Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sweating is healthy!

Sweating is healthy. This is all so good for my body.

I have to keep telling myself this as I sweat buckets and buckets during Bikram yoga. Bikram yoga is one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life. Having said that. it is also something that makes me feel better than anything else that I've ever done. I started going about a year ago. A friend in Phoenix told me how much energy she felt after a class and about all the weight that she had lost. So, I figured that it would be worth a try. I was getting really bored with my workout routine at the gym anyway. Now that I live just steps away from Bikram's World Headquarters, I feel almost obligated to go now. Bikram himself teaches a Saturday morning class that I will definitely attend soon!

Why Bikram Yoga?

Bikram yoga is so good for you. This heated workout helps with deeper stretching, injury prevention, and stress and tension relief. During a class, the 26 postures systematically stimulate and restore health to every muscle, joint, and organ of the body. There are two complementary aspects of these 26 exercises, asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), though many other branches of yoga also use these methods. According to Bikram himself, many people only use up to 50 percent of their lung capacity, and just like any muscle, the lungs must be stretched in order to (through practice) withstand holding more oxygen. With continues practice of the breathing exercises, you will eventually be able to enhance oxygen conversion and absorption, as well as improve overall blood circulation.

Why is blood circulation so good?

Bikram claims that blood circulation is affected immensely during Bikram Yoga because of two processes called extension and compression. These two dynamics are said to work together to deliver fresh oxygen to every joint, muscle, and organ within the human body. While performing a specific asana (pose), the body is stretching or compressing a certain part of the body, thus cutting off circulation temporarily. This restriction of circulation causes the heart to pump more blood in reaction to the shortage. The pumping of excess fresh blood is called extension. Once the asana is complete and the individual comes out of the posture, the new oxygenated blood is able to rejuvenate the arteries that were being compressed. Because of the volume change and influx of fresh blood, it is said that infection, bacteria, and toxins can be released through this process.

Sounds pretty awesome, eh? This is why I put myself through 90 minutes of extreme heat and torture. It's even harder when you don't go very often which was my problem today. I hadn't gone in about a month so it was a rough class for me and I had to sit out a little bit. It was so hot in there that my own necklace was burning my neck! It was definitely over a 100 degrees in there!

"The mind has five aspects which as they develop, bring equanimity to the mind. These are: Faith, Self-control, Determination, Concentration, and Patience. Each of these five develop by practicing Bikram's Yoga. When we're forced to do something that is against our own nature, our soul is unhappy, there is no peace. When the soul is unhappy, pain begins to trouble the body as well. Rather than change your ways to conform with the world, you must eventually find a way to express your truth from your heart regardless of the world." -Bikram

1 comment:

  1. As you know, I have been doing yoga for 11 years (on and off), but I have never ventured into the hot room. Maybe I'll go with you sometime. I can't wait to hear about the class you take with Bikram himself. Good luck. xoxo