Frequent questions we receive relate to Bikram yoga, its impact on weight loss, and whether it is “cardio” exercise. Media attention in Time and Glamour magazines, and other “expert” opinion you find on the internet, do not give you all of the facts.
Our opinion? Weight loss results will vary from none to hundreds of pounds, and will take time as you develop precision, intensity, and frequency of practice. Discipline and patience. Is Bikram yoga “cardio” exercise? Absolutely, but in a manner different to what the general public thinks. Bikram yoga, unlike any other form of exercise, is characterized by isometric muscle control, improved circulation throughout the entire body through the heated environment, resulting in elevated core temperature and metabolic rate.
The benefits to the cardiovascular system that this unique form of exercise brings are being actively studied by PURE Action, Inc. the nonprofit organization we formed to scientifically research the benefits of yoga on physical and mental health. We recently teamed up with Brian Tracy, an associate professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Health and Exercise Science to continue his lab’s ground-breaking research into the benefits of Bikram yoga.
The result? Some of the first scientific evidence that Bikram does in fact have beneficial effects on health. They are also the first to quantify the number of calories burned while practicing this yoga.
Dr. Stacy Hunter serves as research director for Pure Action, Inc. We invite you to explore her reaction to our recent media attention.
~ Jeff Chen