Category Archives: Bikram

Quote of the Day

“Until you destroy your body, you don’t learn to appreciate it. Treat the body like a temple because the body is so beautiful. If and when you understand your body then you will respect it. The body is like a bud, until the sun rises it will not bloom, until it blooms it will not be beautiful or give perfume. So respect it, take care of it.”

Bikram Choudhury

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Quote of the Day

When you make a mistake do not make an excuse of the whole world, but change it and never make it again. Do not be fickle, fickle like little fish jumping on the surface of the water, be like the whale, silent in the deep water.” Bikram Choudhury

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Posture Clinic: Standing Head to Knee Pose

One of the most dynamic and challenging postures in the Bikram Yoga series, here is OMB’s breakdown of standing head-to-knee.

Standing Head to Knee Pose

Dandayamana Janushirasana

Huiping Mo, Bishnu Ghosh Cup Champion demonstrates standing head-to-knee pose. photo: Bikram Yoga College of India

Anatomy:

Contraction of :

Compression of:

Extension of:

The proximity of the heart to the floor, puts pressure on the muscle, exercising the heart through elevating the heart rate.

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Events: Bikram in Barcelona

by Juan Manuel

And now… for something completely different:

The first EUROPEAN ADVANCED SEMINAR in history.

While there are quite a few advanced classes now being held around Europe, this seminar will be an opportunity for all, young, busy and old, to evaluate for themselves why and how yoga continues to be practised by a wide range of athletes both for conditioning and as physiotherapy, is on track to feature in the Olympics and will soon be included, theory and practice, in educational curricula.

The program will include daily morning beginner´s classes open to all followed by advanced classes for the curious and motivated. This is an opportunity to meet Bikram and Emmy and improve your practice regardless of your experience.

There is no greater motivation than having students, teachers and studio owners practise next to one another. You are all welcome.

Competition is the foundation for all democratic societies. Without competition, all you have is a caste system.
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Posture Clinic: Cobra Pose

Cobra is a challenging pose for even the bendiest of yogis, OMB breaks-down cobra benefits and gives you tips on how to improve your pose.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Named after the King Cobra, the pose is meant to resemble the snake as it raises to strike.

What makes cobra pose so challenging and beneficial is that you must both overcome the resistance of the connective tissue and muscles in the front side of the body while backbending against gravity.

Cynthia Wheir demonstrates Cobra Pose

Cynthia Wehr demonstrates Cobra Pose

Anatomy

Contraction of Latissimus Dorsi and Erector Spinea

Compression of spinous process, kidneys and renal system

Stimulates and massages abdominal and reproductive organs

Benefits

  • Relieves back pain
  • Increases spinal strength and flexibility
  • Improves the function of the large and small intestines, liver, kidney and spleen
  • Opens and stretches the heart and lungs
  • Improves pigeon chest by opening the rib cage
  • Permits maximum expansion of the lungs increasing oxygen intake, therapeutic for asthma
  • Improves digestion and elimination
  • Improves function of reproductive organs
  • Helps relieve lumbago, rheumatism and arthritis of the spine
  • Reduces symptoms of gout, herniated disc, sciatica, tennis elbow
  • Helps relieve menstrual problems
  • Strengthens the immune system and revitalizes the thyroid
  • Improves flexibility of hip and shoulder joints
  • Soothes sciatica
  • Strengthens and firms abdomen, hips, legs, buttocks and arms
  • Looking up tones the optic nerve, improving vision
  • Helps to regulate blood pressure through compression of the kidneys and renal system

Energetic Benefits

The back relates to the shadow side of ourselves and things we do not want to deal with. Rising from the floor helps us rise against self imposed expectations and manifest abundance.

  • Opens heart chackra promoting tenderness
  • Balances naval and sex chackras
  • works the psychic channels that run through the spine, improving intuition
  • traditional texts say it awakens kundalini energy
  • Opens the throat chackra helping communication

Tips

“The aim of yoga is to strengthen the muscles of the spine and change the position and shape of the vertebra. When this shift occurs, there will be pain. Such is the truth of all alternative therapies.” Rajishree Choudhury

Alignment is everything, here are the most important lines from the dialogue

  • Top of the fingers in line with the top of the shoulders, baby fingers in line with the deltoid
  • You have one leg like a cobra, don’t open it
  • From the side, your elbows should be ” L”, 90 degree angle, like a rectangle

Remember that the goal of cobra is compression and strengthening of the spine. It is important to use your 100% back strength, but also to create the proper alignment to facilitate the benefits of the pose. To do this, most students will need to use the hand strength. Bikram says you CAN use the strength of your hands and arms up to 15%, it is NOT a part of the pose to avoid the use of your hands and arms.

Tips from Craig

  • Your eyes should initiate the movement
  • Lengthen through your legs
  • When your knees are locked properly, the knees will come up off the floor
  • Use the arm strength to augment the back strength
  • Your elbows should always be in, only the trapezius muscles

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Bikram Yoga and the Mind

by Barbora Simek

Bikram Yoga is obviously a very physical practice. Often, the physicality of the practice draws the ire of other yoga communities who centralize their practice around meditation. But anyone who has practiced Bikram Yoga for long enough, knows that consistent practice has a profound and lasting impact on the mind.

“One life time is not long enough to talk about life, one lifetime is not long enough to talk about the body, one lifetime is not long enough to talk about the mind, but the basics you must know.” Bikram Choudhury

The mind can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Bikram calls the mind your telecommunication system, the vehicle that sends messages not only to your body, but the world around you. “How you use [your mind] can make you Hitler, Osama  Bin Laden, Gandhi or Jesus Christ,” says Bikram.

He points out that our mind is constantly feeding us information, “sometimes to satisfy you, sometimes only to satisfy itself.” To discipline the mind becomes one of the most important tasks in life, as it is the mind that will dictate what kind of life we will lead.

Our minds are constantly being inundated by wants and needs. “Sometimes we want but we don’t need, sometimes we need but we don’t want,” says Bikram. True discipline of the mind then, according to Bikram, is when you can make decisions based on both wants and needs accordingly.

There are many ways your mind is exercised in a Bikram Yoga class, but Bikram likes to break it down into five categories, otherwise known as the ‘five aspects of the mind.’

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