Bikram yoga, which is performed in a heated room, can increase lung capacity by engaging deep breathing.
Bikram yoga is a type of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury that involves practicing a set sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises in a room heated between 100 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Bikram yoga can detoxify and stretch the body, heal pain, relieve stress and increase lung capacity. The breathing exercises performed during each Bikram yoga session, as well as the heat of the room, teach proper use of the lungs and deeper breathing by engaging the diaphragm.
According to the founder of Bikram yoga, Bikram Choudhury, improving the function of the lungs often needs attention. This is done through the practice of pranyama, which is a breathing exercise that increases lung capacity. Each Bikram yoga session is begun by engaging this type of breathing, which is done by standing and breathing deeply. This allows the lungs to expand and the diaphragm to engage, which provides deeper breathing and full utilization of the lungs.
Deep Breathing and the Lungs
Most people use only about 50 percent of their lung capacity. The deep breathing practiced in Bikram yoga facilitates increased use of lung capacity, allowing for more oxygen to enter the lungs. The more deep breathing is practiced, the more the lungs become flexible and capable of holding a lot of oxygen. Strong, healthy lungs can efficiently help transport oxygen to the blood, purifying it and helping remove toxins from the body. The 90 minutes of deep breathing practiced in a Bikram yoga class increase the ability of oxygen to enter the body and cleanse its systems.
The Lungs and Heart
Although the lungs are an essential part of the respiratory function of the human body, the heart is equally as important for breathing. The lungs provide the heart with the oxygen it needs to pump blood to the entire body. Since practicing Bikram yoga increases lung capacity, and this increases oxygen intake, it also provides the heart with larger amounts of oxygen. This means that the heart is supplied with more energy for pumping blood around the body, enhancing circulation and overall well-being.
Although Bikram yoga is extremely beneficial for increasing lung capacity and overall lung health, it is not recommended for people with heart conditions or very low or high blood pressure. Make sure to stay hydrated through a Bikram class -- coconut water is a great option for replenishing electrolytes. If your heart rate rises or you feel dizzy, rest in Child's pose until you feel stable again. Always practice Bikram yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.