA MAT
To practice Bikram you need a suitable mat:
- a rugged mat to withstand harsh conditions and long sessions
- a non-slip mat with good grip, so that you don’t slip with the abundant sweat and humidity that are characteristic of hot yoga
- a thick mat, for an optimal comfort during the 90 minutes of a Bikram
THE ABSORBENT MICROFIBER YOGA MAT FROM YOGOM!
At Yogom, the Performance Range range brings together all the necessary attributes for a pleasant and rejuvenating Bikram practice. Discover this range on our e-shop and find the carpet you need!
- The Yogom Performance Yoga Mat is ideal because it is made of a very dense natural rubber base that is stable on the floor and a textile microfiber cover that becomes non-slip when exposed to moisture.
- It istherefore ideal for practicing dynamic and hotyogas like Bikram.
- The delivery is fast, a carrying strap is included with the mat and you will find on the eshop many models!
Find out which carpet is right for you with our Buying Guide !
LEARN MORE ABOUT BIKRAM
Bikram is an activity as atypical as it is exciting. Here are some resources that will feed your curiosity and complete this introduction to Bikram, the yoga of heat.
- From the reading :
- Training courses:
- Go on retreat to train in Bikram Yoga in France or to train abroad (Barcelona, Koh Lanta, USA…)!
- Blogs dedicated to this method: to know everything the blog of the room of Sarasota and an Australian blog of Brookvale to integrate the Bikram in its routine…