Who is Bikram Choudhury?
Bikram Choudhury, founder of the Yoga College of India and Bikram yoga, began learning yoga in his native India, at the age of three. At five, he began studying with Bishnu Ghosh, the brother of Paramahansa Yogananda (well known author of the Autobiography of a Yogi) and quickly became a regional yoga champion. At age eleven, he was the youngest contestant to win the national India Yoga Competition. At age 20, a weightlifting accident crippled Bikram. He retired from the sport and began practicing yoga professionally. Six months later, with the guidance of his internationally renowned teacher, Bishnu Ghosh, Bikram came to realize that yoga can cure chronic physical ailments. Bikram decided to teach his curative methods of yoga to other enthusiasts, and thus, Bikram yoga began.
Bikram arrived in the United States in 1973 and quickly became the foremost yoga teacher in the West as celebrities, athletes and others began to flock to him. Since that time he has been healing thousands of students at his school in Los Angeles and traveling the world extensively, bringing the benefits of Bikram yoga to millions of students worldwide.
In addition to anecdotal evidence regarding the benefits of a regular practice, Bikram has engaged in research with some leading research hospitals. In a medical research project at Tokyo University, Bikram helped doctors prove that yoga practice helps regenerate tissues and alleviates chronic ailments. There are currently several exciting studies being done to confirm the medical benefits of Bikram yoga, including one by University of Southern California and one at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center testing bone density improvement through Bikram Yoga.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram's Therapeutic Hatha/Raja Yoga is a series of 26 yoga postures, and breathing exercises taught in a 90 minute class. Each pose is a challenge based on one's personal abilities. The postures are done in the safe environment of a heated room so that deep penetration can relieve one's body resistance without risking injury.
By the end of a class session, each individual will have worked every muscle, tendon, joint, ligament, internal organ, and gland while systematically moving fresh, oxygenated blood to 100% of the body. The result is restoration of health to all systems.
As you increase strength, flexibility and balance in your body, you will be energized, you will revitalize your mind, and you'll be working on eliminating conditions of stress produced by fast paced lifestyles. These postures work synergistically and cumulatively to put the body back on track and in balance. Regular practice of this series of postures results in the healing and repair of injuries and illnesses, weight loss, and peace of mind.
For testimonials, pregnancy guidelines and other information regarding Bikram Yoga, please visit Bikram Choudhury's official Yoga College of India website.
Benefits of Bikram Yoga
The practice of yoga dates back five thousand years and its benefits have been repeatedly observed and documented over time. With regular practice, discipline and honest effort you will:
- Reshape your body
- Reduce risk for sports injury
- Reduce the effects of stress
- Clear your mind
- Tone and strengthen muscles
- Increase balance and coordination
- Increase energy
Heat therapy is once again becoming recognized as a valuable healing tool. It's earliest known use dates from Ancient Greek physicians who raised body temperature as an immune defense mechanism against infection. Regular profuse sweating generated by heat will:
- Flush toxins out of the body
- Promote relaxation and well-being.
- Accelerate cardiovascular action.
- Facilitate calorie burning.