Oh you are going to love this one. The February issue of DETAILS mag has an enlightening article entitled “The Overheated, Oversexed Cult of Bikram Choudhury“. Immediate reaction: Uh ohh!
Wow, it’s been a while since we got any juiciness from the yogapreneuring king of sweat-asana. Last we heard the Yoga Don was sipping chai with the honchos at Colony Capital to broker some bigger-than-Elvis deal. Well, if you’ve been salivating for more spicy Bikram sauce, author Clancy Martin delivers a rip-roaring account of the raucousness inside the wide-eyed (legged?) world of sweaty sexed-up bods, erections in asana, and some classic hyperbole’d Bikramisms (scroll down for faves).
It’s not exactly saying anything we didn’t already know, but a glimpse inside the 105-degree heated circus tent is always a fascinating read. And as it seems, there’s much more in the works for Bikram’s empire, including a possible reality show in the US, an all-Bikram channel via India’s Sun, a satellite-radio show, and a magazine. And of course, we’re already well aware of the Olympics campaigning.
Scandalous! Some might say. Marvelous! Others may cry. In any case, we’re pretty familiar with Bikram’s megaton balls-out approach to life and/or marketing. While some mogul gurus would take offense to an article hinting at incidents of debauchery, overindulgence and fame, there’s high doubt we’ll see any form of rebuttal coming from this golden yogi’s throne.
Here are few of our favorite bits:
Setting the tone:
Only the best, bravest, and most beautiful practice at the feet of the guru, who sits cross-legged on a giant inflatable leather throne against the back wall. He’s in a black Speedo, bare-chested, his hair tied in a topknot. His triceps stand out like pistons. Sometimes a woman will brush his hair or wash and massage his feet. He resembles a cartoon genie on his magic carpet. Between cell-phone calls, he barks Bengali-inflected criticisms and corrections into his headset. He speaks only in exclamation points.
The Bikram Diet of meat, coke, sex:
Choudhury has other quirks too. He says he eats a single meal a day (chicken or beef, no fruit or vegetables), drinks only water and Coke, and needs only two hours of sleep a night. Then there are the stories about him having sex with his students. When I ask him about this, he doesn’t deny it—he claims they blackmail him: “Only when they give me no choice! If they say to me, ‘Boss, you must fuck me or I will kill myself,’ then I do it! Think if I don’t! The karma
When I get up to go, he takes my hand. “It is very simple,” he says. “Go do good in the world, like me. Teach them their mind has a screw loose. It hates itself, it hates its body. But the lotus can grow in the garbage! Make them fall in love with themselves! That is the secret. I tell the same thing to my good friends, and they write Chicken Soup for the Soul. They sell, what, 10 million copies? You can trust me.” (You’ll have to—the authors wouldn’t confirm any interaction with Choudhury.)
Outstanding Bikram quotes:
“You, Miss Teeny-Weeny Bikini! Spread your legs! You, Mr. Masturbation! Until I say ‘Change,’ you do not move a muscle!” – commanding from his perch.
“This posture called dirty old bitch! Because not even one more inch can you stretch!” – exuding encouragement.
“I tell them all, ‘No touchy-touchy, no kissy-kissy, no fucky-fucky!’ ” – referring to his inveterate stance on official hookups during teacher training.
“With this one you are fucking until you are 90! You have seven orgasms in a row!” – referring to eagle pose, which he considers the best pose for good sex.
- ‘Yoga Don’ Bikram to be Bigger Than Elvis?
- ‘Yoga Don’ Bikram’s Best Quotes
- Bikram and the Yoga Olympics: Here We Come 2012!
I have been teaching yoga for over fifteen years. I would never discourage a student from exploring styles of yoga they are drawn to. That being said, my experience with Bikram – and I am a strong, fit, middle-aged woman – left me depleted; either injured or ill. I do not know the man but the knowledge I have from interviews I’ve read leads me to believe he is a repugnant individual. The bottom line is, if I want to sweat and improve my fitness I’ll either find the closest elliptical or jog around the block. If I want to practice yoga I’ll find a guru who teaches from the heart and not the wallet.
