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Turn up the heat with steamy yoga

health-and-fitness Updated: May 21, 2011 16:14 IST
Rochelle Pinto
Rochelle Pinto
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The city’s only Bikram Yoga certified centre encourages you to knock off your clothes and turn up the temperature with some steamy asanas

Interested in some seriously steamy yoga sessions?
At the city’s only certified Bikram yoga centre, they like to turn up the heat and get you to strip down to the bare essentials, for some really hot asanas.

Interestingly, while practitioners abroad wear their skimpiest best, often outfitted in bikini tops and hot pants, here the dress code is more subtle, with most wearing tube tops and shorts.

Trainer Michelle Lynne Macdonald, who moved to the country from Canada in February this year, explains, “Bikram Yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury, and constitutes of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. He had the idea to raise the temperature during the yoga session when he was in Japan during the winter and had to teach in an artificially heated room.” This variant of yoga helps in weight loss and strengthening the muscles, while reducing stress.

According to Macdonald, who was trained by Bikram himself, the heat allows the muscle to stretch more easily while also helping the body release toxins in the form of sweat. “We have a heater in the room which we use to increase the temperature. The yoga activity causes the heart rate to go up, hence exercising the cardiovascular muscle system. It is ideal for those who suffer from blood pressure problems or other heart-related issues,” explains Macdonald.

The professional body builder/yoga trainer admits that the workout is challenging, saying, “When you’re doing the asanas, it’s so difficult that you might feel like you’re about to die. But after the class, many students have told me they feel a sense of euphoria, almost like they’re walking on clouds.”

Macdonald denies that this form of hot yoga also helps whet the sexual appetite, stating, “That’s a popular myth, or it may be someone’s personal opinion. In my experience, nobody has expressed this to me.”