Bikram Yoga is named after its founder – Bikram Choudhury.
He is said to have learnt Yoga with Yogacharya Bishnu Ghosh, whose brother Yogananda Paramahansa was a celebrated Yogi and author of the worldwide bestseller ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’. Bikram Yoga is also called Hot Yoga. Bikram Choudhury says that this technique is the only real Hatha Yoga practiced in the West.
However, this is not recognized by many other schools of Yoga. Ideally, Bikram Yoga is a sequence of 26 poses done in a room heated to 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity levels are around 50%.
Classes last approximately 90-minutes duration with students of all levels, ages and body types practicing together.
Each Yoga Pose is normally done twice and retained for a certain length of time. Yoga Sessions begin with standing poses, followed by backward bends, forward bends, and then Twists. The postures are completed with a round of Kapalabhati Breath or the "breath of fire".
A lot of folks feel discouraged from practicing Hot or Bikram Yoga because they are not flexible enough. However, Yoga is not about being flexible. It is about strengthening the body and your spine in all directions with the aim of developing harmony between the body, mind and spirit. All that matters is to try the right way without pushing oneself too far.
Benefits of Bikram Yoga
It is designed to "scientifically" tone up and stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the right order that they should be.
The practice of Bikram Yoga encourages natural release of toxins, body cleansing and utmost flexibility.
Bikram Yoga is also known to bring down stress levels and enhance Blood Circulation.
The protracted practice of this style of Yoga also help one lose weight and build up muscles.
Anyone – even those suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes, BP, arthritis, thyroid problems can practice and benefit from the practice of Bikram Yoga.