Bikram Yoga Review

Editor's Review: 3.9 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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Bikram Yoga is a style of yoga which is practiced in a 105° room. Some refer to this style of yoga as “Hot Yoga”. Bikram was created by a company in California with Bikram Choudhury. Not only is the room heated but the humidity is set at a level of 40%. Classes are said to include twenty six positions or postures and two specific breathing exercises. A vigorous yoga session performed at this temperature is said to promote extreme sweating and that it is able to rid the person’s body of toxins. The body becomes very warm which is said to increase one’s flexibility. Let’s see if Bikram Yoga produces and noticeable weight loss benefits.

Bikram yoga was designed to stimulate every muscle in a systematic way to bring heath to all parts of the body, especially one’s joints and organs. Those who participate use a series of 26 distinct postures for this type of yoga. Through the art of Bikram Yoga, all parts of the body are affected including blood circulation, heart, and lungs, all of the muscles, and even brain activity & mental capacity. The 26 posture exercises of Bikram Yoga are referred to as asanas and pranayama, which are postures and breathing exercises, respectively. While practicing Bikram Yoga, some participants may not use their entire lung capacity at first. As time passes if one continues to practice this type of yoga, a person will eventually be able to withstand holding more oxygen due to stretching of the lungs. This holds true with any type of exercise of the muscles. Enhanced oxygen conversion and absorption along with improved blood circulation is said to be an added benefit of practicing Bikram Yoga.

Extension and compression are two main principles of Bikram Yoga which affects the circulation of the blood. Extension and compression work together to send fresh oxygen to all parts of the body including muscles, organs, and joints. As a participant performs a certain “asana” parts of the body are compressing or stretching alternate body parts to temporarily cut the circulation off. The restricted circulation is said to cause one’s heart to send excess blood to those places which were previously compressed. ‘Extension’ is what happens when excess fresh blood is pumped to parts of the body. Once one has completed the “asana” and comes out of the posture or position, the fresh blood will rejuvenate the arteries that were just being compressed through the use of oxygen. Bikram Yoga is also said to be able to release toxins, bacteria, or infections due to the excess delivery of fresh blood in one’s body.

Product Features

Bikram Yoga is claimed to be an exercise system which promotes restoration, rejuvenation, and overall wellness. The heat in the yoga studios facilitate a more intense form of stretching to prevent muscle trauma and to release tension while detoxifying the body.

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Advantages

  • Bikram Yoga promotes wellness, restoration, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Disadvantages

  • Bikram Yoga should not be used exclusively as a weight loss tool. In order to be effective, any exercise plan must include a healthy eating plan.
  • Practicing Bikram Yoga may help with other aspects of another weight loss plan by promoting body awareness and flexibility.
  • Bikram Yoga when used alone will not in itself cause one to lose body fat. (See reader comments.)

Conclusion

Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga as it is called does promote wellness, restoration, relaxation, and rejuvenation and it is a well known fact that a workout that promotes sweating will result in weight loss. Bikram Yoga should not be used exclusively as a weight loss tool. In order to be effective, any exercise plan must include a healthy eating plan. Practicing However Bikram Yoga when used alone will not in itself cause one to lose body fat.

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Editor: Paul Blake

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28 User Reviews about Bikram Yoga

  • 1
    TRANG TRAN

    I’ve been practicing Bikram for just over a WEEK,I was going to pass out from the heat and nose have bleeding for a week too. I think the air so dry from heat maby hot yoga not the place for me, I love it try to come back but my nose continue bleeding none stop for a week so scary

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  • 2
    Jen

    I’ve been practicing Bikram for just over a month, and I am addicted! The first few times I went, I felt like I was going to pass out from the heat, and the amount of sweat that was pouring out of me was UNBELIEVABLE!! My towel weighed about 10 pounds when class was finished! But I felt sooo relaxed, and I slept like a baby, and I’ve been going back ever since. Its indimidating at first, because the postures are new, and it seems like everyone knows what they’re doing except you. But because its is the same sequence every class, you become familiar with the postures and can get into them deeper with every class you take. I’m 5’6, and I excersice regularly, such as running 6-12km 3 days a week, spin class, weights ect..and I’ve weighed 143-145lbs for the last 3 years. Since I’ve started Bikram, I now weigh 136lbs. It definietly makes you want to ear healthier after detoxing your body, so I know that has helped with the weight loss. I am currently going to classes 4-6 days a week. If you haven’t tried Bikram yet, GO DO IT!! It is challenging, but it is so beneficial! My anxiety is gone, my skin is clearer, and my body is more toned. There is nothing to lose!

