By the tourniquet effect stretching, balancing (using gravity), and creating pressure all at the same time. The blood supply in arteries and veins is being cut off, creating pressure.When released, a lock gate effect is created, causing blood to rush through veins and arteries, flushing them out. Also, pressure is applied to the heart by its relative position to the rest of the body.
Muscles are contracted and stretched at a cellular, biochemical level. Lipids and proteins reorganize optimally in such stretching, allowing for better circulation. Joint mobility and range of motion is increased, and strength is built by the use of gravity. Muscles and joints are balanced. Blood and calcium are brought to the bones. Working against gravity strengthens the bones. The organs of the immune system within the bones (red marrow) are boosted. The lymph nodes are massaged, lymph is pumped throughout the body, and white blood cells are distributed throughout the body as the lymphatic system works more efficiently.
There is compression and extension to the thymus, spleen, appendix and intestines; lungs are stretched and flushed out by increased blood circulation. The endocrine glands are encouraged to secrete appropriate hormones, and the communication between hormones and various glands and systems of the body is perfected. Toxins and waste are eliminated through the organs of elimination. The nerves are stimulated by compression and extension, improving communication within the systems of the body and supplying fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout. The brain is stimulated by improved circulation and by varying blood pressure.
You will be great! The most important thing is to try the right way, as best you can, and you will get 100% benefit. Bring a well-hydrated body, and a mat, towel and water. We can also rent a mat and/or towel and buy water.
You are never too old to practice yoga and begin again. As long as you try the right way, to the best of your ability, you will receive 100% benefit.
A stiff body is the most common misconception about why not to practice yoga, and one of the best reasons to get into a Bikram yoga class. All the postures are beginning postures and you do not need to be flexible to practice them. As you practice, you will build strength, which will help you develop flexibility, which will help you to gain strength, which will help you become more flexible. It doesn’t matter where you start. You will improve!
Know you are not alone! For most, it’s the heat, and not the postures, that makes Bikram yoga challenging. Through regular practice you will learn to not just tolerate the heat but how to use it develop your flexibility, strength, and endurance.
Always consult with your physician, but most women can practice Bikram Yoga when they are pregnant. A regular Bikram yoga practice can make your pregnancy, labor, and post-partum easier than you expect. And learning how to breathe when you are in an uncomfortable position in the yoga studio can be an invaluable tool in the labor room! In this practice there is no impact to mother and child, and lower back pain often decreases while abdominal strength increases. If you’ve never tried Bikram yoga, wait until the end of your first trimester to start. If you have a regular practice, keep it up! There is no separate scheduled pregnancy class but our teachers are trained to provide modifications and alternate poses for you during Bikram’s beginning yoga class. Rajashree Choudhury, Bikram’s wife, developed a pregnancy-modified Bikram yoga class and we recommend it for all of our pregnant yogis.