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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tip of the Week: Bikram for Injuries

Sometimes when people have an injury they think they need to wait until they're pain-free or symptom-free before coming back to class.

Of course you should always get the go ahead from your doctor first, but currently we have many students working through some significant injuries with the help of Bikram yoga. 

Student Robb Baumann is recovering from a broken tibia, fibula, talus, and shattered ankle bone. He had a 4 hour surgery with 3 plates and 25 screws to repair his leg. 

"After not being allowed to bear weight for 3 months, I was finally was able to start back with my Bikram practice. My physical therapist and surgeon both can't believe the progress I've made. My surgeon is so impressed that he's even considering Bikram yoga now for one his own injuries. Roxanne tells us in class to 'work with the body you brought with you today, and your body will tell you what it needs'. This takes on a whole new meaning when you've lost so much range of motion, and every class is a struggle. While I've got a very long way to go, there's no question that Bikram has been the best source of rehabilitation I've done so far."

Bikram yoga is one of the very few forms of exercise you can practice and benefit from while coping with an injury or illness. Its combination of heat and careful movement increases circulation and flexibility, expels acids and other toxins and helps you begin to heal.

It all comes down to the HEAT and the specific poses that Bikram has chosen to include in the series of 26 postures. While your body's core temperature will only rise about a mere 0.5 of a degree, your body's ligaments, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues will warm up to allow powerful healing to take place. 

The heat allows these parts of the body to stretch further, more comfortably and safer. Safety is most important because it means there's less chance of new injury, or re-injury of old scar tissue. 
The heat also 'thins' the blood – this means that it circulates more freely than at room temperature. As the blood circulates it flushes out toxins in your organs and calcium build up in joints.

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