Lauren B. Thompson's Blog

Model and TV personality Lauren Thompson possesses an impressive spectrum of talent that allows for a wide range of roles.

Archive for June 2011

Lauren Thompson on Bikram Yoga

A successful communications professional and current host of the shows Top Ten and Destination Golf on the Golf Channel, Lauren Thompson enjoys practicing Bikram Yoga in her free time. A variant on traditional yoga popularized in the early 1970s by Bikram Choudhury, Bikram Yoga typically takes place in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of 40 percent. Classes generally last 90 minutes and include 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises.

Bikram Choudhury explains the benefits of his unique yoga style by citing the importance of temperature and humidity in promoting deeper stretching and reducing the risk of injury. According to Choudhury, Bikram Yoga causes the yoga practitioner to access every muscle, joint, and organ, thereby increasing circulation to all parts of the body and improving overall health. Thanks to the high heat required of a typical studio, Bikram Yoga increases circulation to muscles and joints by using a series of specific, targeted poses. Choudhury refers to two dynamics known as compression and extension. These work together to momentarily reduce circulation to a body part, cause the heart to pump more blood to the area, and release the pressure to allow fresh blood to circulate.

As with many forms of yoga, Bikram Yoga places a special emphasis on the importance of deep breathing. Choudhury, who asserts that many people use only half of their lung capacity, also believes the practice of yoga has the potential to improve oxygen absorption. Not only does yoga increase total oxygen supply, but it trains the body to use oxygen in a more efficient manner. Additionally, the heat of a typical Bikram Yoga studio facilitates the process of releasing toxins and impurities through sweat. Many people choose to practice Bikram Yoga as a means of weight loss, with one 90-minute session yielding a calorie loss of anywhere from 500 to 1,250 calories.

Bikram’s Yoga College of India, the primary organization for the practice of Bikram Yoga, sponsors and organizes the annual International Yoga Championship, one of the most visible yoga events worldwide. Participants must complete five standard poses and two poses of their choice before a panel of judges, who evaluate contestants based on balance, strength, timing, breathing, and flexibility.

Written by laurenbthompson

June 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm