Inversions And Bikram Yoga
| January 2, 2009
Inversions And Bikram Yoga Series
Yoga comprises of several postures. You begin with a warm up session to loosen up your muscles before you begin doing other postures. In a typical yoga session you do a combination of postures in a sequence, where you might begin with a few simple postures and move on to more complicated ones. At the end of every session, you do cooling down exercises to cool the body. There are several types of yoga and Bikram yoga is a form of yoga, which was formulated by a yoga expert of Indian-origin.
Bikram yoga, also known as Hot Yoga, is practiced in a room with very high temperature (about 40 degree Celsius) and high humidity content (40-60%). It is believed that the high temperatures in the room, recreates the soaring temperatures in parts India. The heat also flushes out toxins through excessive sweating and makes the muscles more flexible. This allows practitioners to do deeper stretches and also prevents injuries.
In fact, Bikram yoga students are advised to keep their bodies hydrated by drinking plenty of water before the session and even drinking enough water through the session to prevent dehydration. Every Bikram yoga session is for about 90 minutes, where the yoga teacher takes you through 26 asanas or postures, which are practiced twice. The postures stretch, exercise and strengthen every muscle, ligament, and joint in the body. The asanas also massage your internal organs and keep them energized. This intense form of yoga pushes every practitioner to test their physical limits.
A generic session of Bikram yoga doesn’t include Sun Salutations and inversions. Sun Salutations are left out because the high temperatures in the room have the same affect as the Surya Namaskar; that of heating up the body. Inversions, on the other had, are not included in a usual session of Bikram yoga because most of the students attending classes in studios do not posses the core strength that is needed to perform inversions. And so, asking them to do inversions will only lead to injury. Inversions are said to increase the blood circulation to the brain; but Bikram yoga incorporates other postures that have the same affect. Waist bends and dropping the head are done instead of inversions. Leg bends, leg stretches and rabbit pose have the same affect as inversions.
Bikram yoga advocates building up of the core strength and becoming totally healthy before attempting inversions. Maybe, once you’ve practiced Bikram yoga for several years and have built up your strength, your yoga teacher will ask you to practice inversions in an advanced class.