I practice Bikram-I am not strong or fit. I am overweight and out of shape. That’s why I practice and it is making me better. I never feel depleted, injured or ill. I make sure I hydrate well before ad after class. I don’t know the man either, and honestly I don’t care what he does and says. I practice Bikram Yoga, I do not worship a man. He may not be a person most would approve of, but his methods work.
It saddens me that because a person is eccentric or has ways of doing things that are different doesn’t mean their method doesn’t work. Bikram Yoga is changing my life…for the better!
I totally get it, and I’m happy that you’ve found a practice that works for you. It’s wrong of me to judge a man I’ve never met. My first teachers taught with joy and humor and I’ll never forget it. I guess, when I boil it all down, I just don’t like being yelled at during my yoga practice. I come to yoga to build my inner strength and to soften my heart.
Here’s the thing that never quite comes across on paper: in person, Bikram is funny as hell. Even if you don’t want to laugh, you end up laughing. The man is an entertainer. I took one of my friends to his public class in LA one time (which is a bit tamer than the classes for the teacher trainees), and her first impression of Bikram was, “It’s tough love, but you ALWAYS feel the love.”
I do wish he would think twice about the things he says to the press (I nearly had a stroke when I read this article, gah)… but… Bikram’s gotta be Bikram.
I am amazed, that people are attracted to him. I can only believe that he must have something to offer them.
Go read the article. It is interesting. (Not exactly unbiased journalism, but hello, it is DETAILS magazine, not the Washington Post.)
My own opinions of Bikram and his yoga practice aside: (1) I think it is good that there are many kinds of yoga practice (from asana-only to pure bhakti and everything else), and a variety of asana practices. This means there is some kind of yoga that appeals to everyone. People used to (and still do!) bash “gym yoga,” but that is how many people get their first taste of yoga. It is also steadily improving in quality in many places, as yoga teachers branch out from studios. (2) In some ways, I think controversy in yoga is good. It is sometimes the thing that keeps people interested in yoga, and eventually many come to some kind of yoga practice. More yoga is good.
mmmm….more yoga is good…..think I’ll go unroll the mat. I wonder if there always has been controversy? We should probably assume the answer is “yes”.
“Choudhury has other quirks too. He says he eats a single meal a day (chicken or beef, no fruit or vegetables), drinks only water and Coke, and needs only two hours of sleep a night.” No need to sweat all the toxins out when you maintain a healthy diet consisting solely of soda and meat! I wonder how much of the interview was Bikram yanking this guy’s chain? This can’t be real, right!???
As for Bikram’s sequence, I practiced it for a while until developing some knee issues. What drew me in was the repetition of the sequence – similar to repeating a mantra over and over.
Also, the heat helps keep the mind from running the show.
I don’t practice Bikram yoga, but the style definitely has a following here in the Philippines. He was recently in Manila for a visit: http://www.spot.ph/people/47394/15-minutes-with-bikram-chodhury
Wpw they’re packed tight, eh?
The photograph reminds me of an aerobics class I attended. There were so many of us, you had to arrive at least an hour before the class started to get a spot. We had a great time. And Frenchie, the instructor, wore speedos too. I’ve never exercised so hard in my life. Nor, been in better shape. For the folks in the photograph — the “Yoga Don” is the guru of their choice. For everything there is a season. It reminds me of OSHO and his power of attraction. A very interesting phenomenon. To satisfy my curiosity, I’d give it a try. My practice is hatha yoga. Our classes are usually 25 max. Peace.
Bikram is controversial for sure. It is also, when taught under the right conditions, by trained teachers, one of the most reliable, most therapuetic, safe ways to practice a more rigorous style of yoga. The problem is the number of “hot’ yoga studios that are popping up, inventing their own sequence, and leading classes completely under-trained.
I love this: “You Westerners are like spiritual babies,” Choudhury says. “You were born in the wrong country, with the wrong skin color, in the wrong culture. You can never be spiritual! It is not your fault. I’m sorry about that. If you can even get the body right, that much is good enough for you!”
But it’s hard to pick the most extraordinary quote out of the many gems in this article.
I have tried Bikram yoga in the past and it’s not for me. If people want to get all sweaty and slimey in a room with too many other people packed in tight, I figure that’s their business.
But if someone asked me for my personal reccommendations on where to go for yoga, Bikram-style wouldn’t make the list. In fact, I’d reccommend against it.
