Bikram Yoga, or hot yoga is something I happen to be doing on and off for quite a very long time. Actually I started before my continual back pain began. Before I get into discussion has had a curative effect I will describe this specific type for the advantage of those who may not have come across it before.
Bikram Yoga was created by a chap called Bikram Choudhury in Los Angeles in the 1970s but it is so or only in the last ten years that it has exploded in popularity. He was a weight lifter who had some sort of accident that crushed his knees. Told he would not walk again, Bikram determined to turn to fix his problems.
He’d been practicing Yoga since a young age so he returned to formulate a number of yoga poses to fix his knee. The result was the 26-posture series that’s instructed in exactly the same way in every 90 minute Bikram Yoga class all around the world.
Bikram Yoga is performed in a room heated to 105 degrees F (42 degrees C) and it is the heat that and others truly separate this yoga. It is maintained the heat warms up the fascia in the body enabling one thereby reap larger benefits and to get deeper into the positions.
I immediately became addicted to it and first tried Bikram Yoga about a decade. Although the ninety minute courses are incredibly demanding (this can not be over stated) the feeling you’ve got after a class are truly amazing in the days. You do indeed feel stronger, more attentive and full of vigor. Bikram asserts that by practicing his series you will live a longer, more healthy life and that his Yoga show is a holy grail. Bikram seems to be fairly a bombastic nature who maintains a tight grip on his yoga franchises around the world, apparently suing those studio owners who deviate from his teaching or open competitive “hot yoga” studios. Despite all this anti-yogi behavior, I have seen many instances of folks transforming their bodies over the course of regular practice. The goal of this post though is to reply if my chronic back pain was cured by Bikram Yoga.
During the next few months I did as instructed and worked really hard on the back bend poses in the class. This was, at first fairly chilling because as you’re bending back you keep expecting to hear a horrible cracking noise and discover yourself lying in a heap with a slipped disc. The reality is this doesn’t happen, really I have never seen anyone injured in a Bikram Yoga class (I have seen a few people run out to be ill but the usual problem is that they’ve not drunk enough water prior to class – you sweat an enormous quantity over the ninety minutes so pre-hydration is essential). The following are the bearings that I focussed on for several months and are outstanding for the back.
- Half Moon Pose. In this posture you extend up with you arms bend to the right and locked behind your ears, hold it for a minute and then reverse. As part of this bearing in addition, you lean back in that same secured position. This creates an incredibly deep (and initially quite chilling) back bend.
- Standing Bow. In this bearing you kick back and hold a foot, at exactly the same time reaching forward with the opposite hand and bringing the body down into a flat position. This creates a deep back stretch in the spine.
- Triangle Pose. This posture is billed as the “master posture of the standing string” (half the class are standing positions and half are lying down bearings).
- Cobra Pose. This posture is performed lying in your stomach with your hands palm-down with the tops in line. The objective is to arch your upper body off the floor using only your lower back strength (not your arms).
- Locust Pose. This posture is performed lying in your front with your arms palm down underneath your own body. You first raise your right leg behind you, then finally both and in that case your left leg (!) legs together. At first you may only have the capacity to lift your feet an inch off the ground, but as your back gets stronger, you may have the capacity to lift them higher. I am able to get my legs nearly vertical these days but patience is key with this posture.
- Complete Locust Pose. In this posture you’re again lying in your front but this time your arms are outside (like aeroplane wings). The objective is to lift your legs and your arms giving a huge stretch to your middle back.
- Flooring Bow. In this posture, again lying in your front you kick and grasp your ankles you appear somewhat like a rain drop from the side. Again this can be quite a deep back bend.
- Camel Pose. This really is the deepest back bend you will do in the group. You stand in your knees and clasp your heels while bending deeply back. It’s possible for you to feel really odd after releasing from this one – it will stir up some emotions!
These are the eight bearings out of the twenty-six in the chain that I paid the most attention to. The other positions are a mix of forward bends, balancing poses and breathing exercises. The forward bends shouldn’t be dismissed as they complement the back bends but in case you have back problems you constantly suck in your abs as closely as possible and should take care with them during each set. Your instructor will have a way to show you how to adjust things as required to protect your back.
So did Bikram Yoga heal my chronic lower back pain?
The short reply is not yet.
However, things have been greatly enhanced by it. I think the key to success with this yoga is routine practice. I tend to go in 3 month bursts take a rest. One difficulty for me is that it’s a ninety minute class so you need and a half hours in total depending on how far away you live from the studio. This may be difficult to fit into a busy program. I do understand that after I have been going consistently for several weeks, my back feels much better; pain free and freer. Nevertheless after i cease going, the pain does tend to creep back. I do know plenty of people at my local studio who’ve reported dramatic changes for their well-being that is back after standard practice but I think this yoga is something you only have to incorporate to get the maximum benefits.