Before you bend it like Bikram, there are a few things you should know. Classes run 90 minutes and feature a 26-posture sequence in a heated room that reaches an average of 105 degrees. Humidity in the room typically reaches around 40 percent.
If you're a Bikram beginner, show up well hydrated, dressed to sweat and avoid pushing yourself too hard until you truly have a handle on working out in the heat. If you feel overwhelmed, sit down, relax and breathe through your nose until you feel ready to rejoin the class.
The benefits of meditation are virtually endless, but there are some benefits that are especially important for moms. Meditation helps you unwind, reconnect with yourself, reflect on and appreciate life and even experience calm. If you love the calm that comes with yoga and want to zero-in on your focus through meditation, Bikram might be for you! You won't find a specific meditation period during a hot yoga class, however. Bikram considers the class a 90-minute-long meditation.
Founder Bikram Choudhury believes that the heat allows your muscles to warm up quickly and enables students to stretch deeper. Proponents of hot yoga believe that this environment makes Bikram even more beneficial than non-heated yoga in terms of promoting flexibility and deep stretching. While there are some who challenge whether greater flexibility is directly attributed to the heat in the room, one of the most important things to remember if you're taking on Bikram — or any yoga for that matter — is to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too far. If you can only stretch 10 percent on any given posture, stay there and focus on slowly stretching deeper in subsequent classes as you build on your practice.
Yoga is one of the few workouts where physical and mental disciplines meet. A Bikram workout is just as much about mind as it is about body. It helps you relax and manage stress while you simultaneously strengthen your body and burn calories. If you're a busy mom with little me time, 90 minutes of Bikram is a great investment of your time because you can work on your fitness and your peace of mind at the same time.
Sweat it out
While it might not look glamorous, there are actually both health and beauty benefits to sweating. Sweat can clear your skin and help slow down the appearance of aging, unclogging pores as it moves out of the body through your skin. Think of Bikram as a facial for your whole body! Sweat can also give your mood a lift, releasing endorphins as you perspire with exercise. Plus, sweating helps your body rid itself of toxins.