FAQ: Bikram yoga..

16 Jun

Hey guys!

I stumbled upon this FAQ page of a Bikram yoga site  and I thought it would be nice to list those questions on the bloggie, since a lot of people are apprehensive towards trying Bikram.. Enjoy! (Note: I got this FAQ of the site “Bikram yoga college of India”, I linked back 2 times, just letting you guys know before I get some nasty comments)

1. Why is it important to learn from a Bikram Yoga Certified Instructor?  

It takes more than a hot room and a list of postures to make your Bikram Method Yoga practice a safe, rewarding experience. Bikram Method Yoga is a specialized form of yoga, requiring appropriate training and knowledge to teach it effectively.
Bikram Choudhury, the creator of Bikram Yoga, personally trains and certifies his instructors to ensure that his methods and philosophy are preserved and properly taught. To be certified as an instructor in the Bikram Method of Yoga, an instructor must complete an intensive nine-week training session requiring over 500 hours of study. A studio guided by a Certified Instructor provides the best possible instruction in the Bikram Method. Certified Instructors have a continuing connection to Bikram Choudhury and his training staff, allowing the Certified Studio to draw from all of the resources Bikram’s training center has to offer. This includes special seminars, posture clinics, guest instructors, and answers to questions which may arise in a particular practitioner’s Bikram Yoga practice.
Many can claim thta they teach “Bikram Yoga,” but unless there is a Certified Instructor supervising how and what is taught at that studio, you are not getting true the Bikram Yoga.

2. How does Bikram Yoga work? 

By the tourniquet effect: stretching, balancing (using gravity), and creating pressure all at the same time. The blood supply in arteries and veins is being cut off, creating pressure. When released, a lock gate effect is created, causing blood to rush through veins and arteries, flushing them out. Also, pressure is applied to the heart by its relative position to the rest of the body

3. What is happening in my body during Bikram Yoga?  

Muscles are contracted and stretched at a cellular, biochemical level. Lipids and proteins reorganize optimally in such stretching, allowing for better circulation. Joint mobility and range of motion is increased, and strength is built by the use of gravity. Muscles and joints are balanced.
Blood and calcium are brought to the bones. Working against gravity strengthens the bones. The organs of the immune system within the bones (red marrow) are boosted.
The lymph nodes are massaged, lymph is pumped throughout the body, and white blood cells are distributed throughout the body as the lymphatic system works more efficiently.
There is compression and extension to the thymus, spleen, appendix and intestines; lungs are stretched and flushed out by increased blood circulation. The endocrine glands are encouraged to secrete appropriate hormones, and the communication between hormones and various glands and systems of the body is perfected. Toxins and waste are eliminated through the organs of elimination.
The nerves are stimulated by compression and extension, improving communication within the systems of the body and supplying fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout. The brain is stimulated by improved circulation and by varying blood pressure.

4. I feel nausous, dizzy during class and very tired after my first class. Is this normal?  

It is not unusual to feel nauseous or dizzy during your first class.  Practicing yoga in a heated room reveals to us our present condition, and inspires us take much better care of ourselves.
Usually the problem is that we do not drink enough water for daily living, let alone for exercising in a heated room. Nutritionists tell us that we need 64-80 ounces of water a day to help the body function properly.  In the heated yoga room, your body needs adequate fund of water to allow perspiration to release heat from the body as you   practice. So we estimate you need another 64-80 ounces (sometime during the day)   to allow for your 90 minutes in the room.  Once you are drinking enough water your body will tolerate the heat better and you will actually enjoy the heat.If you feel disoriented or like you need a good nap after your first few classes, this is likely because your body has begun to cleanse itself as a result of the yoga practice. Don’t be scared. After the first few classes this sensation will pass. The more you can relax as you give your 110% honest effort during class, the more energized you will feel throughout the class and throughout the rest of your day.
Natasha Lee, one of our readers, also suggested:” Hello, I am the executive director of a nutrition company. I was reading on your website that some students can feel sick to their stomach and dizzy during the class. 

