Get Hot with Bikram Yoga

A lot of yoga styles are about comfort. They are about relaxing into movements that require concentration and precision without causing pain or discomfort. Bikram yoga is a little different. With this form of yoga, you get hot, sizzling hot. Doing Bikram yoga is like an Australian summer, it requires that you prepare beforehand for the heat and take precautions. This may sound unpleasant, but the truth is that Bikram yoga can be both beneficial and feel amazing.

Everyone likes to take summer holidays at a beach location. There is nothing quite like being warm and in a bathing suit when everyone at home is complaining about the cold, or even slogging through the snow. We naturally seek out heat and sun and Bikram yoga takes this idea just a little further.

Bikram yoga classes are held in rooms where the temperature has been raised to between 35-42 degrees Celsius, which is about 95-108 degrees Fahrenheit, with the humidity at about 40%. The heat is said to warm your body more quickly, which means that postures are safer because muscles stretch more easily when they are warm. Students also report that they are able to go deeper into postures because of the increased temperature and humidity.

The fact that people sweat a lot in Bikram yoga is not just because of the heat. The moisture in the air, or humidity, is increased for Bikram yoga classes to increase sweating and for other health benefits. Most experts agree that humidity gives protection against colds and viruses as well as other respiratory problems such as asthma. Sweating also encourages detoxification, accelerates cardiovascular functioning, and helps increase calorie burning for weight loss.

Bikram yoga is easy to learn. There are only 26 postures plus two breathing exercises, and the focus is on working the muscles smoothly and safely. There should be the ache of fatigued muscles but no sharp pain throughout the session, and if you do feel pain it means you have gone too far.

One of the most essential elements to Bikram yoga is your water intake. You will be sweating a lot through the session, and that’s a good thing, so you must keep your water intake up. Sip, but don’t swallow copious amounts of water as it might make you sick and sit down if you feel lightheaded at any time. Make sure you also have a steady intake of water before and after your class.

The extreme heat in Bikram yoga studios can also make people feel dizzy. If this happens, sit down and breathe through your mouth and the dizziness should ease. It’s also strongly recommended that you arrive at your class half an hour before it starts so you can sit and get used to the heat.

Bikram yoga is an increasingly popular type of yoga both for its relative simplicity and for the health benefits. Although the heat might seem intimidating, the body has systems to adapt to it, and it can feel really good to be in a warm environment. Give this type of yoga a try and you may discover further depths to your practice that you never imagined.

Nourishing Your Brain With Foods

We are what we eat? The single most important organ of our body and the powerhouse controlling every other function and organ of the body is the brain. Everything we eat effects the messengers within the brain. These are called ‘neurotransmitters’. And like everything else, and more than everything else, our brain, the control center of our body, needs nourishment and the right type of foods.

The brain produces chemicals in response to different stimuli. For example, adrenaline is released when in a ‘flight and fight’ state. Serotonin is released when the body is under stress. Eating proteins can have an effect to alert the body, and eating sugars can help the brain to relax. Hence, we can see how each process in this highly differentiated and complex organ of our body is effected by what we eat.

So, what do we need to do in order to nurture, sustain and nourish our brains? Here is what we need to keep in mind when planning our meals.


 

Omega-3 Fatty acids

It has been shown that’s foods rich in this type of acid, which is present in ample quantity in nuts and fish such as salmon, aid in fighting depression. Many brain disorders such as schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder (ADD) can also be prevented by consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Fruits and Vegetables

These natural and organic foods help in fighting toxins and maintaining a healthy weight. Obesity and toxins can affect the health and function of the brain, including a decrease in the cognitive ability of the organ. Antioxidants in fresh, leafy green vegetable such as broccoli, eggplant, and kale are especially advantageous. These are foods that help protect the function of our brains.

Vitamins

Several vitamins, such as vitamin B6, are important for the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. Furthermore, age related decline in the number of brain cells can also be decreased with the help of vitamin C. Similarly, thiamine and vitamin B are vital for the normal cognitive functions of the brain. These nutrients are rich in sweet potatoes, fresh fruits, vegetable and nuts.

Avoid unhealthy foods

It is not just important to supplement our diet with foods that are good for our brain, but also avoid those that cause harm to it. Foods high in saturated fats, such as red meat and man-made fats are harmful for the brain.

Check out this interesting video about Dr. Bernard and his research on power foods for the brain.

 


So basically, food for thought? Yes, but the right food for the ‘best thought’ is what’s best for the optimal functioning of our brains. Our brain is a miraculous organ, with infinite abilities, many of which still remain untapped. Hence it is important to be able to use this powerhouse of ours to the best of its functioning ability. Better nourishment, better brain, and of course, a healthier life! Thanks for reading!