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  • 3
    Tina

    I have been practicing for 6 weeks now at 5X a week. I am 5’2″ and was 121 lbs. I am up to 123 lbs. The first 3 weeks, I was starving after class and probably ate more than normal. The last 3 weeks, I have been eating normally — I eat fairly healthy. My clothes aren’t tighter, and my legs are harder and more firm. I am not losing weight from this, so I think one would need to incorporate another physical activity to lose weight. But, my back and neck feel so much better, I have much better well being, and my skin has cleared up quite a bit. I love Bikram yoga and have signed up for a 1 year membership. As for fluids, I definitely recommend making sure you are getting your trace minerals and drinking lots of water. During week 3, I felt super weak after the 5th day, and I was wiped out the whole weekend. So, I make sure I drink Ola Loa or Emergen-C and take the occasional supplement or green drink (barley greens).

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  • 4
    becky

    i love hot yoga. I have been doing 6+ classes a week, for about 4 weeks now and my skin is so super soft all over. To start with lots of spots came out on my face, but I have made sure to drink lots of water and the yoga has transformed my skin and given it a complete detox. I have also started a healthy diet. And the diet and yoga together with lots water is a miracle worker. I am 5ft 4 and 140lbs, I have lost 8lbs already and hoping for another stone over the next 4 weeks. Hot yoga is addictive and i completly love it. So many health benefits. And my body feels amazing. Not to mention the satisfaction after hard work spent working on the postures and being able to do them better each week,

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  • 5
    sap

    i just started hot yoga last week, and come to a conclusion just after a week that it isgreat way to tone up, detoxify, and loose weight, ive tried many diets, excersizing, and have yet to experience some type of benefit with hot yoga, being 5’5 and 140 pounds, ive been able to loose about 10 pounds in a week with dieting but immediately gain it back twice in amount the next week, ive already lose 5 pounds in the first week, eating the saem as i was eating before, my goal is to loose 20 more pounds before the middle of july. Hopefully i can stick with it!

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  • 6
    liz

    I’ve been struggling with weight problems for almost 4 years. I sometimes just want to give up but I don’t want to continue being overweight.
    I’m going on my second week of Bikram and I really enjoy it, but haven’t lost a lb. Does anyone have a weight loss success story by practicing Bikram yoga?If so how long did it take you to notice results, weight loss? Did you combine diet or diet supplements such as fat burners? Thanks in advance for your time and support.

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    mila

    not me but my friend james went from 180lb to 168lbs doing bikram for about 5 weeks. i’d say he goes minimum 3 times a week and once went for 7 days straight. i think you have to go at least 30 days (not necessarily in a row) at least 3 times a week and drink lots of water and have a good diet as well. i start april 1st! i’ll let you know! good luck. stick with it. :)

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    g

    i agree with mila, 3-4 times a week at minimum, water and diet. i believe any physical activity will work for weight loss depending on how much of it you do. also, how much you do depends on what you like, what works for you. i heart bikram yoga! it suites me, i do not like vigorous/aerobic types of activity. i can tell you the benefits i have gained from bikram yoga but the list would be endless!

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    Anonymous

    I am now on 25 day straight of Bikram and i have gained 3 lbs. I wasen’t overwieght to start with , but did want to loose about 7 lbs. I am doing the 60 day challenge and I’m curious if the weight will come off at the end. Any suggestions?

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  • 7
    Delfina Silva

    I have been practicing Bikram in Florida for the past 10 months and my body started to crave good foods. I lost 10 pounds. I used to run 3 miles daily and could not loose a pound and my knees were in terrible shape. This yoga is definetely worth the time – both physically and mentally. I plan on practicing this yoga forever.

