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It seems to me that there are so many kinds of yoga. One website alone discusses 19 separate classifications. For new or prospective yoga students this can be very overwhelming. What kind do you practice? How do you get started? Which type offers the most benefit? There are many questions and it seems as though there are a lot of benefits to all types. I am a beginning yoga student and I have asked myself these same questions. While looking into the many kinds of yoga and have only experienced one kind I found myself wanting to experience something new. I decided that I wanted to take up Bikram yoga.
Bikram yoga is a type of “hot yoga” that is becoming more and more popular here in the U.S. Bikram yoga is named after the creator Bikram Choudhury who was born in Calcutta, India and began practicing Hatha yoga at the age of 3. Bikram began studying with Bishnu Ghosh when he was only 5 years old. He was the National India Yoga Champion for 4 consecutive years while during his teenage years. During these same years, he became injured and through working with his guru, Bikram developed a 26 posture series that helped to restore his health. It is important to note that traditional doctors had told Bikram that he would never walk again, and through the utilization of his 26 postures he now can walk normally, without assistance.
This 26 posture series is what we now call Bikram yoga. Traditional Bikram yoga classes are performed in a room that is kept at 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and has 40% humidity. Each Bikram class is 90 minutes long and follows through the same 26 postures each time. These 26 postures are also a part of Hatha yoga; the order used is as follows:
1. Standing Deep Breathing | 2. Half Moon Pose with Hands to Feet Pose |
3. Chair Pose | 4. Eagle Pose |
5. Standing Head To Knee Pose | 6. Standing Bow Pulling Pose |
7. Balancing Stick Pose | 8. Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose |