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Bikram Yoga: The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way to Radiant Health and Personal Fulfillment Hardcover – April 3, 2007
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About the Author
Bikram Choudhury, who won the prestigious National India Yoga Competition at the age of thirteen, is the founder of the Yoga College of India, which has its headquarters in Beverly Hills. There are more than 1700 Bikram Yoga studios worldwide that teach his exclusive style of Hatha Yoga.
Top Customer Reviews
The earlier chapters give historical background on yoga and Bikram's autobiography. The yoga history is highly slanted to Bikram's narrow view. Hey it is his book (and he won't let you forget that, believe me) - he can analyze the murky and heavily disputed history of yoga entirely as he pleases. The autobiographical material is very interesting, both for light on Bikram himself and also his excellent multi-cultural contextual scene-painting. We are learning about India as we go. And we are seeing our own culture strangely refracted, through Bikram's very perceptive lens. He has a sharp tongue though.
His basic message is that American culture is great in some ways but that individual Americans are mostly unhappy and messed up, mentally and physically. Fortunately there is a one-size-fits-all cure, a true panacea - Bikram Yoga.
Things Bikram Dislikes:
Exercise (running, tennis, aerobics, weights, team sports, ... fill-in-the-blank!)
Other styles and schools of yoga
Drugs - medical and recreational
Western medicine in general
Actually it is strange that he dumps on weight training, because he points out pridefully in another section that his own beloved guru was some kind of weight champion and pioneering promoter of the practice. Whatever.
He trashes the popular Iyengar style of yoga by sneering at the many mechanical props they use to control or achieve difficult postures.Read more ›
Caveat: Bikram asserts that his style of yoga is the only authentic yoga being taught in the west. A casual look at teachers like Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Desikachar, Swami Sivananda, etc. and, perhaps more importantly, their students, calls Bikram's assertion into question. Also keep in mind that he has tried to patent and copyright his poses and threatened to sue teachers who tried to teach his sequence without his permission. (See The New York Times, 5-7-07 pg. A21 ("A Big Stretch")).
The notion of claiming yoga as one's property, or of asserting that all other styles are spurious, is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of yoga.
So--take Bikram with a grain of salt. He's a good practitioner. His teaching can be beneficial. He's also a fairly ruthless businessman and self-promoter, and some of what he says is colored by self-interest.
Bottom line: Bikram's yoga is worth checking out. Take a class. If you like it, get his first book. Or get the first book and try the poses. Keep what works, and view the spiel with the skepticism it warrants.
Supposedly, Bikram designed his series to remedy the sedentary life style in which most Americans are trapped. I confess that I am one of those "most Americans," from whom a 40-hour week at my desk would be a week with greatly reduced hours. The series of poses does remedy my main kinks, and when I am able to attend classes regularly, I can discern an enhancement to my well being. I believe that there is much truth in Bikram's statement that yoga repairs the body, whereas other types of exercises age it.
Unlike teachers graduating from the many fly-by-night yoga certification programs, Bikram instructors can't give you a bad combination of postures, but I question their education about anatomy.Read more ›
I found the sections about Bikram's history and how he became a yoga teacher interesting and inspiring. Bikram makes a lot of claims about the benefits of his yoga and how it is better for you than other styles of yoga, and at first I was very skeptical. I thought this was just marketing. But after practicing for two years and going to a Bikram yoga studio for a while, I have found that most of his claims turn out to be true. Doing his sequence faithfully and regularly, every day, really does heal the body AND the mind. Bikram yoga has healed several injuries that I had, and it makes living in a stressful environment less crazy-making.
Practicing in a hot room is great, if you can. But I find the sequence to be beneficial even if you can't get to a hot yoga studio or heat your own home up to 100 degrees. I just wear a fleece jacket if it is cool and go slowly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast delivery. Useful info for Bikram Yoga postures. Good price!!Published 10 months ago by Sheyla Filmeridis
I am in YTT for Bikram Hot Yoga and the book is very informative since I started practicing this form of yoga since February 2015 and started training 5/24/15. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Celesta Smith
I am a big fan of Bikram Yoga. The only thing that bothered me is that the book keeps suggesting that you need to go to an actual Bikram Yoga studio.Published 13 months ago by Suzanne Kelly
Easy to read and great, concise information! I had taken about 10 hot yoga classes prior to purchasing this book and it has helped me to understand my practice more.Published 15 months ago by Susie
Seems interesting - it's a gift for my daughter that was on her wish listPublished 19 months ago by Lois E. Stern
I love Bikram yoga and book explained how it works in theory. If you are on the fence about trying Hot Yoga, read this book and give it a try.Published on January 25, 2014 by WWJAD
I love this book. I wanted to learn more about Bikram's life and the spiritual figures that guided him such as Yogananda.Published on August 10, 2013 by Silvia Schumacher
Most yogi's in hot yoga training should or are required to read this book. I especially enjoyed the part where he describes the health benefits of each pose.Published on June 6, 2013 by L. McNaughton