Humans of Bikram Yoga
My name is Changu. I am an International Bikram Yoga ambassador, traveling for the past six years teaching Bikram Yoga around the world. I graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Spring 2014 in Los Angeles. Taught my first Bikram Yoga class in San Francisco and then set out on a journey to take Bikram Yoga everywhere.
So far I’ve taught in 31 countries:
Canada, USA, Philippines, China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Dubai, Mexico, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Morocco, England, Russia, Finland, Estonia, Greece, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Vietnam, France and Scotland. (in that order).
Bikram Yoga has changed the lives of millions around the world and that makes me believe that there are millions of Bikram Yoga testimonials out there. So in 2017 I started this initiative to share Bikram Yoga testimonials written by students from all over the world and called that initiative “Humans of Bikram Yoga” (inspired by the original idea of “Humans of New York” by Brandon Stanton. I truly thank him for this brilliant idea of sharing stories.)
… because it is the key to the kingdom of health.
Bikram Yoga is not a fad, it’s not a trend. It may have started as one when the Hollywood celebrities couldn’t get enough of it in the 1970s but Bikram Yoga is still as hot, as hard and as therapeutic as it was back then. It is a prescription, 26 POSTURES with 2 BREATHING EXERCISES designed in a genius sequence by a genius yogi from Calcutta. How is it a genius? There are a number of reasons but the most compelling reason being that Bikram Yoga is the safest yoga on the face of the planet making it accessible to the most inflexible and broken bodies. How? Starting from Pranayama Breathing, every posture makes you ready, warmed up and prepared for the next one. It’s a progressive practice. You cannot hurt yourself as long as you’re listening and following the instructions precisely to the best of your abilities. If you were to get a bunch of yoga practitioners who have had an experience with at least 4 or 5 styles of yoga and ask them, “If you were to take your 80 year old grandmother to a yoga class with you, which yoga would you choose?” They will ALL say Bikram Yoga. Why? Because it’s safe. Also because unlike other styles of yoga, Bikram Yoga teachers do not practice when they are teaching. They stand in front of the class on a podium and teach while watching everyone throughout the 90 minutes, giving their undivided attention to the students. You are not on your own in a Bikram Yoga class. You are always supported, looked after and encouraged by a Certified Bikram Yoga Teacher.
The founder of Bikram Yoga is Bikram Choudhury. When I say the founder, it does not mean he made the yoga postures. Bikram will say it himself, “There is no such thing as Bikram Yoga, it is Hatha Yoga. I only designed the sequence and put 26 postures in a sequence like the 26 alphabets of the English vocabulary. You start with ‘A’ then ‘B’ then ‘C’.” So he picked from a variety of Hatha Yoga postures and chose the ones that were most accessible as well as therapeutic to the general public. A truck driver can do Bikram Yoga. Your 80 year old grandma can do Bikram Yoga. A ballerina can do Bikram Yoga. A tennis player can do Bikram Yoga. A stay at home mom can do Bikram Yoga. Practicing the Bikram Yoga sequence covers a full range of physical, mental, emotional chronic diseases that ail most people. It’s a beginner’s series for anyone and everyone. It is a beginner series but from elite athletes to popular movie stars, all have said that Bikram Yoga is the hardest thing they have ever done physically as well as mentally. Everything comes for a price. So do health and wellness. What you get for free you will neither value it as much as something that you have paid a price for nor will you respect it as much as you’ll respect something that you’ve earned with your sweat and blood and maybe some tears too. Yes! Bikram Yoga is challenging but just look at what it has to offer. It offers a full package of health and wellness. When you do this, you don’t really need to do anything else. All your systems in the body, all your organs, muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tissues and glands are exercised and addressed and healed. You improve the means of communication between you and your body and mind. The way to do that is to talk to the spine and see if the spine can help. When the spine says yes, the job becomes way easier because the spine is what connects the communication lines between the body and the mind. When the body and mind are in synchronization … in other words when they are united and work as one … in other words when they are in pure yogic state … that is when the yoga begins and the asanas become a moving meditation. All you need is concentration and persistence.
Bikram Yoga is Group Therapy. It should be deemed an essential service to humankind. With its sequence, the heat, the humidity, the instructions (The Bikram Dialogue,) the certified instructors, the giant cosmic mirror, the energy of your fellow yogis is all part of an incredible therapeutic experience that you have when you practice this 90-minute open eye meditation. Therapy is NOT comfortable. Rehabilitation is not easy. Healing is not a one day job when the body has taken abuse for decades. Broken bodies are mended in Bikram Yoga. The Monkey Mind turns into a Mindful Meditator. Emotions are observed instead of reacted to.
Bikram Yoga is a healing practice and no healing can take place without pain. An open wound burns the most when you try to disinfect it with some alcoholic liquid right? Think of Bikram Yoga as that burn (no pun intended) 🙂 it burns the germs and protects the wound. Bikram Yoga heals and prevents many ailments and illnesses from happening.
Bikram Yoga says, “Give me 30 days I will change your body. Give me 60 days, I will change your life.”
So I ask my readers, “Is it better to suffer for 90 minutes or 90 years?”
Pick your choice.