Muscle Sport Magazine

What You Need in A Yoga Mat for Bikram or Hot Yoga

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This particular form of exercise and de-stressing of the mind and body, famously known as “yoga”, has been around for a very long time the ancient monks and guru’s in many Asian continents have been using it as a daily practice to help calm and relax their minds so they can increase their ability to concentrate and seek discipline within themselves.


It also has the added benefits of being good for the body, joints, heart, and overall circulatory system, not to mention it makes one very flexible, thereby avoiding different age-related health conditions such as arthritis or swollen and stiff joints and inflammation. It has also been studied at the Harvard University’s Health department to see the benefits that surpass not only the mind and body but more, click here to find out about this additional information.


The focus of this type of movement is mainly based on strength, breathing, and flexibility, to boost one’s mental and physical wellbeing. It is comprised of various postures, or movements, done in concession whilst being aware of your breathing.


There are several different types of practices, some of which we shall look at below, including the two famous ones namely “Hot Yoga” and “Bikram” which entail the use of a special kind of mat in a unique environment.


So, let’s get moving …


Popular Forms of Yoga Practices

Practiced in many cultures and surroundings including gymnasiums, health centers, medical institutions, schools, studios, and even homes, this form of exercise comes in various forms, we look at a few below.


Hot Yoga. If you may be wondering why this is called “hot” yoga, it is because it is exactly that. The conditions under which this one is performed make one sweat profusely. Temperatures of the room or studio in which this is practiced range anywhere from 27 degrees to 37 degreed Celsius, and takes approximately an hour and a half or 90 minutes.


The idea behind this one is to eliminate all the impurities present in the body, and the movements are focused on all the major muscle groups. However, this is not something for everyone. Especially those people who will get faint or have blood pressure issues must not try this. Others who should not practice it are also included here: The only piece of equipment you need, besides your work-out gear, is an organic yoga mat made of cork.


Bikram Yoga. This one is named after a “Yogi”, or a “guru” which is another name for a spiritual leader or teacher. This is also practiced in a room very similar to a sauna and temperatures can range anywhere between 100 to 105 degrees with a humidity level of at least 40% to feel its effects the best.

What used to be called Bikram yoga, is now known as Hot Yoga, but can still be practiced under these 2 different names. It has a sequence of 26 different poses which are performed two times and the main reason for this type of movement is to improve and increase the alignment of the body. Again, not recommended for everyone, and all you need is light clothing and a yoga mat.


Vinyasa. This is translated from Sanskrit as “placing in a special way”, which refers to the postures practiced in this type of exercise. First adopted in the 1980s, this became popular very fast mainly due to the many types of sub-categories it has such as “prana”, “ashtanga”, “power yoga” and “vinyasa” itself.


Movements are led by your breath and due to the array of styles, it may vary from one teacher to the other, there are the alignment-types of movements that can be fast or slow or the stretching type of movements, either way, they all focus on breathing as the fundamental element. Some teachers first show the pose before having their students do them, while others assume the students already know them and carry along leading the way.


A Good Yoga Mat


If you are a beginner, it is advisable to take a beginner’s class so you can carefully go through each pose with the teacher who will show you step-by-step how to do them so the next time around you are more confident. A lot of people find that once they invest in the gear, i.e. comfortable hot yoga mats, relaxed and lose or stretchable and breathable material work out attire, a decent pair of trainers or yoga shoes, that they get instantly motivated to look for classes that offer this type of movement classes and enjoy them even more.


When looking out for the right mat, make sure you choose the one which is comfortable, durable, has a good grip and is non-slip in wet environments. A high-quality mat will make all the difference to your workout, for instance, if it has good support, you won’t get tired easily, or it won’t hurt to press your hands and legs on the ground.


Some people opt for eco-friendly types that are made of natural rubber and can hold in both dry and wet conditions, especially with the hot yoga where you will sweat and the mat will get wet. If you’re going to be carrying it around with you, it should be light-weight as well. One can invest in the “cork” types of materials which are also one of the best eco-friendly ones. In the end, it depends on your budget.

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