Hey hey all!
Today a big, juicy post dedicated to Bikram Yoga; my lover, my everything. I have recently introduced some close friends to Bikram yoga who all liked it very much from the beginning- and most of them are continuing to practice too! I also receive comments and emails practically daily of people who are either long-time Bikram enthusiasts, or total n00bs wanting to get started. So here a post to celebrate Bikram Yoga, learn about it’s roots and get deeper into all of the benefits. Enjoy!
The Origins of Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga originated in the 70S in India. Bikram Choudhury started practicing yoga for hours on end at the young age of 4 and soon became the national champion. He was undefeated for three years straight and then went off to train for marathons and weight lifting championships. It was during his weight training he injured his knee badly- the doctors told him he would never walk again.
Bikram returned to India to his guru Bishnu Ghosh, the younger brother of well renown yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, where Ghosh aided him in his recovery. After just 6 months of diligent Hatha Yoga practice, Bikram healed himself and could walk once again.
When word got out, the people of India lined up to be healed by Bikram and his master. When Bikram and Ghosh couldn’t keep up with the demand for their yoga therapy, Ghosh send Bikram off to open schools and teach other Yogi’s their particular Yoga series, so that more and more people could benefit from it. Today, hundreds of schools worldwide have opened their doors and are officially trained by Bikram Yoga’s Teacher Training.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises derived from the traditional Hatha yoga, and created to prevent and treat physical ailments of all kinds. Each of the 26 postures has a distinct purpose for being included in the 90 minute series. Bikram Yoga is practiced in a room that is heated to 105F (~40C) and very moist. This because it warms up your body and enables you to stretch much deeper than you normally would.
Bikram Yoga is more about the physical body than it is about spirituality, although it can be a very enlighting experience, to say the least.
The 26 postures, or asanas, together work every aspect of your body. Bikram claims that if you practice Bikram yoga consistently and several times a week, your risk of getting injuries or chronic disease are slim to none.
Even though the postures are relatively simple and always the same, Bikram yoga is never boring. Because of the heat, it is a challenge both mentally and physically. I see more men because of this at Bikram than at any other form of Yoga. The same postures, the same routine, over and over again might seem a bit dull at first glance, but you’ll soon discover the greatness behind this. Because each class follows the same routine, you can really get into a nice flow and and quiet your mind. Because every posture returns every time, it is very easy to spot your own small -and big- progresses very easily. And the heat of ‘the torture chamber’ creates a bond between you and all the other people that come out that day to break out a sweat, they go through the same you are and still drag their asses into the hot room every time.
Because the postures are fairly simple and adjustable to any level, Bikram yoga is accessible for everyone, young and old. thin and thick, limber or not. Remember, it’s called yoga practice, not yoga perfect!
Bikram Yoga Benefits
Trust me, while you’re sweating and grunting away in the hot room, you can feel it’s doing at least something for your body. And some badass teachers will even inform you with many of the poses exactly what it is you’re getting out of it (wind removing pose; what’s in a name?). But here’s a cool overview of some of the benefits of Bikram Yoga as a whole:
Yowza! Now you get why Bikram can become quite addictive! Bikram is really on of the most cleansing things you can do for your body. I have heard many a story where the detox would transfer from the physical to the emotional body (and I’ve experienced this to some extend myself as well). The life transformations brought upon by Bikram yoga are nothing short of amazing. What stands out to me is that I read a lot of stories of people sturggling with depression and/or addiction that turn to Bikram yoga and heal themselves of these destructive mindsets.
I bow deep for powers of Bikram.
Bikram Practice TipsYour first class
I’m not gonna repeat here the standard talk you’ll get when it’s your first time (get there early, try to stay in the room for the whole 90 minutes, sit down when you feel you need to, etc). Instead, I’ll give you some juicy insider trading!