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What Is Bikram Yoga?

Chris Maddaloni, the owner of Atlantic Personnel in Hilton Head, likes to spend his spare time exercising. One of Chris Maddaloni's preferred forms of exercise, Bikram yoga, uses heat to enhance the health benefits of yoga.

While all Bikram yoga is so-called hot yoga, or yoga done in a hot environment, not all hot yoga adheres to the standards set by Bikram yoga. Bikram sessions all meet specific standards for the heating and layout of the room.

To qualify as Bikram yoga, a studio must have carpeting, mirrors covering its front wall, and maintain a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40 percent humidity during classes. Instructors must be certified in Bikram yoga, and conduct a specific sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises.
Though the heat adds some challenge, Bikram yoga still works well for beginners. Bikram yoga uses mostly beginner-friendly poses, and participants can take breaks regularly. The discomfort caused by the heat as well as the tendency toward dehydration can take some time to get used to, so beginning Bikram practitioners should give it a few tries before deciding whether they like it.

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