Not just for cranks and yummy mummies: Why doctors believe everything from bad backs to depression can be cured by HOT YOGA

  • Bikram Yoga has been credited with treating common modern ailments such as arthritis and depression

  • Lady Gaga and and David Beckham both practice yoga in 40.5 degrees

  • Joseph Encinia has an incredible body. His honed, muscular physique is worthy of an Olympian. But it is what he can do with it that is most astonishing. We are chatting in a lobby of the Radisson Hotel, at Los Angeles Airport, when he asks: ‘Do you want me to do full Locust?’

    He lies on his front, arms sandwiched beneath his body. Slowly, he raises his legs, at first to about 45 degrees, so yes, he looks a bit like a locust. Then the legs continue to rise, so they are vertical and beyond, until his knees bend and he places his feet on top of his head.

    His body forms  an almost perfect circle. As if this wasn’t enough, he gracefully hoists himself up on to straightened arms. I feel I should clap – but I’m simply too gobsmacked. We are not watching a circus act, and Joseph isn’t a contortionist. He is a yoga teacher.