Bikram Yoga Simplified

By: Lesley Lyon


Bikram yoga otherwise known as hot yoga is a style of yoga practiced and developed by Bikram Choudhury, who is the disciple of Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Paramahansa Yogananda. The hot yoga or Bikram yoga classes are held in a hot humid room of 105 degree Fahrenheit with a humidity of forty percent. The classes are conducted and guided by a particular dialogue and includes 26 postures and two breathing exercises. The approximate duration for the class is 90 minutes.

The Bikram's yoga college of India is in Los Angeles. Since Bikram yoga is a series of yoga poses that are practiced in a hot atmosphere, it induces profuse sweating, thus getting the body rid of toxins, thereby making the body warm and more flexible. Since the studio is heated, the students are able to stretch deeper, be free from injury, relieve stress and tension and detoxify the body.

Bikram Choudhury has succeeded in designing the yoga poses in such a way that it stimulates and restores health to every muscle, joint and organ in the body. But, Bikram Choudhury has claimed copyright and trade mark protection to his method of yoga practice, which has stirred a controversy. Bikram has claimed copyright mainly to the sequence of asana in his Bikramís beginning yoga classes. This has warranted protests from North American yoga practitioners. Also, many Indian historians and scientists have protested to this copyright since they claim that yoga tradition dates back to a longer history and that it cannot be claimed by new copyrights.

Those who undergo Bikram yoga should go well prepared with plenty of water since they tend to sweat a lot during the session. It is better to wear light comfortable clothes and avoid tight fitting clothes that would hinder movement. There are separate locker rooms and shower rooms for men and women with good carpet floor. First the standing exercises are carried out in sixty minutes and then come the floor exercises which last for thirty minutes. Altogether, there are twenty six hatha yoga postures to stretch the muscles and modulate the circulation. After all the poses have been completed, it is better to lie in savasana for two to ten minutes so that the body comes back to a balanced state.

If a person feels over heated, it is advisable not to leave the room because the sudden disparity in temperatures may affect the system, instead of the body getting gradually adjusted to it. The student can lie on the mat until he or she feels comfortable and then continue. By the end of the process, it offers a relaxed and rejuvenated condition of the body and the best sleep of one's life. To get the full benefits of bikram's yoga it is advised to attend at least three times a week.

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