Bikram yoga studios have to maintain workout rooms heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit for every day of operation. This can be extremely expensive for businesses relying on fossil fuel sources of energy. Many Bikram yoga owners have gotten creative considering not only cost but ecological friendliness in keeping with yoga's overall concept of maintaining oneness with nature.
Some Bikram yoga studios in places like Arizona and California, that get a large amount of sunlight for most of the year, install solar panels to source their heating needs. Solar panels literally trap the sun's energy during daylight hours for efficient energy production. In addition, heat from the sun better mimics the naturally hot workout conditions of India, where Bikram yoga originated. According to a 2012 "Los Angeles Times" article, decreased silicon prices and regional government subsidies have made the purchase of solar panels more affordable.
Radiant Heat Panels
If you visit a studio that is in the northeast United States, where sunlight duration and intensity varies drastically with the change of the seasons, you may encounter a place using radiant heat panels. While solar panels are installed on building roofs, radiant heat panels are installed onto ceilings and trap heat from the inside. They are also useful in sunny states because they do not have to be connected to a city's electricity grid. In addition, radiant heat panels do not push heated air through a room, so not only do they reduce the expenditure of energy, but they do not transfer germs and airborne disease.
Another creative, eco-friendly way of heating a Bikram yoga studio is hydronic heating. Hydronic heating warms the air with moisture from insulated hot water tanks. If a studio has a shower room, it more than likely already uses a hot water heating tank. A single pipe can transfer the hot, moisturized air to an exercise room. Also, this method contributes to the 40 to 60 percent humidity factor requirement of Bikram yoga environments.
As the name implies, infrared heaters rely on infrared light to warm up an environment. They are often chosen as a natural complement to the healthy benefits of Bikram yoga postures. Infrared heat penetrates muscle tissue and bone joints. On its own, infrared heat is used to heal soft tissue injuries and alleviate joint pain. Some yoga studio owners use infrared heat with the belief that combined with the 26 postures, clients will gain greater benefit in terms of detoxification, anxiety reduction and enhanced cardiovascular strengthening.
Sarah McLeod began writing professionally for the federal government In 1999. In 2002 she was trained by Georgetown University's Oncology Chief to abstract medical records and has since contributed to Phase I through Phase IV research around the country. McLeod holds a Bachelor of Arts in human services from George Washington University and a Master of Science in health science from Touro University.