Who is Bikram?
Bikram Choudhury was born in Calcutta, India in 1946. At the age of four, Bikram began studying yoga with India's most-renowned physical culturist at that time, Bishnu Ghosh, the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda (Author of the most popular book on Yoga, The Autobiography of a Yogi).
Bikram would practice yoga from four to six hours every day at Ghosh's College of Physical Education in Calcutta. At the age of thirteen, he won the National India Yoga Championship. He was undefeated for the following three years and retired as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion.
At seventeen, Bikram injured his knee during a weight-lifting accident. Leading European doctors predicted that he would never walk again. Not accepting their pronouncement, he had himself carried back to Bishnu Ghosh's school. Bikram knew that if anyone could help to heal his knee, it was his teacher. Six months later, his knee had totally recovered.
Bikram was asked by Ghosh to start several Yoga schools in India. The schools were so successful that at Bishnu's request Bikram traveled to Japan and opened two more. He has since brought his curative methods of Yoga therapy to yoga studios around the world.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day so you’re well hydrated before coming to class. Good hydration supports the healthy function of all of your body’s systems, and it makes the heat feel comfortable rather than overwhelming.
Don’t eat heavily within 2 hours of the start of class
Dress in cool, comfortable clothes, like you’re going to the beach.
Why the Heat?
Why is Bikram Yoga performed in a heated room?
If you think about it, it makes sense.
Any exercise program focuses on warming up our bodies before vigorous activity. The temperature of the yoga room is similar to our body's own temperature. This accelerates improvement in many of the benefits of your yoga practice.
Regular exercisers recognize that peak performance occurs when fully warmed up and your body generates heat from the inside radiating out and into your muscles.
Why is sweating beneficial?
After experimenting with different levels of heat and moisture, we have found that the increased moisture in the air is more likely to make you sweat, rather than the absolute temperature! And the more people that are in the room, the more moisture from our breath, the more we sweat.
Our room is thermostatically controlled so that the temperature never gets too high, and in dry conditions we use a humidifier to ensure correct humidity.
The heat has many benefits ...
- Your body burns fat more effectively and fat may be redistributed and burned as energy during the class. It is common to lose centimeters of shape in a very short time.
- The heat produces a fluid-like stretch allowing for greater range of movement in joints, muscles, ligaments and other supporting structures of the body.
- Capillaries dilate in the heat, more effectively oxygenating the tissues, muscles, glands and organs and helping in the removal of waste products.
- Your peripheral circulation improves due to enhanced perfusion of your extremities.
- Your metabolism speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids.
- You benefit from a strengthening of willpower, self control, concentration and determination in this challenging environment.
- Your cardiovascular system gets a thorough workout.
- Your muscles and connective tissue become more elastic and allow for greater flexibility with less chance of injury and improved resolution of injury.
- Sweating promotes detoxification and elimination through the skin - which is the body's largest eliminating organ.
- Just as when your body raises its temperature to fight infection, the raised temperature in the room will assist in improving T-cell function and the proper functioning of your immune system.
- Your nervous system function is greatly improved and messages are carried more efficiently to and from your brain.
- Metabolism improves in your digestive system and in the body's cells (that is food in the gut and nutrients in the cells).