Thoughts About Peatworthiness Of Bikram?

Discussion in 'Health' started by boombalada, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. boombalada

    boombalada Member

    Oct 29, 2012

    I've been doing a Peat based dietary approach for 2.5 months, and Bikram yoga for about 4 months - frequency about 4/5 times a week.

    I'm 6 ft, my body weight has gone from a moderately portly 83kgs down to 78kgs. I've noticed some strong benefits in terms of sleep patterns, surprising cardio-vascular type capability (on the odd occasion I go for a run, not out of breath anymore and feel I can keep going and going), and the quality of my breathing has improved enormously.

    One of the things I am trying to come to grips with is that I know Ray P obviously does not advocate stress - and I assume that includes...for want of better words...exercise induced stress; so I am trying to think through logically whether or not Bikram helps me longer term or not?

    Does anyone here feel bikram might be...anti-Peat? For what it's worth, I've asked around re effects of Bikram on metabolism, and the response I get tends to be middle of the "it normalizes metabolism"...for whatever that is worth. What I am finding is that the Peat diet, focusing on keeping up a strong metabolism through protein/saturated fat/fruit makes my energy level through a 90 min bikram class so much more dynamic (as opposed to the quasi Paleo diet that I was on).

    At the moment my mind is thinking that the benefits I am getting from bikram outweigh the possible "stress" (I can imagine as calm as i might try to be, that I must be kicking adrenaline/cortisol through by the end of the session) I might be putting my body under doing it - anyone have any strong thoughts?

    I for one can advocate that doing Peat + doing Bikram feels like a great mix so far; but should I cut back on the yoga?
  2. sctb

    sctb Member

    Nov 7, 2012

    I'm relatively new to the whole Peat approach, but I'll offer my thoughts nonetheless.

    What kind of a response are you striving to achieve with the hot yoga? Is this mostly
    for fun? Personally, I'm interested in building some muscle, so I perform resistance
    training with the minimum dose possible to elicit the response (protein synthesis) that
    I'm after. This seems fairly in-line with Peat, as I can measure whether or not the net
    result of my efforts is catabolic vs. anabolic. I'm not sure one could say the same about
    Bikram yoga.

    - Scott
  3. Rachel

    Rachel Member

    Nov 3, 2012
    San Antonio, Texas USA - for now
    Bikram promotes deep breathing which lowers your co2 levels. Seems pretty anti-Peat to me.
    You can find out more about Bikram and co2 here: ... K2M5Yb5XKc
  4. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

    Jan 4, 2012
    Rachel, good call. This is from the page you linked to:

  5. OP

    boombalada Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    Hey thanks for all the replies.

    Scott - Not really doing Bikram for fun (as you noted its damn hot :D ). When I got into it, I wasn't really sure what to expect, but the key things I feel I am getting from it are improved posture, dramatically improved joint health (as in the muscles around the joints, knees, ankles are really benefiting by becoming stronger and supple), and the surprising cardio-vascular workout despite doing what are really 'low intensity' things. Mentally, its euphoric when you get out of there, but also a calmer frame of mind, and as I pointed to originally, my sleep 'output' has doubled. And then there is the weightloss.

    I'm going to research your catabolic vs anabolic to see why that is important...thanks for your insight.

    Rachel - thanks for your thoughts/link. Originally I thought the heat induced stress might be the issue; but the thoughts on deep breathing are interesting and I should bear that in mind.

    Looks like I might have to think about cutting back...its a shame as I love how it physically & mentally 'sets me up', but the idea of healthy cells feels it should be higher priority...
  6. pranarupa

    pranarupa Member

    Oct 14, 2012
    My preference is for a Ashtanga vinyasa or a more freestyle vinyasa approach with ujayi breathing, the gentle contraction in the base of the throat serves to restrict air flow and should create in concert with the asana practice a feeling of mild 'air hunger', indicating increased co2 levels, increasing cellular metabolism and generating internal heat (no need for a heated room) as well as helping to focus the mind.
  7. cliff

    cliff Member

    Jul 26, 2012
    Los Angeles
    If its controlled breathing like other yoga than it most likely increases co2
  8. OP

    boombalada Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    Pran - I'll investigate those techniques.

    Cliff - you raise a great point. If it's not controlled breathing (ie if you hypeventilate/blow through the mouth) the heat in bikram punishes you; you learn quickly that controlled, calm breath, through the nose is your friend to fight dizziness and to calm the mind from reacting against the conditions.

    I did some reading last night, and I am still coming to the conclusion that there's no real science out there behind what the body does/reacts in hot yoga. What I would be interested in is if anyone has any good science behind how the body reacts to heat in terms of "is it an adrenalin/cortisol" trigger. I know heat is supposed to slow metabolism but in the context of bikram, I don't believe it, your body is working so hard to keep itself cool, and the increased calorie burn is (again dodgy science perhaps) is due to the lungs/heart working hard to keep the body cool - there seems to be substantial anecdotal evidence that the calorie burn in bikram compared to most yoga is significantly bumped.

    My approach has improved so much since using good sugar/salt/fruit/OJ to prepare for Bikram, and OJ/salt/2Protein for recovery - when I say improve, I mean at the 60 min mark of a session, I am still going on, and not dieing :) That approach Peat has directly inspired. My hope is that I am using good oxidative energy longer into the work out, and I drink a sports drink in the session (most bikram practioners seem to advocate water only, but I am hoping again that the sports drink counters an adrenaline/cortisol response - again it has made performance/recovery stronger).

    When I was on a Paleo approach, I'd have more chance to crumble, and recoveries basically involved falling asleep.
  9. saene

    saene Member

    May 15, 2014
    I realize this is an old post, but was wondering about this myself and started to look into effects of ambient temperature and exercise. This is an interesting study which compares exercise st different temperatures and found the exercise in a warmer environment (35F) versus normal (20F) has significantly higher prolactin secretion. Growth hormone and cortisol did not change over the exercise session. And in relation to its “peat-i-ness” prolactin is typically a surrogate for estrogen levels and therefore probably undesirable.
  10. jitsmonkey

    jitsmonkey Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    Any hard physical activity at 90+ degrees is stressful.
    The way to ask is it "helpful" or "harmful" is
    CAN you mitigate the stress?
    With Bikram/Hot Yoga the answer really is no.
    Once in a while its fine, life is made of stressful opportunities
    some of them fun even. But as a daily/regular practice/ritual its a poor choice.
    If you want the benefits of yoga do yoga.
    If you want the benefits of a sauna, use a sauna.
    It is unlikely that as a daily or regular practice that you can mitigate the stress of both simultaneously.
    However you CAN do yoga regularly and have it be a definite net positive
    and you CAN use a sauna regularly and have it be a definite net positive.
    Simultaneous as a regular practice would seem excessive, unnecessary and difficult at best to mitigate and have BOTH a net health AND fitness gain