Food & Lifestyle Blog

Friday, 18 April 2014

Bikram Yoga: the benefits

Bikram Yoga consists of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, practiced in a room heated to 40 °C (104 °F). It brings endless health benefits and works every part of your body down to a cellular level flushing toxins out of your system. The top 7 benefits are explained below.

1. Weight loss
Bikram Yoga is excellent for weight loss, burning 500 to 1000 calories a session. Your digestive system and metabolism will improve, normalizing your appetite and diminishing unhealthy cravings. Your fat will turn into muscle as you develop muscle tone and strength. Warm muscles burn fat more easily as the heat flushes and detoxifies the body. Your cardiovascular system is also worked and strengthened.

2. Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
Unstable high blood pressure can respond very quickly to a regular Bikram Yoga practice. Many students who maintain a regular practice are able to stop taking blood pressure medication and it can often help keep diabetic symptoms in check. Your circulation increases allowing blood to flow throughout your body cleansing and clearing your arteries and lowering cholesterol levels.

3. Joints and Back Pain
A combination of the heat and the moving, twisting, extending and compressing of every joint can alleviate arthritis. Bikram Yoga has helped countless numbers of people with back pain, stiff necks, headaches, scoliosis, herniated disks and many other back problems.  It works the spine in every direction with many beneficial backbends, creating a healthy spine and thus a healthy nervous system and leading to enhanced flexibility and successful recovery from injury (due to deep stretching).

4. Skin and Beauty
As you sweat, your pores are opened and cleaned allowing natural lanolin to release through the pores, softening and preserving your skin’s elasticity and leaving you with "the Bikram glow".

5. Stress, Anxiety & Emotions
When performing the 26 postures and two breathing exercises, the fight-or-flight response is turned off and a feeling of balanced well-being is replaced. A regular practice can lower cortisol levels, calm the mind, increase mental clarity and release and reduce stress and tension. Bikram Yoga harmonizes the nervous and endocrine systems and cultivates the mental faculties of faith, self-control, concentration, determination, and patience. As we become more aware of our inner life, we notice how events, interactions, and even the atmospheric pressure can affect us. 

6. Breathing problems
The heat promotes relaxation of the muscles and nerves, and you can work with as much intensity as appropriate for your needs. Bikram Yoga will relax your mind and help let go of tensions, toxins and negativity. It strengthens your heart and lungs, improving your lung function and helping with Asthma, Allergies, Respiratory Problems.

7. Thyroid regulation
Many of the postures in Bikram Yoga compress and work the thyroid thus helping to regulate the gland balancing thyroid levels, bringing increased energy, weight loss and better metabolism.


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