My view (and others are welcome to disagree) is that it is too much stress on the heart and other organs. All that heat is not needed – I can make a class sweat (not to mention myself) in a room temperature room. All that heat is also very vata deranging.
And then there’s the stories about people being ordered not to drink water during a Bikram class. Uncool, given the heat (pun intended).
The man himself seems to be very charismatic. He is clearly playing to a crowd that want what he offers, crazy stuff and all.
I guess I worry about articles like this. It’s good to understand what goes on inside the big top, but then what if people think that this is the norm for yoga and yoga teachers, you know?
I like the way you think.
I used to do a “power yoga” class that was done in a very heated room. Since I live in a cold climate, I loved it!! It really helped to keep my joints warm and loose for stretching. It may not be for everybody, but to me it felt cleansing and certainly relaxing afterward. You do sweat so much that I had to wear yoga gloves and would have liked yoga socks as well to keep from sliding off my mat. Love it!!! Bikram himself….not so much (at least from this article).
The more I learn about this man, the more I know his yoga is not for me. He embodies most everything I attempt to stay away from in our culture. I am sure he will have continued success a he is both fitting in and leading the direction some wish yoga to take. As for me, I’ll stay away.
Well, Details has finally done what no earth mortal has been capable of quite yet: rendered a rambling, often verbose yogini utterly speechless. I haven’t stopped laughing since reading this article yesterday (because otherwise I think I’d vomit). Is this guy for real? I have no words.
Please remember Bikram Yoga is the practice, not the man. I don’t ever get yelled at in my yoga class. I am allowed to drink water.
“And then there’s the stories about people being ordered not to drink water during a Bikram class. Uncool, given the heat (pun intended).”
This is how rumors get started huh? Have you experienced this for yourself or just heard this?
Unless you have tried Bikram Yoga, and more than one class you really should not be judging Bikram Yoga, not the man.
I’ve heard this from people who’ve been in classes where this has happened. Also, when I did Bikram quite a while back (and more than one class), there were very STRONG reccommendations against drinking water until told to. I ignored them though, coz I’m like that and prefer not to dehydrate and suffer horrible migraines.
I’ve done enough Bikram to know it isn’t for me, and personally I don’t think it’s the best form of yoga out there. But as I said, you’re welcome to disagree. No need to take my opinion personally, though.
There’s actually a reason for this. Because drinking too much water at once can cause you to throw up in certain poses. Their recommendations are to arrive at class fully hydrated. There are water breaks periodically through the practice that they provide.
In the class I go to, they don’t prevent you from drinking water, they just recommend that you don’t drink water until the very end.
For myself, I know that drinking too much water at once can cause me to throw up in certain poses. It can also cause me to feel sick in poses or crushed. Aside from that, drinking water during the poses do not help me hydrate in the short term. For these reasons, I always drink a lot of water a few hours before I practice and do not eat a large meal before class, for the same reasons people do not eat a big meal or drink a gallon of water shortly before going for a swim. But that is my body and my preference.
Their recommendations are to arrive at class already hydrated, or as much as possible. There are water breaks periodically through the practice that they provide.
In the class I go to, they don’t actually prevent you from drinking water, they just recommend that you don’t drink water until the water break for those reasons I mentioned. But everyone’s preferences are different.
the Man IS the Yoga. the Yoga IS the Man. That’s why his name is on it. I’m not sure you can separate Bikram yoga from Bikram himself.
I have never done Bikram. I did have a roommate who taught Bikram and several acquaintances who do it. The common thread among these people is that they are all of the “work hard, play hard” mindset. Go to Bikram, go eat a a 23 ounce ribeye w/creamed spinach, and drink several martinis. They are also workaholics! That kind of lifestyle would not support my health.
Personally, I feel like I have to adapt my practice to my mental, spiritual, and physical needs, so it changes every day. Mostly, I need to slow down. I wonder what it is about Bikram that attracts such Type A’s?
I think all of this talk is brilliant and it is amazing to watch the spectrum of yoga grow and shift over time. I know people who despise this man and I know people who swear by the classes. In this culture I think it is important that we have so many options, but also that we are able to dialogue about it all. It’s also great that yoga can help us check our preconceived notions and baggage at the door if we really live our practice. What a great time to be around!
