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Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class (Second Edtion) Paperback – August 7, 2000

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Editorial Reviews Review

Bikram Choudhury, author of the newly revised Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class and yoga guru to the stars, is on a mission to heal America through yoga. Bikram claims that faithfully doing his yoga routine, which consists of 26 hatha yoga asanas (postures) set down by Patanjali over 4,000 years ago, can fix everything from chronic diseases (like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis) to obesity and depression. According to Bikram, his beginning yoga class exercises 100 percent of the body, increases energy, and leaves you looking and feeling fantastic.

The book contains nearly 200 photographs illustrating each of the poses. Each asana is also accompanied by detailed directions on how to do it the right way. Can't quite twist your leg around your head or touch your nose to your knee? Bikram will tell you how to modify poses so one day you, too, can resemble a pretzel.

This is not an easy workout. Even intermediate students will find Bikram's yoga routine, which requires about an hour to complete, challenging. Need encouragement? Beginning Yoga contains suggestions for maintaining proper yoga practice, a section on the medical benefits of yoga, notes from Bikram's students, and a good dose of Bikram humor and philosophy. If you can't get to one of Bikram's 100 yoga centers and want to give his style of "hot yoga" a try, open up Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class and let Bikram work his magic on your body, mind, and spirit. --Ellen Albertson


'Yoga might have had its heyday, but Bikram is still blisteringly hot.' METRO, 28/5/02 'The hot new fitness craze.' DAILY EXPRESS --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 2nd edition (August 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585420204
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585420209
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic reader on June 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have been using Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class (the book alone, no instructor) and found it to be tremendously effective for improving flexibility, strength, conditioning, and energy levels. I do my best to follow the instructions to the letter and perform each pose as well as I can, and it really works.
I knew nothing about yoga before I started, so I intentionally chose this book for it's defined program and limited set of poses, as opposed to others that have a smorgasbord of poses that I could dabble in. As other reviewers have pointed out, some of the poses are not easy, and there are many that I still probably only get 25% right because I don't have the strength and flexibility, but the honest effort I make is paying off.
I found myself getting more and more out of shape because nagging injuries stopped me every time I tried to start an exercise program. My formerly active lifestyle was slowing way down, and I just felt bad -- and felt bad about myself as a result. Bikram's yoga has turned that around in 2 short months. I've lost some weight, gained a tremendous amount of flexibility, added muscle tone, and feel a lot better about my long term health outlook.
I do the full program (it takes me about an hour and 15 minutes) at least 4 times a week, usually 5 or 6. I'll probably take a class with an instructor eventually.
Is Bikram's yoga the best way? I don't know. But it's working for me.
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98 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Lou Thomas on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I attended classes at Bikram's Yoga College of India for three years, and have received instruction from Bikram himself during quite a number of those classes. About two years ago the college moved to a different location and since then I have continued my practice at home.
Everything they say about Bikram the man is true. Yes, he is an egotist. Yes, with his millions of dollars and multiple Rolls Royces he has fully embraced the materialistic lifestyle of his adopted country and in particular of his home city of Beverly Hills. He is well aware of his egotism and materialism, and revels in both to the point of self-parody.
None of this erases the fact that the 26 Bikram postures are perhaps the most concise, therapeutic, balanced and adaptable compilation of the yoga repertoire ever brought together under a single method.
They are concise, in that every part of the body is exercised, but if the same part is exercised in more than one posture, it is always in a slightly different way, and always in a way that takes advantage of the repetition to further increase the flexibility of the body, and always far enough from the original posture to make the repetition meaningful rather than redundant (e.g., standing head to knee is posture five, while the seated head to knee is posture twenty-four). They are therapeutic, in that circulation is enhanced, muscles are stretched to release toxins, and intense heat and perspiration help to carry those toxins out of the body. They are balanced, in that each posture that stretches in one direction is invariably followed by another that stretches in the opposite direction (e.g., camel pose followed by rabbit pose).
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94 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Michael Charles on August 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Bikram Choudhury's classic Yoga work has finally been revised. Unlike the second edition of many popular books, this one is better than the first. It's good for what it has and good for what it doesn't have. The book retains Bikram's detailed, often hilarious, commentary and descriptions of how to perform each of his 26 postures (asanas) and breathing(pranayama). It also retains his unique "ideal" and "reality" versions of the poses, a great help to novices. In addition, there are more than 200 high quality black and white photos to augment Bikram's commentary.
What the book doesn't contain is just as important. It eschews adding anything about the new, trendy forms of Hatha Yoga that have taken over American popular culture. After all, Hatha Yoga has been a highly successful form of physical and spiritual renewal for more than 5,000 years. As Bikram in his new introduction states,"Americans are very inventive, even if what they invent is wrong. They are inventing posture after posture, making up names for them. Then they sell their wares to innocent, uninitiated people who do not know that they are getting ripped off, even getting hurt. There are more flavors of Hatha Yoga in the West than ice cream. Americans think that's wonderful. I tell you it is disastrous. Most of these so-called Yoga systems are not Yoga at all. Giving them a Sanskrit or Bengali name doesn't make them Yoga."
Bikram's series of postures and breathing performed in a 100-plus degree studio, taking 90 minutes, is one of the more challenging but worthwhile things you can do for your physical and spiritual well-being. It is certainly unique and is totally different than many of the so-called Yoga Systems available today. This book explains it all. Study it, take a Bikram class. They may change your life.
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139 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Whitfield on November 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I believe one reviewer missed the point of this book. It is not intended to be a do-it-yourself yoga course. It is a guide to the yoga student who attends a Bikram yoga class. I'm fortunate to have a Bikram studio only two blocks from my house in San Francisco. Classes are crowed and instructors don't have time for a lot of one-on-one instruction. That's why it is helpful to read through the descriptions, especially after you are familiar with the poses. It gives lots of hints which cause lightbulbs to go off in my head. Bikram at home? First of all, you *must* have a super-heated room and a wall-sized mirror. And an instructor is mandatory, especially if you are beginning. It's not yoga for sissies, and I'm pretty much a sissy. But you will be surprised how good you feel about yourself after completing 90 minutes of stretching,sweating and pushing yourself to your limits. The other thing is you get maximum benefit from your workout even if you are beginning, as long as your pose is in good form.
A great thing about the photographs is that he uses a variety of ages and body types so that no one is excluded. Thin, fat, young and old are all there. And I was delighted with Bikram's sense of humor--he's a great showman! He's not afraid to be silly and by doing so he takes some of the sanctimoniousness out of yoga.
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