An Introduction To Bikram Yoga

  Most people have a passing knowledge of what Yoga is or think they know about what it sets out to achieve. But until you have tried Yoga, it is impossible to see if you have the type of personality that can truly excel under its influence. Yoga quite simply can be a life-changing experience, and the discipline and mental strength that result from it can completely change your perspective and worldview.

  One method of Yoga which is currently very popular is known as Bikram Yoga. Bikram Yoga often referred to as ‘hot yoga’, follows the Bikram Yoga Method. As with all Yoga, it has multiple goals – to build your inner and outer physical strength. A vital component of Bikram Yoga is the flexibility and balance required to perform the exercises. It is believed that this comes from mental strength as physical practice. The roots of Bikram are in Hatha Yoga, a healing form of Yoga that strengthens both body and mind.

  The founder of Bikram Yoga was Bikram Choudhury, a yoga practitioner and innovator. After a weightlifting accident, Bikram Choudhury was determined to recover and investigate the healing ability to practice specific types of exercise. The result was Bikram Yoga, which so many people found to be an effective method of healing that its tenants were recorded and passed on as a new form of Yoga. Those who practise Bikram Yoga purely for its healing benefits are plentiful. Still, there is also a solid holistic component, which is a crucial reason behind using Bikram Yoga for many regular users.

  The key to Bikram Yoga’s success is developing the mental strength required to discipline yourself in its use. If you can master this side of Yoga, the physical benefits will be forthcoming. Scientists, including a group from the Tokyo University Hospital, have proven them. The medical benefits are beyond question and have been shown to improve chronic ailments and greatly assist in treating and recovering tissue injuries.

At the 1972 International Medical Conference, the findings were presented, and it was concluded that Bikram Yoga could assist in the recovery of internal tissue. The explanation was that the positions practised by Bikram Yoga replenish cells and help the lymphatic system flush toxins from the body. In addition to the toxin drain, the cells are assisted by higher oxygen flows during and after exercise.

  Bikram showed that a healthy and well-balanced body was significant to getting the best benefits from exercise. Where the body is weak, Bikram Yoga will have less effect in the healing process, which relies on correct balance and circulation.  

  Bikram demonstrated 26 exercises and recommended a regime to be practised every day to best treat the body. Each posture exercise was developed based on a background in Eastern and Western Yoga disciplines. They all focus on the movement and pressure on muscles, nerves, ligaments, glands and organs. The exercises are meant to be performed together and in sequence, because they are all interrelated.

  Bikram Yoga is low impact and can be performed by people of all different ages. The critical component is the discipline required to complete the posture exercises daily for maximum benefit.

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