Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Bikram Yoga Differs from Traditional Hatha

As head of Edward J. Post Co., Inc., Lisa A. Post leads a Medford, New Jersey-based company where she works with clients in the construction industry to help meet their surety bond needs. Outside her professional life, Lisa A. Post maintains a daily yoga practice.

As yoga has moved into the mainstream consciousness of western wellness, different disciplines have emerged that can sometimes leave those interested in yoga wondering. Which yoga is which? Aspects of one particular practice, bikram yoga, are sometimes confused with aspects of some others. With this in mind, here are two main elements of bikram that make it different from traditional hatha yoga.

While hatha is typically a more relaxed and fluidly paced yoga, bikram is more of an up-tempo practice designed to make a person work and sweat. To that end, the room is typically warmed up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of 40 percent. Practitioners assert that these conditions promote detoxification and increased delivery of oxygen to the muscles.

Bikram also differs from hatha in its rigidity. The practice consists of the same 26 postures and the same 2 breathing exercises at every session. It’s a wholly systematic approach to yoga. Modifying the postures is typically frowned upon, as bikram is centered on the idea that the body should adopt to the posture, rather than vice-versa.

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