Point well taken in separating the man from his yoga. I have not done Bikram yoga as yet and look forward to trying it in the future. I see a value in the theory of warming up the muscles and keeping them warm during movement. I see the value of a predictable practice that allows you to move thru a sequence (once learned), focusing inward. What I don’t value is what is reportedly the behaviors by the guru during practice and his consumeristic (my view of his attitude) push of this style. I get it that for some this is a great style and for others not.
Statement such as, ALL are not a good idea. I am not an all or nothing person. While I do enjoy a good ribeye I don’t drink. I am not a workaholic at all, I try to work as little as possible. I am a single mom. I have hated every kind of exercise I have ever done. I hate walking, weights, running, or anything else. I am overweight and I do my best to keep up in my yoga class. But I love it. It is intense, yes. I sweat, yes. But for me, it works. All, never, always–statements like that really don’t have a good place when you are talking about groups of diverse peoples.
Some people like it, others not. But to criticize all is not healthy.
Pamela, I think you misread what I wrote. When I wrote, “the common thread among these people is that they are all of the ‘work hard, play hard’ mindset, ” the use of the word “all” referred to my former roommate and my acquaintances who practice Bikram. I was not using “all” to refer to everyone who practices Bikram. I can’t speak about the attitude and mindset of people I don’t know.
Okay. I am a Bikram Yoga teacher.
I, too, have had much difficulty with separating the yoga from the man. Our training was insane and not fun. But the yoga itself is wonderful and has been nothing but good for my body and my mind. I have never experienced an injury, but I am very attuned to my body and what it’s ready to do. Like all things, there are bad messengers and extremely dogmatic people/ teachers. Like everything else, there are crazy people everywhere. The men that the reporter described are visiting teachers at training who DO just go to training to hook up with impressionable yogis and yoginis. But there are about 2 or 3 hanging around- just like anywhere else. Everyone there is focused and obsessed with studying and just getting through it.
At a seminar before I went to training, I was surprised to find out that with beginners, Bikram is pretty honest, but he’s kind to them. Telling people to take breaks, have water. He was funny, thoughtful, rambling and knowledgeable. In our training- which is where this interviewer attended class- he is different. He yelled at us during class, for sure. The whole idea is to break us down so we can withstand anything. The staff was tough on us- like a hazing. I didn’t like that idea and deemed it unnecessary, but I got through it. Did crazy stuff happen at training? Yes. But this article was extremely slanted in presenting Bikram Yoga training as a kind of sex-camp; it’s ridiculous. Bikram has certainly said all of those things- they’re controversial sound bites. I’m not interested in that. I’m not a fanatical “follower,” but I love the yoga and I believe in it for my health. I’m interested in the practice.
I have, over the past couple years, looked to other yoga practices and disciplines. And I love all of them, particularly Ashtanga yoga. But, I’ve been yelled at by those teachers, too. Water was banned in several classes I took, and this teacher was AMAZING. Some of these teachers are tough- and I’m glad- it’s how I get better and stronger. Encouragement is nice, too; it’s all a package.
And FYI- the pictures in the article were from teacher-training. Independently-owned Bikram Yoga studios can hold anywhere from 10- 80 people.
I would tell anyone that before you react to something, know what it is you are reacting to. Go to a good studio, find out who the good, strong teachers are, and take a class. You might love it, you may not. But at least you’ll know what you’re reacting to.
Thank you for nailing down the important distinction that a lot of people are missing: Bikram yoga teacher training is nothing, nothing, NOTHING like normal Bikram yoga.
I choose not to drink much water in class. Not because I am instructed not to, but because I have a problem with the compression postures and floor spine series.
I don’t get dehydrated in 90 minutes because I make sure to hydrate well throughout the day. There is a pose that my instructors encourage us not to drink after, but that has nothing to do with being mean.
If you are getting dehydrated and migraines after 90 minutes, its because you didn’t prepare well or perhaps you have a lot of detoxing to do.
Yeah as I mentioned previously as well I can attest to the fact that there is simply no substitute to adequate hydration and nutrition PRIOR to class.
I can also attest to the fact that when I drink water outside of the water breaks we’re encouraged to take, I get stomach cramps and it feels extremely uncomfortable. Not to mention that I don’t even feel any more hydrated if I drink a slug of water immediately, because it all just immediately gets sweated out and seems to have no time to be processed by the body.
