This is the most common misconception that prevents people from coming to a yoga class. Yoga is not about how flexible you are. It is about stretching your body and spine in all directions. All that matters is that you try the right way, go to your personal "edge", and you will get 100% of the benefit!
No matter what your level of fitness, you will find a Bikram Yoga class very challenging. The postures combine flexibility, strength, and balance to work your whole body from your bones to your skin. With persistence, patience, and dedication, you can lose inches and develop muscle tone and strength that might never come from other forms of exercise.
There are unlimited benefits to Bikram yoga. It can reduce stress, increase blood circulation, and improve strength and flexibility. Regular practice (at least three times per week) can reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases (e.g, arthritis and thyroid disorders). It also promotes relaxation and stress reduction.
The room is intentionally heated (approx. 105ºF & 40% humidity) to warm your muscles and allow you to work deeper and yet safer. The heat heals and helps prevent injuries. It promotes sweating, flushing toxins from your body and it increases heart rate, providing more of a cardio vascular workout.
This class is very simple yet very challenging. All levels of practice benefit. As long as you try the right way and do the best you can, you will receive 100% of the benefits. The only person you should compare yourself to is yourself – we all come here to improve ourselves. It is an amazing journey!
Usually the problem is that we do not drink enough water. We need 64-80 ounces of water a day to help the body function properly. In the heated yoga room, your body needs an adequate fund of water to allow perspiration to release heat from the body as you practice. So we estimate you need another 64-80 ounces (sometime during the day) to allow for your 90 minutes in the room. Once you are drinking enough water, your body will tolerate the heat better and you will actually enjoy the heat. Also, it is important to give your body proper nutrition. Be sure you are getting enough electrolytes and minerals; you can try taking a supplement to see if that helps.
We recommend that you attend class at least 3 times a week to receive maximum benefits of the series. The more you come, the quicker you will progress and see the changes in your body. However, any yoga is better than no yoga, so try your best to come as much as you can within the limitations of your schedule.
If you have been practicing Bikram Yoga regularly (minimum 3 times per week) for at least 6 months and become pregnant, it is generally fine to continue coming to class throughout your pregnancy. (Everyone is different, you must listen to your body and consult with your physician.) Please let the instructors know you are pregnant as some modifications must be made. We sell Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga DVD at the studio – this may be helpful to learn the modifications.
However, if your body is not acclimated to the Bikram Yoga class before becoming pregnant, it is not recommended that you start practicing during pregnancy. (You can try Rajashree’s DVD at home after your first trimester if you’d like.)