Tag Archives: bikram yoga

Is Hot Yoga Healthy?

Hot yoga is one of the fastest growing yoga styles in the world. It involves a series of postures performed in a studio that is heated to 40 degree Celsius of temperature and has 40% humidity. The demanding nature of poses and the increased heat are designed to raise your heart rate and tire your muscles.

Hot yoga is usually referred to as Bikram yoga but there are different styles of hot yoga such as Moksha, Baptiste Power, The Barkan Method and Hot Vinyasa. The difference is in the philosophy, practicing the postures and the approach to heat.

Bikram is the hottest at 40 degree Celsius. The Barkan method involves heat from 90-95 degree Fahrenheit and works on the philosophy of adding variations to the authentic style. Baptiste Power encourages authenticity, with less emphasis on the heat, at around 85°F. The Vinyasa style focuses more on breathing and movement.

The most common question is that doing such intense workout in hot and humid conditions promotes extra fat loss or is it safe for everyone?

Those who are devoted to the practice say that heavy sweating can help remove excess toxins from the body. Hot yoga is said to relax body, improve breathing and mental concentration. Fitness experts say that hot yoga, if done properly, is not harmful, and may seem more challenging. But it has no more to offer than the ordinary yoga. It does not prove to burn any extra calories.

In a small study sponsored by ACE at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, researchers who monitored two dozen healthy adults during regular and hot yoga classes found no difference in the increase in core temperature or heart rate between the two 60-minute sessions. People enjoy hot yoga as it allows them to be more flexible and due to the increased heat and humidity one sweats a lot but as far as physical benefits are concerned, one can achieve them by practicing ordinary yoga too.

Experts suggest taking an advice of a professional before practicing hot yoga. When doing any activity in a hot environment it’s crucial to maintain hydration and to watch out for early danger signs. Dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, mild nausea and muscle cramps, are indicators that you’re not tolerating that heat. Hydration before and during the session is also important to avoid nausea and dizziness. Pregnant women, people with tendency of getting dehydration, heat sensitive people should avoid practicing hot yoga.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Yoga for Weight Loss

         

Yoga could be considered the best exercise form to stay fit and healthy in the long term. Yoga focuses on holistic health and fitness. It helps you lose weight, calms your mind, tones your muscles, improves flexibility, and can cure and prevent many health problems. Yoga serves the purpose of both, beginners starting out a new weight loss program and advanced level fitness fanatics. Some yoga exercises are good for beginners who want to start losing weight but are not motivated enough to start running, lifting weights or doing high intensity yoga routines. Yoga helps increase flexibility in the body gradually motivating you to start increasing intensity of your physical activity. Moreover, you don’t have to head out of the house or buy expensive equipment, since yoga can be practiced from the comfort of your home. All you need are some comfortable clothes and a yoga mat and you are good to go. So start you off on your holistic weight loss journey by trying some of these yoga exercises that can melt away the pounds.

1. Ardha Chandraasana:

This pose also called half-moon pose, it is great to tone your buttocks, upper and inner thighs. If these are your problem areas, this is the pose for you. The added stretch on the sides of your stomach helps burn off those unsightly love handles and strengthens your core.

2. Kumbhakasana

Also known as the plank pose, this asana is the most simple as well as effective pose in Yoga. It strengthens and tones your arms, shoulders, back, buttocks and thighs.

 3. Halasana

This pose (plow pose) is great for those who sit for long hours and tend to have bad posture. It tones the muscles of your buttock and strengthens your shoulders and thighs. It also stimulates the functioning of the thyroid glands, parathyroid glands, lungs and abdominal organs, therefore helping the blood rush to your head and face, improves digestion and keeps the hormonal levels in check.

 4. Utkatasana:

Also known as the chair pose, this aasana requires concentration and focus on the muscles being used. It strengthens the core muscles, thighs and tones the buttocks

5. Vrksasana:

 Also known as the tree pose, this aasana is great for the core and abdominal muscles. Apart from concentrating on your core it also helps your mind focus and tones the muscles of the thighs and arms.

6. Suryanamskar:

Surya namaskar also known as sun salutation is a set of yoga aasanas done in succession. It has amazing weight loss result since it employs various forward and backward bending aasanas that flex and stretch the spinal column activating a wide variety of muscles throughout the upper body and mid section. Believe it or not, this is a full body workout like no other. It has a deep effect in detoxifying your internal organs through copious oxygenation and has a deep relaxing effect.

7. Ardha Matsyendrasana :

 This is also called Half Lord of the Fishes pose, is specifically designed to increase the capacity of your lungs so it can inhale and hold more oxygen. Apart from that it stretches out the spine and tones the thighs and abdominal muscles. According to yoga practitioners this pose stimulates the digestive system helping you digest food more efficiently and burn fat all over your body.

8. Veerbhadrasana 1:

This asana stretches your back, strengthens your thighs, buttock and tummy. It also helps in making you more focused and opens up your chest so you can breathe better. This is an excellent pose to melt away the fat from your midsection.

9. Veerbhadrasana 2:

This is an aasana is a continuation of the veerbhadrasana I. This asana is great to strengthen the muscles in your back, thighs, abdomen and core.

10. Balasana:

 Also Child pose is a great stress buster. It gently stretches the hips, thighs, ankles, calms the mind and helps relieve stress and fatigue. It is also a great remedy for that lower back pain you might have from long hours of sitting.

Yoga is simple and effective to get started to being fit. For effective results from yoga, monitor your junk food intake and manage meal timings. Being consistent in following your yoga routine is equally important.

 

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— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Bikram Hot Yoga- Benefits, Myths

I’m sure you’ve heard that Bikram Yoga is all the rage. We’ve all seen pictures of half naked people sweating their bodies away in super heated rooms while holding all those difficult yoga positions! So, here’s a little bit about Bikram Yoga- it was developed by Bikram Choudhury- born in Calcutta; but currently lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 40.5 Celcius (105 Farenheit) .There are 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. [In India, we don't need those heated rooms- it gets that hot in summer without any special heating equipment :)]

Since your body sweats a lot performing those positions in the heated rooms, Bikram Yoga claims to help rid your body of toxins and promotes blood circulation.

myyoga @ flickr

People claim to lose a lot of weight after performing these classes, but this weight is primarily water weight. Since the body sweats so profusely in those heated rooms, that losing a half a kg of weight (1 lb) should not be surprising. This is temporary weight loss, since it is water weight and once you consume the water, your body weight will return to normal. From a calorie bruning point of view, Bikram Yoga probably burns a reasonable amount of calories, but running for the same amount of time or playing a strenuous sport for that long will probably burn more calories.

Beginners can feel dizzy and nauseous during and after the first few classes. The Bikram Yoga School of India recommends drinking 64-80 oz (about 2 litres) of extra water when you perform Bikram Yoga.

There is controversy around Bikram Yoga in India, since Yoga traditionalists don’t approve of certain practices. Either way, if decide to try Bikram Yoga, ensure to hydrate yourself before, during and after your session.

We are yet to come across any Bikram yoga classes in Delhi. There might be some bikram yoga centers in Mumbai. If you know of them, please share with us!

 

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo