As stated in a few of my previous posts, I recently got back into bikram yoga. My goal is to attend classes for 7 days straight; today will mark day 4. After a week of attending classes, I will resume a regular running and weight lifting routine, then head back to bikram yoga for a 3rd full week. I’ve completed this work-out schedule before and I remember being 10 pounds lighter, healthier, fit, and more toned. I figured it was time to get back in the swing of things, especially since Thanksgiving meals and Christmas sweets are quickly approaching.
Here’s a quick history of bikram yoga, for those who don’t know what it is or want to learn more about its benefits:
Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s. Bikram Yoga sessions run for exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (≈ 40.6°C) with a humidity of 40%,and is the most popular form of hot yoga.
The goal of Bikram Yoga is general health; Bikram Choudhury states that a heated studio helps deeper stretching and injury prevention, while reducing stress and tension. Bikram claims that his system stimulates, and restores health to, every muscle, joint, and organ of the body, while at the same time increasing circulation to all organs in the body. This supposedly helps in the prevention of heart disease and organ failure. According to Choudhury, many people only use up to 50 percent of their lung capacity, and thus the lungs must be stretched in order to withstand holding more air. In a 2007 interview, Choudhury stated that when one is practicing pranayama, he or she will eventually be able to enhance oxygen absorption, as well as improve blood circulation, as in many other forms of cardiovascular activity.
It’s important to switch up your exercise activities. It definitely makes working out more enjoyable when you have multiple activities to partake in. I recommend yoga, bikram yoga, biking, kickboxing, hiking, and running. If you’re more motivated by deadlines, try signing up for a 5K or cycling race. That way, you’ll have a deadline to meet and can create your training schedule accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to try something new! Chances are you’ll enjoy it more than you thought.