Bikram Yoga is a 26 Hatha Yoga posture Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury.
The 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give the internal organs, the veins, the ligaments and the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergetically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.
Why 40 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 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 nourishment to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin.
How does Bikram Yoga Work?
By the tourniquet effect: stretching, balancing (using gravity), and creating pressure all at the same time. The blood supply in the arteries and veins is cut off, creating pressure. When released, a lock gate effect is created, causing blood to rush through veins and arteries, flushing them out. Pressure is also applied to the heart by its relative position to the rest of the body.
What is happening in my body during Bikram Yoga?
Muscles are contracted and stretched at a cellular, biochemical level. Lipids and proteins reorganize optimally in such stretching, allowing for better circulation. Joint mobility and range of motion is increased, and strength is built by the use of gravity. Muscles and joints are balanced.
Blood and calcium are brought to the bones. Working against gravity strengthens the bones. The organs of the immune system within the bones (red marrow) are boosted.
The lymph nodes are massaged, lymph is pumped throughout the body, and white blood cells are distributed throughout the body as the lymphatic system works more efficiently.
There is compression and extension to the thymus, spleen, appendix and intestines; lungs are stretched and flushed out by increased blood circulation. The endocrine glands are encouraged to secrete appropriate hormones, and the communication between hormones and various glands and systems of the body is perfected. Toxins and waste are eliminated.
The nerves are stimulated by compression and extension, improving communication within the systems of the body and supplying fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout. The brain is stimulated by improved circulation and by varying blood pressure.