BIKRAM YOGA - Do you love it or what?

 Widely known as the “original” hot yoga.

It aims to build mental and physical strength, improve flexibility and balance.

Personally, one of my first yoga classes was in the Bikram method. I thought it was the hardest workout I had ever done!

After the first 20 minutes I was hot, sweaty and at the end of the 90 minute class I was exhausted, I could barely walk back down the stairs and I’m sure I couldn’t even remember my name. But I loved it!

I still enjoy a Bikram class after 9 years of practice. What I love about it its available all over the world and you know exactly what you will be doing. I’ve attended a class in Berlin, Germany and the language was not a barrier.

Bikram Choudhury born February 10, 1949 is the founder of the Bikram Yoga College of India empire. He developed Bikram Yoga after he sustained an injury in a weightlifting accident.

With the help of scientists from the Tokyo University Hospital he proved that Bikram Yoga, repairs body tissues and helps in curing chronic ailments. The findings and benefits were presented at the International Medical Conference in the year 1972.

There is no doubt it’s not for everyone, and it has been known to generate some controversy amongst practitioners of other yoga styles.

Bikram’s yoga is made up of a sequence of 26 postures (each of which is performed twice), and two breathing exercises, culled from 84 classical postures and more than 10,000 combinations. He heats the room to between 100 and 105 degrees, he says, to work bodies like a blacksmith. At the urging of his guru, Choudhury came to the West. He opened his first studio in Los Angeles in Beverly Hills in 1973, in the basement of a former bank building. He was young and gorgeous, at a time when the nation was bewitched with all things Indian–from bedspreads and incense to Ravi Shankar and Krishnamurti. “In those years he was trying to be a pure yogi,” recalls Emmy Cleaves, who was Bikram’s 15th student in Los Angeles and is now a senior teacher. “He slept on the floor there. That’s the kind of sacrifice he was willing to make. He has invested a lot in this, because his guru told him to go out and teach yoga. From an Indian perspective, he was doing the right thing.” In those days Choudhury was celibate. He didn’t drink, nor does he now.

Some recall that the young Choudhury was so shy he would barely meet people’s eyes when he spoke. He ran his yoga school as if it were in Calcutta, rather than Beverly Hills. “Do you know, every yoga school in India is free?” Bikram asked. “My school was free. We don’t think to charge money. For us, a yoga school is like a temple. I had a little box, and people could put money in it. Like a church.”

Shirley MacLaine, one of his earliest students, took him aside. “You cannot run a yoga school the Indian way,” he says she told him. She hired a manager and a security guard, he says, and he began to charge for classes. “If it’s free, only 15 people would come,” Choudhury said. “That’s the way America is.” (A 90-minute class at Bikram’s Yoga College of India costs $20, making it one of the most expensive in the city.) In 1984, by arrangement of his guru’s son, Choudhury wed Rajashree, a famed yogini–or yoga practitioner– and five-time All India Yoga Champion. “That was the main reason I married her,” he says. “She beat all the men, 1400 people. The year we got married she was the champion.” Source: Los Angeles Times By HILARY E. MacGREGOR.  Read the rest of this article here:

Now, the business of Bikram Yoga, to put it mildly is massive. Teacher trainings, a range of products, seminars and competitions held globally, sustains this husband and wife empire as the biggest yoga related business of our time.

The 8th Annual 2011 Bishnu Charan Ghosh International Yoga Asana Championship attracted competitors from all over the world. This event honors athletic competition demonstrated by the beauty of demanding yoga postures and through the dedication, endurance and unyielding determination of the competitors.

At the 2011 International Yoga Asana Champions: 2 Australians and 1 New Zealander made the finals. Source:

Bikram Yoga Advanced Seminar and reaccreditation will be held on the Gold Coast during January 8th – 14th 2012.

Bikram studio Elsternwick in Victoria was one of the first Bikram studios to open in Australia, in 2002.
Bikram Yoga: The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way to Radiant Health and Personal Fulfillment

The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way 

Bikram Choudhury; Bikram Yoga book

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