Bikram yoga is a form of yoga popularized by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s in California. The practice involves repeating the same 26 poses in set cycles over a 90-minute class.
Smaller studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can help lessen back pain, sharpen the mind, improve mood and even lower blood pressure. However, there was no large-scale scientific research that has backed up benefits specific to the Bikram practice. Toxins, for instance, are typically flushed out not by sweating, but by the liver and the kidneys, and are removed through urination or bowel movements.
Practicing yoga in a heated room increases your heart rate and metabolism, allowing your blood vessels to become more efficient and making your body burn extra calories. This in turn makes circulation easier and increases blood flow to the limbs.
On the other side of the coin, hot yoga can also worsen the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and people with high blood pressure, diabetes or heart conditions should discuss it with their doctor before embarking on the practice.
If you feel nauseated, dizzy or otherwise ill during a hot yoga class, it's a good idea to have some water with you and take a break.
It’s worth being mindful that profuse sweating involved in the practice can lead to dehydration if practitioners don't drink enough water. The increased flexibility not always is a benefit as it can make yogis prone to overstretching that can facilitate strains and sprains.
In summary, Bikram yoga can be wonderful for your body’s aches and pains and in aiding to achieve a toned body, however if you have any of the more serious conditions, do opt in for a cooler yoga environment.