North Texas Daily

UNT students get sweaty with Bikram heat yoga

UNT students get sweaty with Bikram heat yoga

April 02
22:17 2013

Audra Stamp / Staff Writer

Walking into the room, the temperature slaps her in the face. The smell of sweat still lingers from the class before, and sweat is already perspiring from her body. But math senior Alyssa Mendez has fallen in love with this form of Bikram yoga.

Although Denton does not have a local Bikram yoga gym, some UNT students have traveled to nearby towns to exercise in a 105 degree room with 40 percent humidity. The high temperatures warm the body to increase flexibility and stimulation of the mind.

“After I finished my first yoga class I just felt amazing,” Mendez said. “I just felt like an endorphin high from working out, but it’s a different type of feeling.”

According to, Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury, the creator of hot yoga, began his pursuit at the age of four and won the National India Yoga Contest at the 13 years old. As he grew older he invented Bikram yoga – a specific 26-posture sequence that was designed to heal both body and mind.

The process was created for all individuals, and is designed to allow oxygen-rich blood to flow throughout the entire body to restore all body systems to a healthy condition.

“The sequence is designed to work your body in order to warm your body up,” said Steve Riederer, an instructor at Bikram Yoga North Texas. “And it works your whole body inside and out, from bones to skin.”

Students range from men in their 70s to pregnant women, but some guidelines must be followed. Before attending a class, it is encouraged to drink half one’s body weight in ounces of water due to the large amount of sweat lost during the hour and a half long class. Instructors also tell their students to perform on an empty stomach and to wear light clothing.

It is fairly important that many of the precautions are taken so that a student, especially a first-timer, avoids feeling light-headed or dizzy. Social science sophomore Virnin Bonner served as a specialist in the U.S. Army National Guard for a year, but was not expecting the high heat.

“It was really hot, it felt like I was in Afghanistan again,” Bonner said. “It was an intense measure of my internal and external strengths, endurance and patience.”

While Bikram yoga is designed for all, and many have found a love for the amount of sweat they lose and the mental awareness they gain, others may struggle with the intense heat and dehydration inside of a packed room.

“I still feel like I’m dehydrated from yesterday’s class,” social science sophomore Shelby Wiley said.

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