Bikram yoga, also known as "hot yoga," isn't for the faint of heart. The popular practice involving 26 poses and two breathing exercises is done in a room heated to nearly 105 degrees F. The intense routine is designed to work every muscle, tendon, ligament and organ in the body.
What are the benefits of Bikram yoga?
"A healthy spine makes a healthy life," says Lobo.
"The series is geared toward keeping your spine very strong and flexible, so your nervous system can feed your organs," adds Rubin. She points out that many people spend a good part of their life leaning forward, which puts pressure on your back. "We do so many back bends to help counteract all the forward bending, which in turn will prevent back injuries down the road."
What are some misconceptions about Bikram yoga?
If you're afraid, you won't be able to do the poses, but Rubin stresses that there's no such thing as doing it right.
"As long as you do the postures to the best of your ability, you're still getting the benefits." says Lobo.
"The poses we do aren't very complicated and they don't require great skill. The only thing that's important is just doing them," Rubin adds. "Come to each class knowing that no one is there to judge you. It's all about focusing on yourself. You're focusing your mind on your breath while keeping calm and steady. Over time, the stamina builds up."
Beginners may be intimidated by the heat, but Rubin insists that once you adjust to the temperature, it's much easier to do the poses. "The heat allows you to gain flexibility so much faster, and [you're] less likely to pull a muscle."
Thinking about giving it a try? Check out the video above to see four of the poses performed in this Bikram yoga series.