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  • 8
    marta

    Bikram yoga is a novelty and definitely helped me get back into exercise and clean out after quittng smoking. However, the lights, carpet, overcrowding and lack of fresh air take away from the healthy factor. The studios charge for water! don’t give you a mat $5 and only give you two towels (you know they would give some bogus we do that for the environment lie). It seems to attract aggressive personlities and a few pervs too :) As soon as my month member ship is over I’m otta there to go to a studio that respects its clients more. it’s great for the people it helps I just think Bikram is a primitive and has a tacky setup

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  • 9
    Ilene

    I am 60 and have had spine problems for over 30 years. Now that I am doing Bikram the neck and back aches are gone, as well as no more headaches. It’s tough at 1st but it feels great. I get lot’s of compliments on my skin too.

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  • 10
    Danny Gould

    I have been running triathlons for years and tried one Bikram class to help me with heat acclimation during my race season and I was hooked after one class this has helped me in every way possible! You have to try this!

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  • 11
    Realistic Practitioner

    I definately love yoga and the styles that are out there. I can honestly say that Bikram Yoga is at the top of the disciplines out there. With exception to Kundalini Yoga I think Bikram is by far one of the best ways to get in shape,be flexable and get rid of chronic pain issues in your body. HOWEVER, I must caution people who are taking these 30 day challenges and going to the classes everyday or even a couple of times a day. People need to realize that 105degrees with 40% relative humidity is VERY taxing to the body. it can be detoxifying for the body yes,but you have to watch it and be careful in your practice. When you sweat that is your body’s natural reaction to heat in order to cool the body down. Heat exposure has contributed to many deaths and health problems in people. When you also sweat you are also sweating like you do in the classes you are depleting your body of electrolytes, sodium potassium, sugar, etc. all of which are needed to promote healthy balance in the body. you NEED to replenish yourself in these classes and take steps to ensure that you are not going to pass out due to overexposure. My suggestion to those who are wanting to get into Bikram for the first time, Drink WATER like it is going out of style,certainly do not hyperhydrate yourself(waterlog) but drink enough to put back in what your body is sweating out. Most Bikram studios will provide water for you. As for supplementation i HIGHLY reccomend you down an “Emergen-C” packet a few minutes before class. make sure you have also been able to urinate before you start a session. Believe me they dont want you leaving the room and there is nothing more uncomfortable and stressful for the body when you are holding it in and trying to hold the postures. Also, when you finish a Bikram class, GO FOR A 15 MINUTE WALK, and that will eliminate the headache you will feel the second you get into the car and sit in that unatural position of forward flexion. DRINK COCONUT water and down another Emergen-C packet after a class as well and Drink enough water to keep yourbody from feeling dehydrated. If you follow these simple steps you can enjoy a bikram class and not whack your system out. Many make the mistake of thinking that the reason they feel so dizzy and wonky a day after a class is because you are detoxing. well you are constantly detoxing in your body,,that wonky feeling is your body trying to normalize itself aftert having sweated out vital nutrients in your body. So be Mindful and be Careful and if you are overweight and decide to go to a bikram class, TAKE CARE,,there is no judgement in these classes,everyone supports everyone else and a GOOD leader in the class will be mindful of you and lend support.. Enjoy your Bikram as I do and many others. Peace, Namaste.

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    Rose

    Thanks for posting this info!! I just took my first class and while I felt fine during, about 2 hours later, the nausea and headache hit. I did drink a coconut drink right afterwards and ate a banana to try to head it off but the symptoms came anyway. Hopefully, I can summon up the courage to go back (using the info you posted about the EmergenC, water and walking – of course).

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  • 12
    will

    Bikram will certainly increase flexibility, and flush out all the bad stuff in your body. If your an overweight out of shape person, you’ll definitely struggle at first but your body will thank you after. Id say though once your body has adjusted, the only weight you lose is water weight, other than that you still need to get a mix of other forms of exercise to really benefit from Bikram. I take Tae kwan do, and since doing bikram my flexibility has improved, the injuries to my hip flexors have gone away, and my knees don’t ache anymore. i recommend giving it a try

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  • 13
    Denise

    I am absolutely in love with Bikram yoga and I would choose this form of exercise over any others any day. Since my first session, I have felt a greater sense of well-being, more in tuned with my spiritual side, more flexible and a greater range of movement, and weight loss. I am amazed at how my body can move and twist in ways I never could before and how strong it has become. I feel more relaxed and carefree and gained a better perspective in life. This may all sound exaggerated, but Bikram yoga has made a big difference in my life.

