I first stepped foot into a Bikram (hot yoga) studio over 10 years ago. My motivation wasn’t the yoga. It was December, and it was cold!! In a workout rut I had completely abandoned my attention to fitness. This left me sluggish and depressed. I’d read about hot yoga so I thought I’d check it out not knowing what an impact it would have on my body and life. This yoga focuses on strength and flexibility and is practiced by world class athletes to improve endurance and all around performance. The changes in my body were rapid and welcome. (photo credit:

In spite of  being sore in places that I didn’t know existed, after my first class I was hooked, not missing one day of practice for over a year. The change in my body composition and strength (physically and emotionally) were amazing. Weight loss was inevitable, although I did not diet. And the life long friends I’ve met in the studio are the greatest gift of all.

Bikram Yoga consists of a 26 posture sequence and was developed by Bikram Choudury from Hatha yoga.

It has been proven and experienced by millions that these 26 postures (you always do the same 26, in the same order) systematically work every part of  the body, to give all internal organs, all veins, all ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function.  Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing  to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

The higher than normal temperature in the room allows an increase in stretching and flexibility and helps to prevent injury. The hot temp, combined with the yoga poses means that you will sweat a lot and burn a lot of calories. A typical 90 minute class of hot yoga will burn an estimated 500-1000 calories, depending on a number of factors, such as your weight, your sex and how strenuously you participate. It has become the “Celebrity Workout” for people like Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga and more.

So as we enter these cold months you may want to give a hot yoga practice a try. What do you have to lose? Or should I say, What do you have to gain?