But this is the worrisome thing about the recommendation about not drinking water during class: Any form of yoga where stomach cramping and vomiting are possible side effects of simple hydration during class cannot, in my opinion, be healthy or good for the body.
But you’re misunderstanding.
It’s the compression and the inversions that cause the reflux of a bunch of water in the stomach to come back up. It isn’t because you are hydrating.
I drink when I need to, no one stops me. But I really don’t need to because I have been careful to hydrate and take in electrolytes during the day and consistently as a part of my lifestyle.
I choose not to drink much water in class, though I DO drink water. AND we ARE ALLOWED to drink water. But for me with the compression postures it causes discomfort. Not because of dehydration or hydration.
I encourage those of you who are criticizing something you haven’t experienced, to try it before you make anymore negative comments on something you really don’t know about.
I’m not questioning whether there are “rules” against drinking in class. I’m just saying, I do plenty of compression and inversions in my own practice, and I have never found drinking water–even during a fast-paced vinyasa class–to be a problem. So if it is a problem in a Bikram class, it stands to reason that there is something in the Bikram system that causes this to be so. My guess is that it’s the intensely overheated rooms.
There isn’t much more to say. It’s “your guess”.
There have been many people practicing for many years just fine. For myself. I used to have terrible back pain and shoulder pain. I used to not be able to get up and down off the floor. I used to battle with depression. I don’t anymore.
The heat is what gives me the flexibility to do the postures that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do without pain or injury.
It’s great for me and many others.
Re. water. Part of what Bikram teaches is that the practice is a “moving meditation”. We are taught to keep still in between the postures – to not even wipe or adjust ourselves. By keeping still and focusing only on our breath, we stay in the moment. ie. meditate. We train the part of the mind that will always want to wipe or drink water or go have a cupcake to be still. We learn to control that part of the mind with that discipline of being totally still and not wiping. I think part of the no drinking thing fits in with that. Is bending over and getting a drink taking away from your mediation? Is it really necessary or a kind of a trick our mind is playing on us to take us out of our meditation? As Bikram asks in his book -“Do you want it, or do you need it?” This is the reason I never drink water in class.
But it ain’t no big deal. It’s not discussed much at my studio really. They are really friendly and kind about everything – as they completely and totally torture us.
Yeah, I’m not a big Bikram fan. It is an ongoing debate in the world of yoga. I appreciated the lightness of this article because it is often such a BIG topic.
But really, these quotes are funny, you guys! No fucky fucky. That made me laugh!
And here I was thinking yoga was a spiritual pursuit …
I’m curious how many people start practicing yoga as a part of a spiritual journey? For me, it was much more of an accident that I stumbled into a class.
Interesting article….definitely written for shock value (and to get people to read it…the title definitely got me to click and read!). I practiced Bikram for years…..still do every now and then. Like the variety that other practices offer, but the heat feels good every now and then!
I started yoga with a dual purpose. To heal shoulder/neck problems and to explore the spiritual dimensions. This was a question asked by my teacher upon my first class.
I practice bikram yoga in my town and for me there is simply no alternative. But I can attest to the fact that it is not for everyone and that his style is a bit miliatarialistic. If you’re ok with that, and the heat, it may be for you.
I’ve never attended a practice with Bikram Choudury himself but I do find him to be a bit too intense from all the interviews I’ve seen of him. However, I think that his practice works and it works well for me. I get very amused when other yoga teachers criticize his “materialistic ways”. I haven’t seen that many yoga teachers drive around in bently’s or rolls royces, but there are plenty of successful yoga teachers and they have very comfortable life-styles. They have no qualms about traveling the world several times a year, buying expensive houses, expensive gongs, etc. So the notion that they are disconnected from materialism, and that Bikram seeks nothing but material items, is not really all that they stack it up to.
I have also had some very excellent yoga teachers that do not offer classes where I live, whom I would gladly join up with if they did. The other classes in my town simply do not offer the kind of exercise I look for in a yoga class, and the teachers are not very well trained or well versed in yoga. I went to one class at another studio where a teacher adjusted my triangle pose improperly (twisting me downward, which is not triangle), and I had an injury in my lower back after that. I’ve never had that happen in Bikram yoga.
