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Video:What Is Bikram Yoga?

with Milo De Prieto

Bikram Yoga is one of the most popular styles of yoga, and practitioners around the world clamor to perform yoga in his trademark heated rooms. Learn more about Bikram Yoga, including the poses you will perform in a typical Bikram class.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is Bikram Yoga?

Hello, I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about Bikram Yoga.

Bikram Yoga was started by Bikram Choudhury in 1974 in Beverly Hills. A controversial figure for various reasons, Bikram's method has both detractors and disciples. His method is loosely called hot yoga, as you do the poses in a room heated to 95-100 degrees.

What to Wear and Bring to a Bikram Yoga Class

Most practitioners wear clothes you can sweat in and bring bottled water. The most common Bikram class consists of 26 poses or asanas designed in a specific order to warm the tendons and create flexibility in the spine among numerous other benefits. Thirteen are standing and 13 are sitting, with a couple breathing and resting poses added as well.

This sequence takes 90 minutes and can be quite intense. Many detractors say that the heat and the manner of the instruction may cause people to push beyond their actual ability and injure themselves. Of course, like with any exercise regime, you should consult a doctor.

Poses in a Typical Bikram Yoga Class

Very quickly, here are the poses and the order that you would see in a typical Bikram class:
  • Standing Deep Breathing
  • Half Moon Pose
  • Hands to Feet
  • Awkward Pose
  • Eagle Pose
  • Standing Head to Knee
  • Standing Bow Pose
  • Balancing Stick
  • Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
  • Triangle Pose
  • Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose
  • Tree Pose
  • Toe Stand
  • Dead Body Pose
  • Wind-Removing Pose
  • Cobra Pose
  • Locust Pose
  • Full Locust Pose
  • Bow Pose
  • Fixed Firm Pose
  • Half Tortoise Pose
  • Camel Pose
  • Rabbit Pose
  • Head to Knee Pose and Stretching Pose
  • Spine-Twisting Pose
  • Blowing in Firm Pose

Criticisms of Bikram Yoga

Bikram has been accused and applauded for creating the MacDonald's approach to yoga, in that if you attend a Bikram class, which is accredited by him and authorized, down to the timing and text of the poses, you will have the same experience no matter where you attend the class around the world. And it is around the world.

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