Saturday, April 28, 2012

Why does Bikram Yoga need to be hot and Snow on the Mountains

Snow over Lake Cachuma, acrylic on cavas.  My very first painting from years ago.

Brrrr...that is how I felt in my Bikram Yoga class yesterday.  Not quite as cold as this painting of snow on the mountains overlooking Lake Cachuma but pretty darn cold, at least by Bikram Yoga standards.  As soon as I walked into the studio yesterday it hit me...or rather that hot wall of air DIDN'T hit me.  Turns out the main heater was broken.  The only source of heat in the room were two wall heaters, a humidifier and our bodies.  I was surprised by how many people left when they heard the room wasn't 105 degrees.  As some ladies were leaving I heard an instructor who was taking the class say "but what if you get stronger today?"  Well said.  I stayed.

Here is Bikram's official stance on the heat in the room:

Why 105 degrees? Yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishments to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin

Here's what I learned:

You burn WAY less calories in a not-hot hot room!  As you know I've been counting calories lately and wearing my hear rate monitor in class I have learned I can burn up to 500 calories in 90 minutes.  (You can read more about it here.)  Today I only burned 209.  Everything the same but the heat.  So the heat not only flushes away impurities, I say it flushes away fat!  Bring on the heat!

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