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13 May, 2009 07:34

New yoga trend turns up the heat

With swimsuit season not far off, people are scrambling to shed the extra pounds and get into shape. Some yoga lovers have found an unusually hot way to lose weight – exercising in a sauna.

Bikram Yoga is arguably the healthiest way to lose weight. The sport, which is quickly gaining popularity in the US, has a rather odd motto: ‘love your sweaty neighbor as you love thyself’.

Yoga instructor Jacquelyn Reaves noted that the class is wholly different to any other typical gym activities:

“Even though you can go to the gym and do a regular workout, it will not quite have the same results as you would get from a Bikram Yoga class.”

Bikram Yoga is much more than a typical aerobic workout. Students have to exercise in a scorching hot sauna for a 90 whole minutes, but it is not just about standing around and sweating: they will have to try and fold their arms, legs, hands and bodies into some very compromising positions.

“It’s mind, body and soul – all encompassing. You sweat a lot, so it’s a lot of cleansing, a lot of detoxifying,” Jacquelyn Reaves explained.

The 90-minute alternative workout claims to reduce stress, maintain balance and build flexibility. It will also help shed a few pounds just in time for slipping into those bikinis.

Most enthusiasts of the sport think of it as more than simply exercise. It helps them feel like a whole new person. One of the Bikram students shared their feeling with RT:

“I feel like I’m like in heaven. Basically, taking class is like taking a shower from the inside.”

Although it may be a major relief for those more experienced in yoga, first-timers seem to only look forward to taking a nice cold shower from the outside afterwards.