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.