I have met Bikram several times and I know many folks who do his yoga. He is an arrogant, pompous ass, full of himself and his aspirations to get richer and richer. He thinks that he can sing, so he subjects his audience to his hideous singing. In person, he says inappropriate things and thinks that he is just so smart and cool. He is really just a low-class street guy from Calcutta who hit it big in the ole USA. That said, many, many people love his yoga and feel that it has helped them overcome various issues. From what I have observed, and I have seen a lot of Bikram yoga, many of his followers must have had some addiction or dependency problems and many have tattoos which are plain nauseating. So, this Bikram yoga thing is a mixed bag, from the “guru” himself to some of his screwy practioners.
For the record I have been practicing Bikram Yoga for 20 years and have had probably over 1200 classess with Bikram himself – So I can say I have direct experience.
First let me share with you some of phrases that do get repeated as mantra and show the deep insight of the man and his teachings.
– You try the right way you will get there today or tomorrow, you try the wrong way you will never get there in a million years.
– Good things come is small packages
– The person is the object of Yoga
– Pulling is Object of Stretching
– The only way to heaven is through hell
– I sell pain
– You have to learn how to suffer
What is the Buddha’s first Noble truth – “Life is Suffering”
How doe s Krishnamurti say it – Where ever there are limits, there is conflict – The ultimate act of conflict is war…
Petanjali says “Yoga is evenness of mind” – At a Hatha Yoga practice you try you limits and practice evenness of mind – This is true meditation.
Most comments here are ignorant – Specially those who have not walked the walk but have lots of opinions.
I can tell you that inside the classroom Bikram is honest, funny and dedicated to your consciousness. Most people who walk out, are people who walk out!!!!
The Buddha may have said “life is suffering” but you forgot that the rest of his teachings was how to avoid this suffering, not how to get more of it … voluntarily! 😛
I do agree with good things come in small packages though! Very, very true! Hello Kajol 😉
Buddha never thought how to avoid suffering. He diagnosed the problem of human condition which is suffering due to limitations – Then you gave you the cuase of it which is holding on to things, mentally, physically, spiritually – then he gave you the way out – which is simply to let go – Then he gave you the 8 fold path which is the way to learn to let go – The first tenet of the 8 fold path is the right understanding – meaning you have to undertsand the problem correctly.
This is actually the biggest misunderstanding I have found with new age Yogis – They think Yoga is about feeling good – Feeling is not permennat – You are never going to feel good all the time and you are never going to feel bad all the time.
The right understanding takes dedication and commitment. Its not glib.
I do not like this man a don’t think he is really teaching much about yoga at all. From his classes to his actions. I also believe other studios have to change up the routines because Bikram copyrights everything he can so if your not putting cash in his pockets you can’t use them. I have taken Bikram classes and found them to do little for me and advancing my spiritual path. If I wanted a hell of a workout I might do this but its not what I’m looking for.If you don’t like the guy why would you continue to put cash in his hands. I like to see results of the person that suggest this yoga and if Bikram the man is the end result with all his attachments and ego then I want nothing to do with it. Just my 2 cents.
Glad you could put your 2 cents in. Bikram Yoga has done a lot for me so I think it depends on who you are and what works for you. Obviously it works for a lot of people. You did say it’ not what you’re looking for.
For me, it is what I am looking for so that is why I continue to go. I also love, love my studio and my instructors and put money in their hands as appreciation for what they do for me.
I am happy that I have found my type of yoga and happy you have found yours.
Let’s be honest. The Details is article is bullshit. Sex sells. Bringing a sex angle into the Bikram story is a great way to sell mags. In reality, there is no more hooking up at Bikram teacher training than there is at any other convention or training – probably less! Plus, there are no details offered, if you will. Did those guys he spoke with actually hook up? When? How? Who? He didn’t say. Was the teacher from Kansas City referring to Bikram as her husband in a sexual way? The author didn’t bother to ask or say. The one male teacher quoted who says “there are hardly any guys”. If that is the case – how can it be “a giant hook-up party?” The author didn’t bother to ask or say. It’s all innuendo. Bush league “journalism”. Fodder to sell magazines full of ads for worthless products. 🙂
waylon: A++. I think the funniest “detail” was the account of the guy who was planning on hanging out at the laundry room to pick up trainees. Dream on, dude… that is NEVER going to work. The girls are just trying to do their laundry! I would be shocked if he “got any.” He probably just creeped everyone out!
