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Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class (Second Edtion) Paperback – August 7, 2000
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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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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). Finally, they are adaptable, in that every posture can be done to a greater or a lesser degree, allowing both beginners and long-time practitioners to benefit from exactly the same set of postures.
In so many ways, this makes the Bikram postures "all you really need" - a comprehensive set of postures beyond which you need look no further in order to maintain your flexibility and health.
Yes, just as some others have reported, I too made an effort to attend classes taught by "anybody but Bikram" while I was at the college. While he is very knowledgeable, his constant banter often interrupted the flow of the postures, and his classes invariably ran late as a result. But I will always be grateful to him for having developed his method, which has been of enormous assistance to me in maintaining my physical health and clarity of mind.
I read the book through once... then realized that it is broken up into 2 parts -- for each pose. The top portion is for advanced students who have a general idea of the poses. The bottom portion is for complete beginners. Although Bikram writes in the book that someone who has never taken a class can follow the book, I would highly disagree with that. I think you need to have gone to a few classes to get a general idea of the flow, then you can read about each poses and tips to get a deeper stretch/proper form.
I wish they would have redone the photos for the updated copy. Now that I have read through it once, I find that I go back to it for reference for some of the poses I find more challenging. I would highly recommend this book.