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Friday, May 27, 2011

Is Bikram Yoga more dangerous than other things people do voluntarily?

I found this "article/post" on Bikram Yoga today. The title intrigued me so I decided to see what it was all about. What it is about is 165 words.

Here is the article. 
What the Yuck: Hot yoga or hot mess?

It says Bikram Yoga can cause dehydration or heat stroke. The last line of the article asks why one would want to be in such dangerous conditions...like a Bikram Yoga class. Is Bikram Yoga more dangerous than other things people do voluntarily? More dangerous than running? More dangerous than ultimate fighting? More dangerous than cycling? When was the last time you saw an article of someone dieing in a Bikram Yoga Class? How about running or cycling?

Sure, Bikram Yoga isn't for everyone. But neither is running, boxing, ultimate fighting...heck even yard work isn't for everyone. By the way, all of the aforementioned activities could cause dehydration or heat stroke.

I looked up what could cause heat stroke. Pretty much anyone that exerts themselves too much is at potential risk. (Sarcasm intended.) This seems exceptionally obvious. So why pick on Bikram Yoga and the heat? Sometimes in Dallas it can get hotter and more humid outside than in a Bikram Yoga room and I see people doing all kinds of activities that result in raising their heart rate, sweating and potentially causing heat stroke or dehydration.

And Bikram Yoga can cause dehydration? Um, sure, so can any physical activity you do. When I trained for my first marathon, that was the first thing they told us, hydrate. And boy did I! I drank two cups of water or sport drink at every water station along the marathon.

I did yard work last week and drank over 120 oz. of water and STILL felt like I needed more to be hydrated.

Sure people sweat in Bikram Yoga and hydration is a concern. Let's not blow it out of proportion though. We encourage and plead for students to drink plenty of fluids and replace electrolytes so they ARE well hydrated before they get in class...and we tell them to rehydrate after class.

Most, if not all Bikram Yoga Studio websites have sections for new students that go over what to expect, how to prepare for the heat and the types of individuals such as children or those that are pregnant that should not attend. 

My last rant. Have you ever looked at the warning labels of any medication, tool, appliance or gadget? If you had, you would find far scarier things than the heat in a Bikram Yoga class. Here is is a list of side effects of a common drug:
  • Could have weakness, tenderness, fever or feel more tired than usual
  • Allergic reactions including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing, which may require treatment right away
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Passing brown or dark-colored urine
  • More tired than usual
  • Skin and whites of your eyes get yellow
  • Stomach pain
  • Allergic skin reaction 
  • Could cause liver problems
  • Could cause kidney problems, even kidney failure
Most of these are far worse by the way than a Bikram Yoga class.

So, if you are considering Bikram Yoga as a form of exercise, or mediation (which it is), or just a "fun" activity, go for it. Read the website of the studio you are interested in and read the precautions. Go with an open mind and just try. It isn't about going "balls to the wall" and "killing yourself" in your first class. It's about healing the body and the mind.

1 comments:

Anannya said...

Very well said. And all of them true. I'm doing b yoga and I have benefited . Hey what about people in India who do yoga in 110 or 115 with no ac? Ain't people in India living. So stop saying against something when you don't know the idea of what yoga is!!! Yoga is beautiful. I love it and I love Bikaram who brought this miraculous thing from India and had benefited thousands of lives in this continent.

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