The list of jocks sweating it out in the hot room is growing, thanks to the amazing benefits of Bikram Yoga. From weight loss to building stamina to improving strength, endurance and flexibility, more and more athletes are finding that Bikram Yoga is simply the best way to up their game.
Bikram Athletes in the Spotlight
Tennis star Andy Murray (he won a gold medal at the London Olympics and recently cleaned up at the US Open) was inspired by fellow champ Serena Williams to try Bikram Yoga and, since taking up the practice, he’s seen big changes. “It’s helped a lot with my fitness and mental strength,” he said in an interview. “I think there will be a huge improvement in my flexibility.”
Murray’s studio of choice is Hot Bikram Yoga in London (he’s also been known to strike a pose on court in Wimbledon). According to studio owner Olga Allon, “Following work with Andy and recommendations from the Lawn Tennis Association, we started to see more tennis players coming to our classes in order to improve their flexibility, mobility, control and co-ordination.”
More on Murray and the Hot Room
You wouldn’t necessarily expect a burly guy like Braylon Edwards to love Half Moon, but this Seattle Seahawks wide receiver has been doing the posture – along with 25 others in the Bikram Yoga series – for years.
According to Edwards, Bikram Yoga is “the way to go” to increase the stamina needed for his athletic career. “I couldn’t last 20 minutes, at first. You really have to be mentally strong.”
Professional triathlete David Glover thinks endurance-sports athletes should consider practising Bikram Yoga for three reasons:
1. Increased flexibility
“As a multisport athlete, we need a full range of motion in order to be more efficient in our movements.”
2. Improved core and stabilizer muscle strength
“Because we maintain the same positions for extended periods of time … we need a strong core and strong joints to support our bodies.”
3. Reduced likelihood of overuse injuries
“Consistency in training is a key success factor in endurance sports. It’s difficult to be consistent when injured.”
“At the end of the day, I truly believe that the four to eight hours of time that I invest in the studio each week pays itself back many times over through improved overall health, which directly translates into improved performance for my passion: Ironman triathlon,” Glover says.
Swimmer Ariana Kukors, a world record holder in the 200-metre individual medley, started practising Bikram Yoga with her mom while still in high school. She finds that the 26 postures help her be more in tune with her body, which in turn improves her performance in the pool.
Quebec Ringette Team
Stef Backman, head coach for Ringuette-Quebec, introduced his team to Bikram Yoga ahead of the 2007 Canada Games to help improve the athletes’ flexibility, strength and concentration.