I think the lines of what is and isn’t Yoga is very obvious… it’s a shame that what’s obvious isn’t always so obvious though…
India is launching a huge database to try and thwart Bikram copyrighting activities. The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library is going online in the next few months: http://www.dharmalounge.net/memo-to-bikram-india-wants-her-yoga-back
My experience with Bikram Yoga was mostly positive, fantastic for the body, I felt great doing it. But yeah, there was a part of me that just didn’t feel very spiritually inclined while doing it.
I started doing Bikram yoga last June, and I love it! I am 48 and my body has never been so toned and pain free. And, others have definately noticed…they say, “you are looking really good!” I always reply, “you can thank Bikram”…
I’ve lost 10 pounds I think maily through increased digestion. It has been correcting my posture, breathing, scoliosis imbalance, diegestion. I also have improved energy, desire to eat healthier and less, and have increased overall ambition.
I listened to him speak in Seattle…yes, he is hilariously funny! Some things he says may offend people, but when you think about it, he’s really just being honest. I think this guy is a genious! If more Amerians attended Bikram, we wouldn’t be such a sick and unhappy, unhealthy society.
And, I think the water and coke thing was said in jest…or rumor. I went to one of Bikrams speaking engagements…he was drinking hot water with lemon and ginger…he said that’s all he ever drinks. He drank it during th speaking engagement, and an attendant kept refilling it for him. In fact, I’ve started doing the ginger, hot water and lemon thing.
And my yoga spot is definately not a pickup spot…in fact there is no socializing in the studio room. Quiet time and meditation. Very regimented.
I’ve done other forms of hot yoga as well…talk about circus! Guess you could say I am a Bikram yoga snob. The other classes were very distracting, annoying music, no real instruction…every one is willy nilly with their poses. Bikram instructors, instruct, know everyone by name, constantly correct, explain the benefit and the posture, allowing for the most benefit.
But do I look hot & feel good from Bikram yoga?? You betch a! It has made me a man magnet.
The being told no/encouraged not to drink water is a rumor too…there is one pose, “the camel” where I have heard an instructor say best not to drink water right before THIS pose (backward bending). But doing the pose several times, is all of a minute or two. Instructions on the wall say…”bring water”.
As a theraputic body worker, the classes and the instruction make sense to me. I try to do it daily…and think of it as being just as necessary/beneficial for my body/mind as sleeping, eating, breathing.
Bikram is no different from any other dollar chasing power hungry yoga businessperson out there. Rodney Yee, Baron Baptiste, John Friend ad infinitum….
He simply has outdone the americans at their own game. On the other hand he exemplifies everything thats right with this great nation – the possibility of being self made.
Hi, I recently relocated to Austin, TX from Minneapolis. I did Bikram yoga at a studio, up there. Did not much care for it. The instructors were militant. I felt as if Bikram is their God. I did decide to try it again, down here in Austin, TX. To my surprise, I have really enjoyed it and look forward to going to my classes. (The instructors seem to be more of a good time, down here). Being from Minnesota, I loath the cold and love the heat. I do believe in Bikram yoga’s detoxifying qualities. You may feel light-headed at first, after class. But, then you feel like a million bucks. I also do hot Vinyasa once a week. Love that too! I don’t think that it’s cool, if Bikram is having sex with his students. His yoga is great. Keep it fun, yet professional.
How many barrels of oil a day are people burning to practice Bikram yoga? It seems to be the antithesis of what a yoga practice represents which is moderation and ahimsa towards self and others. How much oxygen is in a Bikram studio after an hour of practice? Maybe some feel dizzy from a lack of oxygen.
I have known several people who now have serious knee problems from practicing bikram yoga poses such as hero without the use of props. Seeing photos of him standing on people practicing forward bends is so reckless and irresponsible. If a physical therapist stood on a client, he may lose his license to practice but yoga teachers have no accountability and no criteria that is regulated. Teaching the same 26 poses to the masses does not represent yoga in its intended form.
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