Bikram Yoga can be classified as a distant cousin of Hatha Yoga. Its founder, Bikram Choudhury, is rumoured to have been inspired into creating this variant of Yoga after having suffered an injury in weightlifting. After discovering that Yoga postures greatly enhanced his recovery, he passed on his knowledge and other people suffering from various injuries experienced the benefits of recovering more rapidly from their ailments.
There are many reasons why the practise of Bikram Yoga can be beneficial to you. The advantages Bikram Yoga bring can totally change your life. This being written, Bikram Yoga is also known as “hot” Yoga and therefore can be considered a variant or westernised version of Ashtanga Yoga.
Compared with Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga depends on the individuals’ own personal strength to muster the discipline of learning the eight limbs of practice. One of the main effects of Ashtanga Yoga is that it produced abundant amounts of body heat, which in turn provokes abundant sweating. This helps in detoxifying the body, a process necessary for the purification of the individual on the path to samahdi. The practice of Bikram Yoga differentiates itself from Ashtanga by the use of warmed rooms. Temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity levels of 40% help achieving the detoxifying of the body and speeds up the healing process of injuries.
Another good reason for taking up Bikram Yoga is that it has been “westernised”, or adapted to the needs of western capitalistic society. While having been designed as a physical therapy for people with injuries, Bikram Yoga dispenses with the goal of achieving samahdi and concentrates on the immediate benefits of practising postures and breathing. Having modelled his distribution methods on the mould of franchising, Bikram Yoga soon became an American phenomenon while making its founder enormously wealthy.
More recently, the founder of Bikram Yoga hit the news headlines when he decided to obtain legal rights for his Yoga franchises. Most Yoga purists would sneer at this attitude, as this goes against the very foundation of post classical yoga, which aims at the liberation of all individuals. One could argue that Bikram Yoga is a form a physical therapy based on traditional Yoga without the constraints that the practise of traditional yoga impose. Having westernised his type of Yoga, its founder reaps the benefits and rewards for his strategy. Alas, he also has to confront the dangers that come with the commercialisation of his product.
Joe is webmaster for mahasaya.com and yogi4u.com where he pursues his passion for spiritual work, self-growth and self-realization. He is happy to make available his experience and 30 years of intense personal research, meditations and in-depth questioning around the three subjects mentioned here above and strives to create a network of like minded adepts. You can post on his two sites, either [http://mahasaya.com] or the blog at [http://www.yogi4u.com] and he looks forward to your contributions.