How to Prepare for a Bikram Yoga Class

Bikram Yoga Class pic

Bikram Yoga Class

Ana Docoito-Nelson is based in New York and has experience in management and as an executive assistant. She currently works with Gramatan Management, Inc. as a property manager. Outside of work, Ana Docoito-Nelson is a holistic health and yoga practitioner. Though she started practicing Hatha yoga, she now enjoys Bikram yoga.

Bikram yoga is an intentionally designed series of 26 postures led by a certified instructor in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and with 40% humidity. Since the practice involves specific rules about posture alignment and room temperature, there are a few ways students should prepare for attending a Bikram class.

What to Bring:

It is recommended to bring a yoga mat, a towel, a washcloth, and a water bottle. Some studios sell or rent mats and towels, but a student should call the studio rather than assuming it will provide any items.

What to Wear:

Clothes should be as light as possible. Avoid bulky t-shirts that will interfere with movement, and consider wearing tight exercise clothes or a swimsuit.

What to Eat:

No food should be eaten one to three hours before class. The last meal eaten before a class should be a small quantity of easily digestible food. However, students should drink lots of water starting several days before taking a Bikram class. If regularly practicing Bikram, it is recommended to drink four liters of water per day.


How to Safely Enjoy Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga pic

Bikram Yoga

Ana Docoito-Nelson, works for Gramatan Management, Inc., as a property manager. When not on the job, Ana Docoito-Nelson enjoys Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, because people perform it in an environment that is heated to 105 degrees.

Bikram yoga has unique effects on the body, and practitioners must make provisions for these in order to get the most out of their yoga sessions. Because of the heat component of this type of yoga, students must remember the importance of staying hydrated. The body needs between 64 and 80 ounces of water each day just for normal activities. An individual performing Bikram yoga can expect to drink twice that amount to stay hydrated during a 90-minute exercise session.

The body also needs potassium and salt to safely perform Bikram yoga. It’s a good idea for those with a deficiency in either of these minerals to take supplements before class. Not having enough of either mineral often results in nausea or headaches.

Postures and Breathing in Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga pic

Bikram Yoga

Ana Docoito-Nelson is a property manager with Gramatan Management, Inc. in New Rochelle, New York. In her position, which she has held since 2012, Ana Docoito-Nelson manages daily office operations, and oversees enhancements to the value of the properties under her charge.

In her spare time, Ms. Docoito-Nelson enjoys practicing Bikram yoga. Bikram is a style of hatha yoga, developed by the yogi Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s. Bikram involves 26 poses, practiced in a specific sequence, in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 26 postures in the Bikram yoga practice are designed to oxygenate every part of the body. A session begins with a standing series that includes familiar yoga asanas like eagle and triangle pose. Students then move to the floor, where the remaining 14 poses, such as bow pose and camel pose, are practiced.

While performing the 26 postures, students are instructed to engage in 80-20 breathing. This breathing style requires taking in a full breath before beginning the pose and, while doing the pose, exhaling and then inhaling only 20%. Keeping 80% of the breath in the lungs at all times is believed to improve balance and energy.