Meditation is a practice in which we train our minds to induce a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself. The word meditation carries different meanings in different...
Bikram yoga is hot stuff right now. Having taken off during the 1970s this variation on Hatha yoga has never been more popular. Its practice consists of a series of poses performed over 90 minutes in a room specifically heated to 40˚C.
Recently, I had a friend visit from San Fran who shook up my entire week’s routine. Most notably, he introduced me to a new yoga instructor named S (for privacy reasons, we’ll keep his name quiet) who teaches hip hop yoga at the beach.
There are three distinct benefits to hot yoga:1. Healing benefits
Primarily, Bikram yoga is about therapy. The combination of poses can help the body to repair old injuries and strengthen the core to help prevent injury in the future. Those suffering from musculoskeletal conditions will feel particular benefit. The presence of heat in the room allows the blood vessels to dilate and tissues to expand. This increases blood flow and oxygen distribution throughout the body which contributes to an overall sense of wellbeing.2. Detoxification
By practicing yoga in a hot room you are encouraging the body to sweat. As you sweat you are releasing toxins from the body. The particular stretches themselves are detoxifying; as you work the muscle you break down the crystals which form within them, this releases uric and/lactic acid, the sweat then allows these toxins to exit the body. Removing toxins from your body not only improves circulation, lowers blood pressure and helps you to lose weight but it is particularly beneficial for emotional wellbeing. This can help those suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.3. Cardiovascular benefits
You may not think that sitting around in a particular pose in a hot room can provide you with a cardio workout – but you’re so wrong! Practicing all the poses stretches your muscles and increases your heart rate, doing this in heat maximises this effect. Your heart works harder as you contract the muscles and balance in the pose. You can burn up to 1000 calories during one class.
Along with these benefits to your body, through the practice of hot yoga you will benefit from total balance of body, mind and soul.
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