The Power of Bikram Yoga

April 12, 2011 |  by  |  Blogs, momofthree, Workouts

I have been in love with yoga since the day I took my very first class. And being born and raised in California, not only am I used to the heat, I LOVE it! The hotter, the better I always say. So when I heard of a practice that combined both my love for yoga and a 105 degree temperature room, I realized I had found the perfect storm.

But first, let’s find out a bit more about Bikram Yoga:

What Does Bikram Yoga Actually Involve?
Bikram yoga is widely regarded as the most intense type of yoga. It involves 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in 90 minutes, all performed in a room heated to 105 degrees.

What Benefits Can I Expect That Other Types Of Yoga Don’t Necessarily Offer?
As well as providing the biggest challenge, the heat factor of Bikram yoga provides many of the disciplines’ benefits:

  • Heavy sweating helps detoxify the body
  • As the blood thins, the circulatory system is cleared.
  • The output of cells which fight infection is increased
  • The heart rate is elevated

In Bikram yoga, weight loss is made easier because your muscles are warmed and can burn fat more easily. The heated environment is initially very challenging, helping to increase will power and mental strength.

So How Does All This Help Me Lose Weight?
In line with the benefits (of which there are many more!) listed above, Bikram yoga helps you lose weight in the following ways: It is well-known that to be effective, a workout should make you sweat and increase your heart rate. Bikram yoga well and truly fulfills both of these criteria. Warm muscles burn fat more easily; your muscles also become more stronger and more supple from practicing Bikram yoga. Both these factors allow you to exercise your body more effectively and aid the weight loss process.

Detoxifying the body and having a healthy circulatory system are known to have a very positive effect on metabolism. This in turn increases the ability of your body to shed weight more effectively.

It is widely known that practicing Bikram yoga enables many of your bodily systems and functions – digestion, respiration, endocrine, lymphatic and elimination – to work in harmony. As a result, your appetite will normalize (and likely decrease) and you will more than likely lose all your cravings for unhealthful foods. Increased willpower and mental strength that comes from the challenge of practicing yoga in a heated environment will help you maintain your resolve and resist temptation when trying to lose weight.

How Often Should I Do Bikram Yoga To Gain The Best Weight Loss Benefits?
It is recommended that you attend a minimum of 10 Bikram yoga sessions per month (3 or more sessions per week is optimal) to gain maximum weight loss benefits.

How Long Will It Be Before I See Results?
It is accepted that it takes about 13 sessions for your body to start enjoying maximum benefits from Bikram yoga; three classes to understand and get used to the posture, then ten classes to work optimally with poses.

How Should I Combine Bikram Yoga With Diet And Other Exercise?
Bikram yoga shouldn’t be used exclusively as a weight loss tool; it should be used in tandem with a healthy eating plan and other exercise. Indeed, practicing Bikram yoga can help with other aspects of a weight loss program; the physical benefits allow you to exercise more effectively, and the mind/spirit aspect increases your awareness of what foods your body does and doesn’t need.

(provided by yogatohealth.com)

Here are testimonials that some people have given after taking Bikram Yoga:

“My name is Lisa Blythe Perlman, and Bikram Yoga NYC is where I go to achieve “mommy-sanity.” I was a devoted yogi, and practiced 6 to 7 times a week before my pregnancy. I was pursuing the arts and stand–up comedy, and Bikram yoga was what I needed to unwind at the end of a less than stellar day. As a mommy, I knew that there were going to be many facets of my former life I would have to give up–Bikram yoga was not one of them. I still go almost every other day and my son benefits by getting a relaxed and sane mommy afterwards! It is not always easy to get the babysitter and get to class, but I make it a priority… up there with shaving my legs and watching The Bachelorette. By the 26th posture, I am so happy and only wish Bikram created a 27th posture that dealt with toddler tantrums!

“I have only been practicing Bikram for a month but I absolutely love it! I was flexible as a youth (in fact I was relatively physically active) but in my adult years, which have included often with stretches of sedentary living, a lot of this flexibility is reversed. In addition, when I started to get back into heavy physical activity (running in particular) I injured my knee. As a result the range of movement in the knee was greatly reduced. To add to my maladies, I was starting to develop a slouchy posture. So I was looking at ways to improve my posture and live a more healthy lifestyle.

I had been told about Bikram for a number of years but was a little reluctant to participate for fear of fainting. About a month ago I bit the bullet and joined my first class. I was excited and apprehensive at the same time. Yes the class was intense but I immediately felt the results. So I went back during my introductory week. The pain in my knee is greatly diminished and I am feeling fantastic.

Due to my physical activity schedule, I am only able to practice Bikram once to twice per week but now and into the future I am determined to incorporate Bikram into my fitness and lifestyle regime.”

“I began practicing Bikram Yoga a year because of severe back pain. It was recommended to me by a friend and I have been attending 3-5 classes per week ever since. Any physical pain is completely gone, but I have discovered many mental benefits of the yoga as well. At work I can handle stress better than ever and I am more focused and happy at work.”

“Practicing Bikram Yoga has affected everything simultaneously. I have more control over my emotions, physical cravings, and it has made my body stronger and more flexible. This is not like an activity. It is more like a therapy that cures all my ailments. It gives me faith and good hope that I can actually live my life without using any drugs and without having mental dysfunctions. I can learn to control my mind and my body.”

“I NEVER thought that I would ever be practicing YOGA. I recently spent a few months in NYC and had the opportunity to begin practicing Yoga at Bikram 8th Ave. I weigh 200 lbs and I am about as flexible as a log. Yoga HAS changed my life, and I feel great. I am back in Miami and trying to find the closest Bikram Yoga studio to my home.”

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About the author

Mother of three, Athlete & Business Woman. Lover of clean lines in everything from furniture to web design and future yogi and vegetarian in the making!
Currently enjoying the journey from "mother of three body" back to pre-pregnancy fit! No more sugar, fast food or late night binges.



2 Comments


  1. Yes, yes, yes! I love Bikram Yoga. I would like to build a more consistent practice, but I do it in 3 week spurts. This yoga in a hot room changed my life. I went to Hot Yoga for physical reasons, but the mental health benefits are just as great. ..and I don’t need skin care products when I’m doing Bikram regularly. I use Burt’s Bees Evening Primrose cream, an exfoliation glove and I am good to go. Everything else happens from the inside out. I tend to drink more water and stay on schedule with my veggie juice and green smoothies when I’m doing Bikram as well. This was great post!

  2. Ditto to everything Miss Blackman said! Really!

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