"Come to class. Be prepared to work hard and to sweat like crazy -and watch as you, and your life, start to change!"
Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class consists of 26 postures (asanas), each repeated twice, in a room heated to 105 degrees with about 40% humidity. Though termed a "beginner's" class, it is appropriate for all levels of practitioners - from those who've never done any yoga, to those who have practiced Bikram yoga for years! After a long time of study and practice, the series was developed by Bikram Choudhury to address overall health and well-being while acting as preventative medicine for the body and mind.
In class, students perform a breathing exercise, followed by a standing warm-up series. The standing series continues focusing on balance, stretching, strength and cardiovascular work. The last 1/3 of class takes place on the floor, primarily strengthening the spine, finishing with a stretching series and final breathing exercise. Throughout class, physical exertion is coupled with relaxation between poses, allowing your body and mind to absorb the benefits of each asana. The postures themselves are intended for beginners, and also are appropriate for long-time practitioners whose focus turns to greater depth and meticulous form.
By the end of class, every muscle, organ, gland and joint of the body is worked from the inside out - nothing is left untouched. This also includes all of the body's systems - digestive, circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, skeletal, lymphatic - which are flushed with new vitality. Further, the mind is challenged to concentrate and be still for a full 90 minutes. Through practice of this yoga, students find their body stronger, gain significant flexibility, and develop a deeper sense of stillness, concentration and focus. The harder you work, the greater the benefits - through patience and diligence you will begin to understand how to maintain calmness in the face of adversity - both inside and outside the hot room.
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