Bikram yoga is a type of yoga being employed in a warm environment. The temperature of the room where the yoga is done can reach as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 60% of humidity, which is significantly warmer than the normal environmental temperature. Compared to sauna baths, hot yoga classes are less warm; however, the combination of warm temperature and the yoga positions can have more significant effects to the body than sitting in a sauna.
Many people are interested in Bikram yoga because of its perceived benefits; however, is it really safe for use? Can it provide more advantages than doing the conventional yoga? Proponents of Bikram yoga believe in its various benefits while some believe that the hot temperature combined with employing the yoga poses can be harmful for the individual. Well, if you are interested in this type of Yoga and would want to know more about its advantages and disadvantages, the following are the pros and cons of Bikram yoga:
Pros of Bikram Yoga
Employing hot yoga classes does not only provide you with the conventional benefits of yoga, but other advantages as well such as the following:
• Helps detoxify the body from impurities
We all know that heat promotes sweating and this sweating mechanism is the ultimate goal of doing Bikram yoga. During yoga, the heat helps you eliminate toxins from the body through the skin. This purifies your circulation and prevents free radicals from forming inside you that can lead to certain illnesses such as cancer.
• Promotes weight loss
Bikram yoga is also known for its benefits for weight loss. During hot yoga classes, the pulse rate normally increases and there is increased metabolic rate helping you shed those extra pounds off. Also, the warm temperature helps improve the utilization of fat cells to reduce those flabs and cholesterol in your body.
• Helps reduce joint and muscle pains
Hot yoga classes also help lubricate the joints and helps prevent and relieve joint stiffness and pain. The warm temperature also relaxes the muscles as you employ various yoga positions, which relieves muscle discomforts. During Bikram yoga, it is also less likely to tear your muscles unlike when you are employing yoga in cool environments; thereby, improving your flexibility and mobility.
• Relieves tension and stress
Most Bikram yoga proponents are gripped to doing hot yoga classes because of the simple fact that is more effective in relieving tension and stress through the combination of muscle relaxation, removal of impurities in the body and improved circulation.
• Strengthens the immune system
Higher core temperatures as achieved during hot yoga classes may help elevate your white blood cell levels, which are helpful for the prevention of infections. Bikram yoga was also seen to raise the production of antibodies.
Cons of Bikram Yoga
If you think Bikram yoga only provides benefits, the following cons of hot yoga classes will tell you otherwise:
• It may contribute to hypotension
The warm temperature promotes the vasodilatation of the blood vessels leading to significant reduction in blood pressure especially if Bikram yoga is done frequently.
• May lead to muscle damage
When the muscles are stretched in hot temperatures, there may be dangers of overstretching the muscle fibers beyond their biological capacity.
• Can promote dehydration
When Bikram yoga is not employed with adequate hydration, 90 minutes of doing yoga positions in a hot environment may lead to significant water loss.
The disadvantages of Bikram yoga points out to one thing: there should be proper monitoring and prudence when doing such. All of these disadvantages are avoidable and when you employ the Bikram yoga right (adequate hydration, moderate exertion and infrequent classes), there is a higher probability to gain the benefits without having to experience its disadvantages.