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  • 14
    BiancaGen

    I am a HUGE fan of Bikram Yoga! I started off doing a 30 day challenge. At the end of the month I had lost 23 lbs. Bikram was the only thing that I did, and included a healthy diet. I for years have had weak wrists, back problems, and flat feet. My wrists are completely healed, I can actually do push ups now! Back problems have ceased, and my flat feet that used to cramp up if you looked at them, now have a slight arch and don’t cramp at all. I am also asthmatic and have horrible allergies. I have found I don’t have to use my inhaler and my allergies are pretty much gone. I have also started running. I have never run in my life and now can do so. I would definitely reccommend Bikram Yoga to anyone wanting to improve overall health and well-being. A healthy diet is a must of course and you would have to practice more than once or twice a week. I fell in love with this practice, I hope everyone loves it as much as me!

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    Shelley Hudson

    I am starting a 30 day challenge next month. I can’t wait. I have been to two classes and I am hooked. I had a lumbar-lami so I can do 20 out of the 26 without pain. Wish me luck!

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  • 15
    Ash

    A year or so ago I started Bikram Yoga and after practising 2-3 times a week with a little walking I lost the 5kg my body had just refused to shed any other way. I would definitely suggest Bikram as a good weight loss tool if combined with healthy eating. It also gives you renewed energy, great skin & is a fantastic way to maintain exercise through the winter months!!!

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  • 16
    Ria

    I’ve been doing probably 3 weeks worth of Bikram yoga, and I’ve lost 10-15 pounds. I do hot yoga 4-5 times a week. I’ve seen a lot of changes in my body already.
    - skin feels soft as a baby’s bottom
    - leg muscles are toned
    - my body is more flexible
    - I had a problem with my knee joints when I sit on my knees and have my hips down – problem is gone. I could do the fixed firm pose no problemo.
    - i don’t need to wear a belt when i wear my jeans no more, as in they stay on the spot now. I probably lost an inch or two waist wise.

    overall it’s a good thing to start of with when you’re overweight. But if you have a normal weight for your size, then it’ll take more than hot yoga to trim down even more.

    Use hot yoga as a foundation, and take everything step by step.

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  • 17
    Karen

    Last summer I did Bikram Yoga 5 days a week for 2 months. I’m small (5’3″); I was about 115 pounds when I started and didn’t lose much weight while I was practicing because whatever I lost in fat I gained in muscle. When I stopped (too busy during the school year) I lost the muscle and dropped to 100 lbs and have remained there. Bikram yoga is amazing. If you practice regularly you will get in great shape. It will be hard at first, but very rewarding in the end.

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    Anonymous

    I am about your size and am wondering what I can expect from Bikram. Were you noticably more toned when you were practicing Bikram?

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  • 18
    Anath

    I have been practicing Bikram for three weeks now, and in that short time my lower back pain that I have had for 12 years is vanishing!!! I feel fantastic and that in itself is worth it!!

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  • 19
    Mac

    I’ve practiced Bikram Yoga since April 2009 as my ONLY form of exercise (along with a healthy eating plan) and lost 55 pounds and countless inches. It has been an amazing transformation physically, mentally and spiritually!!

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    Bekah

    How often do you do it?

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  • 20
    Raphaela

    I’ve been practising bikram yoga for 6 months now. I can say for certain that in those first 3 months, I did not lose any weight despite the studio’s claim that one burns 750 calories in a 90-min class. Burning calories equals losing some body fat. Yet, it did not happen for me nor my friends who joined the class rigorously . That said, once I started incorporating other form of workout routines like roller blading, biking, weight-resistance training and exercising using cardiovascular machines, I began to see amazing results. Both on the weighing scale and my body. So yeah, overall, bikram yoga does tone up your figure but you definitely can’t rely solely on it to keep the pounds off.

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    Michael

    I’ve been practicing Bikram for the past 8 months going about 4-5 times a week. I don’t think people should rely too much on the whole weight thing because muscle actually weighs more than fat so just because you’re not lossing weight doesn’t mean you’re not losing fat. I can definitely say I’ve lost fat and toned up considerably. It’s the best and most healthy workout I’ve ever done and I’ve never felt better about myself!

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