“Be consistent. A new endeavour requires a period of commitment. At first, you may feel awkward or self-conscious, promise to stick with it.” — Bikram Choudhury

For thousands of years, cultures throughout the world have enjoyed the many therapeutic benefits of sweating, from the elaborate bath/sauna/exercise complexes of the Romans, to the simple but effective sweat lodge structures of the Scandinavians and the Onsens/hot spring baths of the Japanese. Sweating has proved to be tremendously beneficial to the health of the human body. The yoga room is heated for various reasons. Some of these reasons are as follows:

  • To ensure that the body does not over heat (contrary to popular misconception)
  • To warm the muscles and allow for a safer and deeper stretch
  • To promote perspiration which in turn enables the body to detoxify
  • To thin the blood which in turn will clear the circulatory system
  • To increase the heart rate, which will provide for an enhanced cardiovascular workout, leading to increased weight loss.
  • To reorganize and breakdown the lipids (fat) in the muscular structure.
  • To create a fever reaction that destroys and then eliminates potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria.
  • To promote to soft, clear skin all over the body.

What is happening to 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.