Bikram yoga

Feature Alyssa Rhodes Feb 18, 2016

Heard about Bikram yoga? Read our top tips for surviving yoga in the heat

If you like your exercise hot and sweaty, then you'll love Bikram yoga. Not only does this class boast the usual benefits of yoga like improved flexibility and mood, but it's also great for the metabolism and gives you a serious muscular endurance workout. There's got to be a reason why there are so many adoring fans worldwide. If you want to take on the hardcore yoga class, check out our top tips for surviving your first class...

What is Bikram yoga?

Bikram yoga is 90-minute yoga class developed by Bikram Choudhury. It consists of a series of 26 postures. Easy, right? Not when the room is set to 40.6°C - the standard temperature for which Bikram yoga is practiced. Don't forget a towel!

Why would I do this to myself?

There are a range of benefits to doing Bikram yoga, from helping with weight loss and boosting metabolism to improving bodily pains and depression. During your session you will be exhausted and constantly wiping away that sweat, but as your session comes to an end, you’ll actually feel better than you did when you walked in. You will have worked your body and pushed yourself to its limits, and as a result you'll feel rejuvenated and restored.

Top tips
  • Stay hydrated. This doesn’t mean chugging a litre bottle of water when you’re walking in the studio door. Drink around 2 litres of water throughout the day before your session. And post-Bikram make sure you restore your electrolytes and rehydrate.
  • Don’t eat 2 hours before the class. A full stomach can be very uncomfortable in the heat. You don’t want to be hungry either, so a small snack might be okay, but you just have to experiment and see what level of food intake is right for you.
  • Show some skin. You are going to sweat, just accept it. So you want to wear light breathable clothing. Don’t be afraid to show some skin, yoga is not competitive - it’s about challenging yourself.
  • Let it rain. As you sweat throughout the class, try not to constantly towel yourself off. Sweat is your body’s way of cooling you down, so embrace it.
  • Come back. The first session is particularly hard as your body won't know what to expect. But make sure you come back for your second class - that's when the fun really starts! Be patient and enjoy yourself... and the sweat!