Bikram Choudhury, the one who started Bikram yoga is a very important personality in the yoga world and is in great demand for lectures and talks. Bikram yoga has been in the news lately for a lot of reasons one of them being the Bikram Yoga Controversy. People are seen shifting from other styles of yoga and adopting this form for its quick benefits.

Most people know this form of yoga as the hot yoga but not all hot yoga forms can be referred to as Bikram Yoga. Bikram Yoga instructors follow strict rules while teaching it. Try Bikram for flexibility as the heat in the room makes you strwetch better without hurting yourself. It has 26 poses which are always performed in order. Everything is done in 90 minutes in a room heated to about 37C. Anybody who teaches this form of yoga will have to be certified from the Yoga College of India run by Bikram Choudhury.

Bikram’s yoga has been subject to a lot of controversy. Critics have questioned everything including the very basic part of Bikram yoga, the heated room. The fact that he copyrighted the set of 26 poses and that he demands franchising fees from those who want to start a Bikram yoga studio has also come under a lot of criticism. In spite of all this, the yoga guru has a lot of faithful followers. A lot of celebrities have also made use of and benefited from his style of yoga.

With the yoga style of Bikram, heart benefits are plenty. The heated room increases ones blood circulation. When you practice Bikram, heart rate increases and this strengthens the heart and also increases your lung capacity. As there is a lot of compressing and stretching, blood reaches and activates all parts of your body. The heated room helps in making everything easier than otherwise. As the sweat gets a lot of toxins out of you, the sessions will leave you feeling rejuvenated and with renewed energy.

When people start practicing yoga, one of the common complaints is not being able to do the poses completely. One should try Bikram for flexibility. This form of yoga has a beneficial effect on alignment of joints as well. Whether you are a patient or somebody in top shape, Bikram yoga will help you. Students of all sizes and ages are welcomed and helped. By frequently practicing this yoga, you will be able to increase your stamina and you will feel the rejuvenating power in every work out.

You are never too old to practice this form of yoga. You may wonder if the heat will harm you. You will realize that it does not and there are a lot of people who will tell you how they have benefited from it. You can take your own mat as you will sweat a lot and make sure you don’t force yourself too hard. Let the progress be felt a little each day.

All about Bikram Yoga and Bikram Yoga Controversy


Gentle Yoga with Rudy Peirce

Rudy Peirce began his professional career as a yoga instructor in 1982 after receiving certification at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. He was living in the yoga community at that time and developed his skills teaching yoga through yoga classes and yoga workshops both for guests and the resident community. His colleagues at the Kripalu Center soon dubbed him the “Doctor feel-good of yoga” based on his sensitive style of instruction and guidance in his yoga classes. Rudy was clearly committed to giving his yoga students a deep stretch that resulted in a deeply satisfying relaxation experience without putting them through the rigors of numerous yoga asanas (yoga postures).

Rudy taught beginner, intermediate and advanced yoga classes, but his students and colleagues noticed that his beginner classes were qualitatively unique and gifted them with a sense of competence and depth in their yoga practice without any risk of strain or injury. His unique approach to guiding and instructing yoga in a gentle manner was appreciated by beginning students as well as advanced students who needed to take a break from their tendency to push themselves. In addition, people with previous injuries who weren’t sure they could really do yoga found that they were able to fully participate in Rudy’s yoga classes and fully benefit from this gentle approach to yoga without any sense of fear of re-injury. All found Rudy’s gentle yoga style to be conducive to healing and deep relaxation and people felt they were experiencing yoga as a true spiritual practice.

Rudy’s approach to teaching and leading yoga, meditation and relaxation became referred to as “gentle yoga” and eventually the three levels of instruction at Kripalu were re-conceptualized from beginner, intermediate and advanced to gentle, moderate, and vigorous. Rudy developed the protocols for these three types of yoga instruction and supervised and mentored the yoga teaching team at Kripalu for several years. He also developed a mentoring protocol and trained experienced yoga teachers how to skillfully mentor newer teachers. Rudy is still well-known and beloved as a teacher training mentor. He is especially sought for guidance in the area of gentle yoga.

