11 Sep Bikram yoga and its health benefits
Originally published ‘She Knows’ 31 Jan 2019
6 Health Benefits Of Hot Yoga (So Get Ready To Sweat!)
Hot Yoga, aka Bikram Yoga, has been a popular activity for the past few decades. While a bit slow to be adopted in the UK, it is becoming more and more popular as more yogis learn about the amazing health benefits a regular Hot Yoga practice can have. So If you’re one of a few million Britons, or one of the more than 36 million Americans who practice yoga (according to a 2016 survey conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance), then you’ve likely tried, or at the very least considered, a hot yoga class.
So, what is hot yoga?
Original Hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga, or Hot 26 and 2 is a 90-minute class consisting of a set series of 26 poses performed in a studio heated to around 38-40°C and with a humidity of around 40%. And it’s this heat that typically keeps people out of the studio.
Some also question whether hot yoga is any different than “regular” yoga in terms of health benefits. One study published in January 2018 in Experimental Physiology suggested that it’s the physical practice of yoga that’s good for you, not the heat. Despite the study, however, hot yoga does have its health benefits. Here are five hot yoga benefits we found.
1. Increase in flexibility, leg strength and balance
According to a 2008 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, young adults who attended three Bikram classes a week for eight weeks showed improvements in flexibility, leg strength and balance — more specifically, the ability to balance on one leg. This makes sense considering how many yoga poses and sequences of poses, such as the Sun Salutation, are known to strengthen and tone your body.
2. It’s good for the heart
Hot yoga may be good for the heart, according to a 2015 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Australian researchers studied healthy young adults, some of whom showed a decrease in arterial stiffness. Researchers also studied a small group of older participants who showed a decline in insulin resistance.
Another study, published in 2013 by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, saw similar results regarding arterial stiffness. The study also found that insulin resistance declined among a small group of older participants who did Bikram yoga.
3. It reduces stress
In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 51 adults between the ages of 20 and 54…