Bikram Yoga, also known as Hot Yoga, is a style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury and a Los Angeles, California based company. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 40%. Classes are guided by specific dialogue including 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Classes last approximately 90-minutes. Beginners may take Bikram yoga classes.
Choudhury currently lives in Beverly Hills and teaches at his self-founded Bikram's Yoga College of India in Los Angeles. Before emigrating to the United States, Bikram was trained at the Bishnu Ghosh school in Calcutta, India.. Controversially, Bikram holds a U.S. copyright on his yoga, and yoga instructors must undergo a paid training and certification process to teach it. Bikram has over 500 studios throughout the world, and there are still new studios opening up regularly. (Skajian, 2007).
Bikram yoga is a system of wellness, restoration and rejuvenation. The heated studio facilitates deeper stretching, prevents injury, relieves stress and tension and detoxifies the body. Bikram yoga was designed to systematically stimulate and restore health to every muscle, joint and organ of the body. Participants are guided through a series of 26 postures. The heart, lungs, blood circulation, muscles, brain activity and mental capacity are all affected by particpating in the art of yoga. There are two descriptions of the 26 exercises and they are asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), both of which rely on each other to deliver postive results. According to Bikram, many people only use up to 50 percent of their lung capacity, and just like any muscle, the lungs must be stretched and with time will be able to withstand holding more oxygen. When one is practicing the pranayama he or she will eventually be able to enhance oxygen conversion and absorption, as well as improve blood circulation. (Choudhury, 2007)
Blood circulation is effected immensely during Bikram Yoga, because of two processes called Extension and Compression. These two dynamics work together to deliver fresh oxygen to every joint, muscle, and organ within the human body. While performing a specific asana, the body is stretching or compressing a certain part of the body; thus, cutting off circulation temporarily. This restriction of ciruculation causes the heart to pump more blood in the reaction of the shortage. The pumping of excess, fresh blood is called extension. Once the asana is complete, and the individual comes out of the posture, then the new oxygenated blood is able to rejuvenate the arteries that were being compressed. It is said that because of the volume change and influx of fresh blood, any infection, bacteria, or toxin can be released. (Choudhury, 2007)
|1||Pranayama Series||Standing Deep Breathing|
|2||Ardha Chandrasana with Pada-Hastasana||Half Moon Pose with Hands To Feet Pose|
|5||Dandayamana - JanuShirasana||Standing Head To Knee Pose|
|6||Dandayamana - Dhanurasana||Standing Bow Pulling Pose|
|7||Tuladandasana||Balancing Stick Pose|
|8||Dandayamana - Bibhaktapada - Paschimottanasana||Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose|
|10||Dandayamana - Bibhaktapada - Janushirasana||Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose|
|12||Padangustasana||Toe Stand Pose|
|13||Savasana||Dead Body Pose|
|14||Pavanamuktasana||Wind Removing Pose|
|15||Sit up||Sit up|
|18||Poorna - Salabhasana||Full Locust Pose|
|20||Supta - Vajrasana||Fixed Firm Pose|
|21||Ardha - Kurmasana||Half Tortoise Pose|
|24||Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana||Head To Knee Pose with Stretching Pose|
|25||Ardha - Matsyendrasana||Spine Twisting Pose|
|26||Khapalbhati||Blowing In Firm|
Some yoga practitioners more generally protest the application of copyright, franchising, trademarking and personal profit to the yoga tradition. This controversy spawned the 2006 documentary Yoga, Inc. as well as epithets such as "McYoga" and "McBikram".
Additionally, Bikram and Bikram yoga enthusiasts have been criticized for their endorsement of competitiveness in yoga, on the grounds that it deviates from yoga's true nature and purpose.