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What Is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram yoga is a style developed by Bikram Choudhury, which involves a series of 26 postures or asanas, and two breathing or pranayama exercises that are ideally practiced in a room heated to 40C, with a humidity of 60%.

Classes last approximately 90 minutes and are aimed at achieving holistic wellness and overall fitness for the mind, body and soul, including muscle and core strength, not just flexibility.

According to Choudhury, many people only use up to 50% of their lung capacity; the lungs must be stretched in order to (through practice) withstand holding more oxygen. When one is practicing pranayama s/he will eventually be able to enhance oxygen conversion and absorption, as well as improve blood circulation. This is true of any cardiovascular activity.

It is common for beginners to experience dizziness and nausea. Like many forms of yoga, immense amounts of focus and discipline are required to complete a session. There is much controversy as to whether or not performing strenuous exercise in a room heated to 40C is safe.

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