8 useful tips for practicing Bikram yoga

Bikram yoga isn’t just a workout, it’s a lifestyle.

It’s about more than just poses and sweating; it’s about creating balance in your life.

Now, practicing Bikram yoga isn’t always easy.

It is hot, challenging, and requires a different kind of focus and commitment.

But don’t fret!

I’m here to share some useful tips to make your Bikram yoga journey easier and more enjoyable.

So, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned yogi, here are eight practical tips to help you get the most out of your Bikram yoga practice.

1) Hydration is key

Bikram yoga is not your typical yoga class.

With rooms heated up to 40 degrees Celsius and 40% humidity, you are bound to sweat.

A lot.

And you know what that means, right?


Hydration is absolutely crucial when you’re practicing Bikram yoga.

Now, this doesn’t mean just chugging a bottle of water right before class.

No, it involves drinking plenty of water throughout the day leading up to your class

Avoid caffeinated drinks as they can dehydrate you.

Instead, opt for herbal teas or coconut water to keep your hydration levels up.

Staying well-hydrated will not only help you avoid dizziness and muscle cramps during the class, but it’ll also aid in flushing out toxins from your body.

So, fill up that water bottle and keep sipping!

2) Embrace the heat

When I first walked into a Bikram yoga class, I was hit by a wall of heat.

It felt like stepping into a sauna.

I’ll admit, it was intimidating and quite overwhelming.

But here’s the thing: the heat is a key element of Bikram yoga.

It’s designed to help you sweat out toxins and increase flexibility.

So, embracing it is part of the challenge.

It took me a while, but I eventually learned to love the heat.

I found that focusing on my breath helped me adjust.

Deep, slow inhales and exhales became my mantra.

Another tip I found useful was to position myself near the back of the room in the beginning.

It’s usually cooler there than at the front.

It’s okay to take breaks when needed.

Sit down, breathe and then join back in when you’re ready.

3) The importance of the right attire

Choosing the right clothing for a Bikram yoga class can make a considerable difference in your overall experience.

The key is to opt for breathable, lightweight, and non-restrictive clothing that allows you to move freely.

Given the high temperatures and humidity in a Bikram yoga class, materials like cotton that absorb sweat can become heavy and uncomfortable.

On the other hand, synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon are designed to wick away sweat, helping to keep you cooler during class.

Interestingly, the founder of Bikram Yoga, Bikram Choudhury, recommends that women wear as little as possible – ideally, a sports bra and shorts – and men wear only a pair of shorts.

The less clothing, the easier it is for your skin to breathe and for you to move through the 26 poses.

4) Listen to your body

Bikram yoga is a challenging practice.

The combination of heat, humidity, and complex poses can push your body to its limits.

And while it’s good to challenge yourself, it’s also crucial to listen to your body and honor its limits.

If you’re feeling dizzy, nauseous, or overly fatigued, don’t be afraid to sit out a pose or two.

Rest in Savasana (corpse pose) if needed.

Remember, it’s not about pushing through pain or discomfort.

Practicing mindful awareness of your body’s signals can help prevent injury and ensure a more enjoyable and beneficial yoga practice.

5) Consistency is king

Bikram yoga, like any other fitness practice, thrives on consistency.

It’s not about doing one intense session and then forgetting about it for weeks.

To truly reap the benefits of Bikram yoga, you need to make it a regular part of your routine.

This could mean attending classes a few times a week or even daily, depending on your schedule and fitness level.

It’s not about the quantity but the quality of your practice.

Even a couple of consistent sessions per week can lead to noticeable improvements in flexibility, strength, and stress levels.

6) Patience is a virtue

Bikram yoga is a journey, not a destination.

It’s about personal growth and transformation, and these things take time.

You might step into your first class and struggle to touch your toes or hold a pose.

You may feel overwhelmed by the heat and intensity. But remember, every yogi started somewhere.

Rather than getting frustrated or disheartened, embrace your journey with patience and compassion.

Celebrate your small victories, like holding a pose a little longer or reaching a little further.

With every class, you’re growing stronger, more flexible, and more in tune with your body.

7) Don’t neglect the mental aspect

When I started Bikram yoga, I was focused solely on the physical challenge.

The heat, the poses, the sweat.

But over time, I realized that Bikram yoga is just as much a mental workout as it is a physical one.

The heat and intensity of the class can bring up all sorts of emotions.

There were days when frustration bubbled up inside me, days when I felt like giving up.

But I learned to use the practice as a tool for self-reflection and growth.

During those intense moments, I learned to turn inwards and observe my thoughts without judgment.

I learned that it’s okay to feel discomfort, to feel challenged. It’s in these moments that we truly grow.

Bikram yoga taught me resilience, patience, and self-love.

It taught me to stay present even when things get tough.

8) Proper nutrition matters

What you eat before and after your Bikram yoga class can significantly impact your performance and recovery.

Before class, opt for a light meal or snack that’s easy to digest.

You don’t want to step onto your mat with a full stomach as it can cause discomfort during your practice.

Foods like bananas, yogurt, or a smoothie can provide you with the energy you need without weighing you down.

After class, replenish your body with a balanced meal.

You’ve lost a lot of fluids and electrolytes through sweat, so it’s important to refuel properly.

A mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats can aid recovery and help restore energy levels.

Listen to your body’s needs and find what works best for you.

Proper nutrition can enhance your Bikram yoga experience, helping you feel stronger, more energized, and ready for your next class.

Embracing the heat within

The journey of Bikram yoga is a beautiful intertwining of body, mind, and soul. It’s more than just a series of poses in a heated room.

It’s a metaphor for life itself.

Just like life, Bikram yoga can be challenging, intense, and at times, uncomfortable.

But it’s through these challenges that we grow.

It’s in the heat that we find our strength, our resilience, and our ability to thrive.

Every drop of sweat shed on the mat is a testament to your dedication, your commitment, and your courage.

Every breath taken in the midst of a challenging pose is a reminder of your ability to stay calm and present, even in the face of adversity.

Tiffany Mcgee

Tiffany Mcgee

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