What is Bikram Yoga?

Our beginning yoga class is a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises taught in a heated room.  Each pose is a challenge based on one’s personal abilities. Each pose strengthens and stretches specific muscles, ligaments and joints stimulating the organs, glands and nerves to move fresh oxygenated blood to 100% of the body. The result is a restoration of health to all systems. As you increase strength, flexibility and balance in your body, you will be energized, your mind revitalized and you’ll be eliminating conditions of stress produced by fast paced lifestyles.

Why so hot?

Our studios are heated to 105 degrees, which allows the body to cleanse, detoxify, and heal by stimulating the circulatory system. Heat also makes our bodies more malleable so you can stretch safely into the postures. The heat increases the heart rate for a better cardio workout, helps to improve strength by putting muscle tissue in its optimal state and softens collagen around the joints for better freedom of movement. Your body will quickly acclimate, and then even crave, the heat.

Benefits of the heat

  1. Warm temperatures allow for greater range of motion in the joints as well as deeper stretching because the muscles, fascia, and connective tissue are more elastic
  2. Reduced risk of injury because muscles are warmed up
  3. Stretching warm muscles burns fat more efficiently
  4. Capillaries dilate, which increase oxygen flow to cells and promotes waste removal
  5. Promotes release of toxins via sweat through the body’s largest eliminative organ, the skin

What if I'm not flexible?

This class is not a tryout for Cirque du Soleil. Yoga is not about being flexible when you begin, but about strengthening your body and spine in all directions and, gradually, improving flexibility. Tight bodies injure easily, strong flexible bodies do not.

What kind of benefits will I see?

Benefits of Bikram Yoga

  1. Increases flexibility
  2. Achieves relief from pain
  3. Increases balance and coordination
  4. Tones, lengthens, and strengthens muscles
  5. Reshapes the body
  6. Improves circulation
  7. Reduces weight
  8. Reduces stress
  9. Raises energy level

General Benefits of Asanas:

Standing Postures

Physical:  Heat the body up, appropriate for the beginning of class. They work the large muscle groups in the body (quads and back). Integrate balance with strength and flexibility. They are grounding, rooting, and strengthening.

Emotional:  Build self-esteem, confidence, and courage.


Forward Postures

Physical:  Cooling and relaxing (letting go). Aid digestion and elimination. Release tension and stress. Lower blood pressure. Help align body.

Emotional:  Help release past, build humility and patience.



Physical:  Neutralizing. Cooling after backbends and warming after forward bends. Detoxifying. Releases pressure on nerves in spine. Keeps spine flexible and aligned.  Opens hips. Aids in digestion and elimination.

Emotional: Releases past-allows you to finish and look back with gratitude.



Physical:  Tones the whole system.  Reduces and prevents varicose veins.  Removes stagnation of blood in organs.  Anti-Aging.

Emotional:  Deals with fear.  Allows you to view life from a different perspective.



Physical:  Heating, stimulating. Keeps spine healthy, opens front of body, strengthens heart.  Anti-aging.

Emotional:  Stimulates chakras.  Helps with openness and release.



Physical:  Creates pulse and equilibrium. Builds endurance, cardiovascular system and stamina.

Emotional: Centering, focusing, building confidence, determination and self-discipline

How does it work?

The heat in the room helps ignite our body’s own heating system. Breathing exercises in the beginning of class coupled with the heat in the room, begin to warm the body from the inside out. The metabolism starts to speed up, preparing all systems to start working. As the lungs fully expand and take in more oxygen, the heart starts to pump oxygen-rich red blood cells.

The 26 postures are sequentially designed to isolate portions of the body a section at a time by closing off circulation to a group of muscles, organs, and glands for a few seconds. Once released from the posture, oxygen-rich blood returns at a high speed to the closed part of the body, sending in nutrients and flushing out waste. By this method of stretching and contracting, circulation is improved and we open up blocked areas of the body.

By the end of class, the yoga has given you a full body work-out: every cell has been re-vitalized, the spine is strengthened, and all systems are restored to their intended 100% working order, giving you an energized body and a relaxed mind.

What if I am pregnant? Can I still do Bikram Yoga?

Doing Bikram Yoga during pregnancy is not only safe but also a healthy experience throughout the term of your pregnancy. With your doctor’s permission and knowing Bikram’s modifications, continuing your practice during pregnancy can be a beautiful time for you and your baby.
Courtesy of the Portsmouth, NH Bikram studio, “Yoga has been reported to help pregnant women throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery. There are some important notes to consider before starting or continuing your practice. Women who practiced Bikram Yoga during pregnancy have reported feeling better during pregnancy, fewer complications, greater ease and less duration of delivery and calm, happy babies. You can learn to breathe, cope with stress and stay comfortable in your body through all of the changes pregnancy has to offer.”
Some doctors worry about moms being in the hot room. To alleviate that concern, feel free to bring a thermometer to class, keep it in a thermos and take your temperature periodically during the series. You will observe that your body temperature stays in normal range due to the sweat, which is your body’s natural cooling system.

  • Practice at about 50% of your capacity and never to exhaustion.
  • Be sure to stay well hydrated.
  • Practice in a cooler area of the room or by the door. Feel free to leave class anytime to cool down.
  • From the second trimester on, practice standing postures with your feet six inches apart for stability.
  • Do not push your hips forward in the backward bends. The cartilage in your hips is preparing for birth by loosening and is less stable than it was before you were pregnant.
  • No forward compressions or belly-down postures while your pregnant
    • Ask your teacher for modifications
    • Enjoy yourself. This is a special time to connect with yourself and the new little yogi growing inside you.

I'm new to Bikram Yoga, which class should I start with? 60 minutes or 90 minutes?

We recommend first time students start with the 90 minute class, but beginners are welcome to attend all of our classes. The 90 minute class offers students a slower pace and the opportunity to perform each posture twice, which is beneficial when becoming familiar with the series. Although the 60 minute class includes the same postures, it moves at a faster pace with less rest.

If I take the 90 minute class can I leave after 60 minutes when I need to?

No. Plan on staying for the full duration of any class you attend. This series is designed to build upon itself, with each posture preparing your body for the next posture. This series systematically works through every part of the body. By leaving early you would not achieve maximum benefits from the yoga, and would be disruptive to others in the class.

How many calories will I burn in 60 minute and 90 minute classes?

There are many factors that affect the total calories burned during any workout, including muscle mass, effort, heart rate, and more. Maintaining a consistent practice will result in burning more calories in each class.