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How yoga sessions at 40C became our HOTTEST keep fit trend

THIS is the secret weapon keeping Dubliners in shape.

Bikram Yoga is one of the most intense forms of yoga in the world, using 40 degree heat during 90-minute sessions.

And while it may seem extreme to some, it has become more popular than ever in the capital, even outshining classic exercise forms like aerobics.

Linda Condron, a teacher with the Bikram Yoga Studio in Harold's Cross, explained that demand for classes was higher than ever, and hundreds more were taking part.

"Bikram was first brought here to Dublin, by the owner Anne Leonard, going on nine years now and it's definitely growing," she said. "There was only one studio a couple of years ago, now there are five studios here in Dublin, and another few in the next few months will be opening in Maynooth and all over the country.

"For example, this morning I had a class at 6:45am and there were nearly 40 people there. Then at 10am, there were 52 people in the class. Some days there could be up to 80 people.

"People usually come for one reason and stay for another. They tend to come for fitness reasons, and they get so much more out of it. It helps with so many different things, and even aids in depression. It combats so many things, such as asthma, arthritis, and it helps towards preventing than just as a cure. It definitely has staying power, it's been around since the 1970s and has just grown and grown."

Anne Marie Browne of Bikram Yoga D15, said that her business has soared in the last few months.

"A lot of people will come in with injuries, yoga is a healer," she said.

"With the heat as well, it opens up the joints and helps with arthritis. I get a lot of football teams, cyclists and boxers, it has great benefits."

cmcbride@herald.ie