Gentle Yoga Rudy Peirce

Experienced yoga teachers generally agree that teaching or leading a really great gentle yoga class is much more challenging than leading moderate or vigorous styles. To lead gentle yoga like Rudy Peirce is to guide yoga students such that they are engrossed in the subtle movements and sensations in the body from the inside out rather than striving to achieve the goal of a yoga posture or asana. The process is more important than the results. Rudy’s Gentle Yoga is a true spiritual practice.

Nonetheless, students who trained with Rudy reported increased well-being and states of relaxation that were unexpected since they weren’t pushing themselves or trying hard to do anything. Over time, many other yoga instructors started trying to emulate this approach and caught on to the value that Rudy discovered through his own practice…that of moving gradually into postures and doing many movements to prepare the body before fully entering a stretch.

Rudy has produced a series of 4 popular gentle yoga CDs titled “The Gentle Series” as well as one more vigorous practice CD, Fanning the Fire, inspired by his work over the years leading men’s yoga retreats such as the recent, Men’s Yoga for the Soul. All his practice CDs include relaxations to insure time for rest and integration following a yoga practice session.

Rudy has also been a yoga teacher trainer for many years and is currently co-director of the Yoga School for Whole Self Yoga. To accommodate the busy schedules of those interested in becoming yoga teachers, the format of Whole Self Yoga Teacher Training is one weekend a month. This training program will be offered in various locations in the Northeast United States.

Yoga is Super for us!

March 31, 2008

I have done yoga since I was a teenager. I has helped save my poor back and as I get older, I appreciate that it helps me maintain good balance. But, I didn’t realize how super yoga is for us. Heart Disease Several trials have found that yoga can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and resting […]

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Time away = my muscles go on vacation

March 31, 2008

I went to a yoga class last week for the first time in several months. In the past, I had a partner in crime that joined me in the downward/upward dogs but, this time I came to class alone. I have to admit, I felt self-conscious, my body did not behave or stand up to […]

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Sadhana is defined as daily spiritual practice.

November 9, 2007

In my teacher training we are learning in depth about the importance of Sadhana. There are 3 main components to the Aquarian Sadhana. Jabji Sahib- works to connect the Spirit within Yoga- provides exercise for the body Meditation with mantra- gives the mind regular balance And thus our daily spiritual practice, or Sadhana, connects the […]

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November 6, 2007

Wide range of events planned for Srivatsa Ramaswami to share knowledge with the community Gentle Yoga will host Indian Yoga master Srivatsa Ramaswami from December 8-24 for The Art of Yoga, a 16-day exploration when Ramaswami will impart the age-old knowledge of a complete yoga practice. Events, some of which are free, include a book […]

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I just Love Gentle Yoga !

October 1, 2007

When we went to the class, my mind was going ten thousand miles a minute. Even when we st in our first posture, I could not stop the thinking. The breath, watch the breath. We started on postures, and I lost track, staying in the moment. Before I knew, my day had started over, and […]

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Great Health Benefits !

August 29, 2007

I just had my 70th birthday and I have been aware of the benefits of Gentle Yoga since I came to the Berkshires more than three years ago. My doctors confirmed these benefits, however, I still required blood pressure medication to lower my blood pressure. This past Monday, I had to leave class right after […]

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I lowered my cholesterol !

August 29, 2007

For years, I have been on medication to control my cholesterol, and, to some extent, my sugar levels. A few days ago, I took a 6-month fasting blood test again (the previous one was taken before I became a member of Gentle Yoga). The results came back yesterday and I was overwhelmed with them. The […]

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Gentle Yoga has worked wonders !

August 29, 2007

I started practicing yoga in May, 2006, after suffering from stiffness in my neck and shoulders. After a few classes, my shoulders were relaxed and I realized that the more I practiced, the better I felt. I committed for one year, and after the year’s commitment, I didn’t renew my membership for about 6 months, […]

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