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What is bikram yoga?

12 Jan 2018
by YogaHabits / Aimée Kuntz

Bikram yoga is a hot yoga form that consists of a fixed series of 26 yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises that is composed so that everyone can participate at their own level. This yoga form is performed in a heated yoga room of about 38 to 40 °C.


About bikram yoga

Bikram yoga is sometimes also referred to as the 26 & 2 as a shortening of the 26 yoga poses and 2 breathing exercises.

Independent of your current strength or flexibility, bikram yoga is designed that you could always participate. Take time to get to know the yoga postures, step-by-step. In the beginning the main challenge is to get used to the heat (especially by learning to breath in the hot room), but for most people that's becoming easier within a few classes. 

The heat is not only ensuring to make your heart muscle work, but also increases your blood circulation. 

Almost every posture is practiced twice and each one is a preparation for the next posture. The series of yoga postures (in combination with the heat) ensures that your heartbeat goes up in one posture and a little bit down again in another yoga posture; thereby bikram yoga also gives you a cardio training.


bikram yoga seriesVisible progress

Because the bikram series is always the same, the yoga postures are not only your yoga therapy, but also provide you an analytic tool to check where you are that day. So you quickly notice what your progress is. It makes you become more aware what needs your attention that day. And since yo practice the postures twice, you could apply your insights from the first set in the second set of the yoga pose.


Physically intensive yoga form

Bikram yoga is physically an intensive yoga form, which attracts not only many women but also many men to the hot yoga room. In 90 minutes you work with your complete body and (partly due to the hot room) also increases your heart rate during class.

Because you sweat a lot in this yoga style, women often wear a yoga bra and yoga shorts to class. Except that this is often feels good because of the heat, you could then also better check if you using your leg muscles properly and lengthening in your spine during the yoga postures. However, if you don't feel comfortable in that, you could of course also wear yoga leggings/capriswith a long yoga top. Men usually wear a mens yoga short in a hot bikram yoga class. I recommend choosing special form-fitted high-tech hot yoga clothing, so that moisture is immediately removed. K-DEER, Yoga Democracy, Onzie, Wolven, Werkshop, Moonchild and Dragonfly are amazing sustainable yoga clothing brands that are perfect for hot yoga practices.


Video to get  bikram yoga school?

The bikram studio where you could regularly find me on the yoga mat is Bikram Yoga Haarlem. Of course I have a biased opinion about this, but there is a reason why this is my home (bikram) yoga studio and why I also have taught bikram yoga there for some years.


Is hot yoga always bikram yoga?

You can practice bikram all over the world; especially in the big cities. Although bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga, not every hot yoga style is bikram yoga; since each yoga style performed in a hot room is hot yoga. So if you like the hot room, there is always a hot yoga style that clicks with you. 


Our favorite bikram yoga kleding

Because of the combination of the temperature in the bikram yoga class and that you would want full range of motion in your yoga postures (while your yoga outfit stays in place perfectly), we recommend yoga clothing that is especially designed for hot yoga styles. Check HERE our extensive assortment of hot bikram yoga clothing.

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