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Forum Posts: 98
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February 5, 2011 - 3:47 pm
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Bikram yoga is a dynamic, vigorous form of yoga which is help in a room that is heated. It is is often referred to as hot yoga since the class is performed in a temperature controlled room which is heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The class itself runs for one and a half hours and cover twenty six poses. Each yoga pose is adaptable for beginners and those with more experience can do the full postures. Along with the specific yoga poses there are two significant breathing techniques: the 80-20 breath and the exhalation breath. Both are done during different periods of class and will allow separate results in the body.

In order to teach Bikram Yoga you must become certified similar to other schools of yoga such as kundalini, hatha or iyengar. The requirements are that you must be a current student with 6 months of active participation. You must also submit a recommendation form from a certified instructor acknowledging your abilities.

The certification program entails a 9 week course that includes lessons, instructional meetings and anatomy tests plus of course intense yoga classes. Bikram Yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury, a student of yoga and an entrepreneur who has developed a mass following and many feel his techniques have altered their lives. Born in Calcutta, India, he started Hatha Yoga at a very early age. Choudhury began teaching in the United States in 1972, opening his first American school in San Francisco, California. Currently his major teaching facility is located in Hollywood, California. His books and DVDs continue to be popular and there are some students of his that feel that the specific way he blends the yogic knowledge and poses gives tremendous physical and spiritual vitality.

Heating the body increases perspiration and many claim that this releases toxins. Also, it takes concentration and discipline to continue to practice in a heated room where the body is uncomfortable. This helps to build one's own inner strength and special qualities that are tied to mental and spiritual development. Balance and flexibility are increased by the twenty six poses. The major muscle groups are strengthened and toned and fat is burned more easily than in other forms of exercise that are less dynamic.

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February 5, 2011 - 3:49 pm
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The new craze in the yoga world at the moment appears to be something called heated yoga (also known as Bikram yoga). As the name suggests, this is effectively yoga that is performed in a hot room (similar to a sauna). These 'hot rooms' usually range between 90 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit and are at this level of heat for a few very good reasons.

First of all, such extreme heat causes you to sweat, and this means that you'll be removing a lot of the toxins from your body (making you healthier in the process).

Secondly, the heat makes your muscles looser than they would be in colder environments, meaning you can stretch more easily, making it easier to perform the yoga poses and increase your flexibility.

This also means that simply by being in such a warm environment you're releasing a lot of the tensions from your body that can build up over time (especially after a hard day's work) and cause you pain.

So what do you need to perform heated yoga? Well, obviously you need somewhere to do it (i.e. a heated room) and you also need some kind of yoga mat or towel to lie on. In addition to this, I'd recommend that you bring some kind of fluids with you (such as a bottle of water). The reason for this is that in such a hot room you're going to sweat like mad, so it's a good idea to have something to keep your fluids topped up.

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April 15, 2011 - 7:46 pm
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Bikram yoga, a full body workout from the inside out, "head to toe/bones to skin," is magnetically attractive to a culture where body image is equated with love, fame, and even happiness. People are flocking to the hot room by the thousands. Bikram's 26 Asana series answers our quest for physical beauty and health.

But like any yoga practice, there is more to hot yoga than meets the eye. Bikram's Asana series originates from a spiritual lineage whose ultimate goal is self-realization. Promoted as a workout, your 90 minutes of sweat, breath, and stretch sculpt a razor sharp mind and a burgeoning spiritual self.

"My duty in this life is simply this: to break down walls between people and nations, men and women, east and west," Bikram says. Taught by his guru Bishnu Ghosh, Bikram Choudhury successfully healed himself from a dramatic injury that crushed his legs and threatened to leave him bound to a wheelchair the rest of his life. As a public figure, Bikram now turns up the heat on our accepted truths, unveiling our own power to heal broken bodies and minds.

WHY HOT?

Practicing yoga in a ferociously heated/humidified room facilitates deeper stretch, detox, mental strength, and healing, for all levels. Thousands of hot yoga practitioners are a testament to how it changes lives both physically and spiritually, inspiring people to use yoga as doorway into themselves.

HOT YOGA INNOVATORS HEAT UP THE WEST

Many of today's Western hot yoga innovators individualize Bikram's traditional 26 Asana series; blending lineages to create hot yoga hybrids. Hot yoga continues to grow in this fertile soil, using the common denominator of heat to satiate our craving for detox.

The hottest innovator is Baron Baptiste, who heated up Ashtanga yoga and dance techniques to create the flowing 'Power Vinyasa Yoga.' Jimmy Barkan, creator of the Barkan Method, extends heat into a fluid sequence that varies from class to class. Gabrielle Raiz (a.k.a. The Hot Yoga Doctor), utilizes her anatomy expertise to refine posture alignment.

Each of these hot innovators runs teacher training sessions in their specific method of heat plus yoga, cooking up new yoga forms everywhere.

As teachers, studio owners, and yogis, you are also making a vital contribution to modern yoga culture - whether carrying on a lineage or trying new ideas. Perhaps you have adapted a yoga series to suit your students, your community, your personal goals, or your business. Your innovations not only affect your studio and your students, but the future of yoga in the Western world - let's keep the trend growing positively!

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May 12, 2011 - 8:11 pm
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There is some anecdotal evidence as to the healing potential of hot yoga, even for illnesses that remain a mystery to modern medicine.

One mother of four young daughters, a professional business owner and community volunteer who leads a very active and somewhat hectic life, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic condition characterized by wide spread pain and tenderness; even a hug proved painful. This student reported that hot yoga was the only thing that successfully controlled her pain and allowed her to function in her daily life.

Another hot yoga student who actively struggled with an eating disorder, who had been hospitalized and had seen every kind of specialist and counselor with few results, noted that her regular hot yoga practice somehow managed to keep at bay those surges of pain and anxiety which had resulted in her eating disorder and ruled her life for so many years.

How does this happen exactly? That part remains unclear, but the thousands of students who live with chronic conditions and function normally because of hot yoga, wouldn't be without their regular practice.

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