The recommendation is to drink water.
This is incomplete.  Those are specific symptoms of salt and potassium depletion and can easily be remedied by taking salt and potassium tablets before class. 

The centers should have this available.  The uncomfortable
feelings one experiences in a sauna or heated room can be avoided completely by simply taking these minerals.

Sea salt and potassium, are the least expensive of all minerals and can be obtained anywhere.  Nausea, headaches, all of this can be avoided with these 2 minerals.”

5. What is the recommended room temperature for Bikram Yoga?  

The recommended temperature is minimum 105F degrees and about 40% humidity.
The room is kept at this temperature or more for the following:

  • Keeping the body from overheating (contrary to popular misconception)
  • Protecting the muscles to allow for deeper stretching
  • Detoxing the body (open pores to let toxins out)
  • Thinning the blood to clear the circulatory system
  • Increasing heart rate for better cardiovascular workout
  • Improving strength by putting muscle tissue in optimal state for reorganization
  • Reorganize the lipids (fat) in the muscular structure

6. Can you please explain 80-20 breathing and exhalation breathing?  

80-20:In this method of breathing, you take in a full breath.  Go to the posture and continuously let out 20 percent of the air through your nose with your mouth closed. In postures that require 80-20 breathing, you need oxygen in the lungs to do the posture, so you will be able to maintain proper strength while performing the posture.Exhalation: In exhalation breathing, you take in a full breath and exhale the breath completely when you achieve the posture. While you are doing the posture you should continue exhaling.With either breathing technique, you should not strain. In the beginning, your lung capacity will not be large enough for you to sustain yourself with the above breathing methods. To prevent straining your lungs, take another breath as needed and continue with the breathing method. As your lung capacity improves and you improve doing your Yoga postures, you will find that following these breathing methods becomes as natural as doing the Yoga postures themselves

7. Is Bikram Yoga aerobic?  

The word aerobicliterally means “with oxygen” or “in the presence of oxygen, involving or improving oxygen consumption by the body .” Aerobic activity trains the heart, lungs and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body by elevating the heart rate during exercise to its target level. As the heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient, a larger amount of blood can be pumped with each stroke. Fewer strokes are then required to rapidly transport oxygen to all parts of the body.You can derive these benefits from practicing Bikram yoga. Use this formula to find your target heart rate.220 minus your age times 60% and times 90%For example, a 30-year old would calculate his target zone using the above formula: 220-30=190. 190x.60=114 and 190x.90=171.

This individual would try to keep his heartrate between 114 (low end) and 171 (high end) beats per minute.

You can take your pulse during class and see that due to the nature of the asanas, your heart rate and respiration become elevated to your target level. This can help you determine how intensely to work during class.

8. With a proper diet is Bikram Yoga good for weight loss?  

A minimum of 10 classes per month is recommended to get the benefits of Bikram Yoga, among which is weight normalization. As a beginner, It takes three classes for your body to understand the proper approach to the posture, and ten classes for your body to begin to work with postures. You will realize optimization of all your body systems.Digestion and respiration, as well as endocrine, lymphatic and elimination systems will begin to work harmoniously.  Your appetite will normalize, and your unhealthy cravings will diminish. All of these results will help to normalize your weight if you devote yourself to regular practice, at least, but preferably more than 3 times per week.Source 

5 Responses to “FAQ: Bikram yoga..”

  1. movesnmunchies June 16, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    WHAT a great Q+A! u rly took some time to make this and we all really appreciate it!

    • ellalinea June 16, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      Hey carrie.. Like I mentioned in the post, the FAQ comes from the site of Bikram College of India.. I didn’t put that much effort in it but I thought it was interesting to read.. 🙂

  2. VeggieGirl June 16, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    This is very helpful – I’ve always wondered a little more about bikram than other types of yoga. Thank you!

  3. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! June 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Thanks for the info! These are great questions!

  4. Ashley June 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Thanks for posting this! I always wondered what the difference was between Bikram and other “hot yoga” classes.

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