Yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want. Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishments to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process. When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin. It also thins the blood to clear the circulatory system; increases the heart rate for a better cardiovascular workout. Practicing yoga not only increases our supplies of oxygen, but it also teaches us how to use that oxygen properly – we learn to control the breath through pranayama.
Bikram’s Beginning Yoga class is just that – a place to begin your Yoga practice. Every class follows the same format whether it’s your first class or whether you have been practicing for years. How quickly you progress will depend on the time and effort you give to Yoga. It will have little to do with how “perfectly” you can do the poses.
Women wear sports tops and bottoms. Men can wear vests and running or cycling shorts. The lighter the clothing the better as the skin needs to breath and through perspiration the body stays cool. Light fabrics such as Lycra are ideal – cotton is bulky and restricts movement when wet. It is also very important to be able to see your ankles and knees in the mirror so shorts are ideal. Keep in mind you are going to sweat a lot, the less clothing the better. However, remember that whatever you wear it will need to preserve your modesty.
Drink plenty of water. Doctors estimate you need at least 2 liters per day for normal body maintenance. On the days you practice Bikram Yoga you should try to drink more and as much as needed. The more hydrated you are the easier it will be for you to sweat. As with all exercise it is not recommended on a full stomach so try to leave 2 to 3 hours between eating and class.
Yes absolutely. Whatever your fitness level you will find Bikram Yoga challenging. The postures combine strength, flexibility and balance to give you a total body workout. As with other forms of cardiovascular exercise, regular practice will aid weight loss.
Bikram’s Beginning Yoga is designed for all levels of fitness, but if you have special medical conditions or injuries, please consult your doctor first and inform your teacher before class.
There will always be deeper places to experience through yoga asanas. Your body will begin opening up in different way and the more you practice, you will realize giving 100 percent and achieving stillness in every pose is a lifelong journey. Finding the focus, discipline and one point of concentration through the duration of the class are other ways to advance your practice. After several classes you will begin to experience the magic of Bikram’s yoga. Each class is like trying it for the first time all over again as you will experience something new in every class.
As a beginner, Bikram recommends practicing as often as you can for the first month as much as 5 to 7 days a week to change your body and experience the benefits of the series. After this period he recommends a minimum of 3 classes a week. This is different for each person and some people may need 5 or even 7 days a week! The more you practice, the more benefits you are able to receive.