Bikram Choudhury, the founder of “Hot Yoga” or “Fire Yoga,” has copyrighted his poses and filed a law suit against anyone who was teaching his style without permission. As the case evolved into Open Source Yoga Unity v. Bikram Choudhury, in May 2005, the Bikram yoga case settled out of court. The legal matter to be addressed was whether Bikram Choudhury’s copyrighted sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercise could be legally protected. According to an article by Associated Press legal affairs writer David Kravets, three people involved speaking under the condition of anonymity confirmed that Choudhury had agreed not to sue the 50 members of the San Francisco based yoga cooperative for copyright violations. Cooperative members in turn agreed not to advertise the trademarked name “Bikram” without authorization by Choudhury.
Bikram Choudhury was born in Calcutta, India in 1946. At the age of thirteen, he won the National India Yoga Championship and remained undefeated for the next three years. In 1972 he opened his first U.S. school in San Francisco. In the 1990s he began offering nine week teacher certification courses from his main school in Hollywood, California where he certified instructors and franchised studios under his name all over the world. As a result, his brand of yoga became one of the most popular and widely known methods to date.
1. Ardha- Chandrasana (Halfmoon pose): It gives you energy and vitality and strengthens every muscle in your core, increases the flexibility of the spine, corrects bad posture, promotes proper kidney function, and helps to cure enlargement of the liver and spleen, dyspepsia, and constipation. It also increases the flexibility and strength of the rectus abdminus, latissmus dorsi, oblique, deltoid, and trapezius muscles.
2. Pada- Hastasana (Hands to feet pose): Helps the flexibility of the spine and the sciatic nerves and most of the tendons and ligaments of the legs. The pose also strengthens the lower body and improves blood circulation in the legs and to the brain. It strengthens the rectus abdominus, gluteus maximus, oblique, deltoid, and trapezius muscles.
3. Utkatasana (Awkward pose): Strengthens and firms all muscles in thighs, calves, and hips, and also makes hip joints flexible. It also firms the upper arms. It increases blood circulation in the knees and ankle joints and relieves rheumatism, arthritis, and gout in the legs. It also helps to cure slipped discs and lumbagos in the lower spine.
4. Garurasana (Eagle pose): Supplies fresh blood to the reproductive organs and the kidneys, increasing sexual power and control. It helps to firm your calves, thighs, hips abdomen, and upper arms. It also improves the flexibility of your hips, knees, ankle joints, and strengthens the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and deltoid muscles.
5. Dandayama- Janushirasana (Standing head to knee): Helps develop concentration, patience, and determination. Physically, it tightens abdominal and thigh muscles, improves flexibility of the sciatic nerves, and strengthens the tendons of the thigh muscles and hamstrings in the legs. It also strengthens your deltoids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, scapula, biceps, and triceps.
6. Dandayamana- Dhanurasana (Standing bow pulling pose): A perfect example of the "tourniquet," or "damming" effect in yoga, because it transfers the circulation from one side of the body to the other, and then equalizes it-circulating fresh blood to each internal organ and gland to keep them healthy. Like the Standing Head to Knee, this pose helps develop concentration, patience, and determination. Physically, it firms the abdominal wall and upper thighs, and tightens upper arms, hips, and buttocks. It increases the size and elasticity of the rib cage and the lungs and improves the flexibility and strength of the lower spine and of most of the body's muscles.
7. Tuladandasana (Balancing stick pose): Perfects control and balance by improving physical, psychological, and mental capabilities. In addition, it firms your hips, buttocks, and upper thighs, as well as providing the same benefits for the legs as the Standing Head to Knee. It increases circulation, strengthens the heart muscle, and is one of the best exercises for bad posture. It also strengthens the flexibility of the latissimus dorsi, deltoid, and trapezius muscles; and improves the flexibility, strength, and muscle tone of your shoulders, upper arms, spine, and hip joints.
8. Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana (Standing separate leg stretching pose): Cures and prevents sciatica by stretching and strengthening the sciatic nerves and the tendons of the legs. It helps the functioning of most of the internal abdominal organs, especially the small and large intestine, and improves the muscle tone and flexibility of thighs and calves and the flexibility of the pelvis, ankles, and hip joints, and of the last five vertebrae of the spine.
11. Tadasana (Tree pose): By strengthening the internal oblique muscles, it prevents hernias. (This pose and the Toe Stand are preparatory postures for the more advanced Locust Pose.
12. Padangustasana (Toe standing pose): Develops psychological and mental capabilities-especially patience. Physically, it helps to cure gout and rheumatism of the knees, ankles and feet. It also helps cure hemorrhoid problems.
13. Savasana (Dead body pose): Returns blood circulation to normal. Helps high blood pressure, improves concentration, good for hypertension, nervousness, anxiety, and irritability. It also teaches complete relaxation. This pose is done after each of the poses mentioned below.
14. Pavanamuktasana (Wind removing pose): Cures and prevents flatulence, which is the source of most chronic abdominal discomforts. Improves the flexibility of the hip joints and firms the abdomen, thighs, and hips. Strengthens the bicep and tricep muscles of the upper arms and all the muscles of the forearm.
15. Sit up: With both of your feet on the ground and with hands on top of each other, you breathe in and lift your body up to a sitting position and, as your hands touch the tips of your toes, exhale.
16. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): One of the best ways to maintain perfect bodily conditioning. It increases spinal strength and flexibility, helps prevent lower backaches, and helps cure lumbago, rheumatism, and arthritis of the spine. It also relieves menstrual problems (irregularity, cramps, backache), cures loss of appetite, helps correct bad posture, and improves the functioning of the liver and spleen. The Cobra strengthens the deltoids, trapezius, and triceps.
17. Salabhasana (Locust pose): Has the same benefits as the Cobra, but it is even more potent in the cure of any back or spinal problem such as gout, slipped disc, or sciatica. It cures tennis elbow and is also excellent for firming buttocks and hips.
18. Poorna-Salabhasana (Full locust pose): Firms the abdominal wall and upper thighs, and tightens upper arms, hips, and buttocks. It increases the size and elasticity of the rib cage and the lungs and improves the flexibility and strength of the lower spine and of most of the body's muscles.
19. Dhanurasana (Bow pose): Improves the functioning of the large and small intestines, the liver, kidneys, and spleen. It helps straighten rounded spines, relieves backaches, and improves pigeon chest by opening the rib cage, which permits maximum expansion of lungs and increased oxygen intake. The Bow also revitalizes all spinal nerves by increasing circulation to the spine. It improves digestion and strengthens abdominal muscles, upper arms, thighs and hips (it is especially good for increasing the flexibility of dancers' hip joints.) It also improves the flexibility of the scapula, latissimus, deltoid, and trapezius muscles.
20.Supta-Vajrasana (Fixed firm pose): Helps cure sciatica, gout, and rheumatism in the legs. It slims thighs, firms calf muscles, and strengthens the abdomen. It also strengthens and improves flexibility of the lower spine, knees, and ankle joints
21. Ardha- Kurmasana (Half tortoise pose): In terms of relaxation, thirty seconds of this pose is the equivalent of eight hours of sleep. It also cures indigestion and stretches the lower part of the lungs, increasing blood circulation to the brain. It firms the abdomen and thighs. It also increases the flexibility of your hip joints, scapulas, deltoids, triceps, and lastissimus dorsi muscle.
22. Ustrasana (Camel pose): Produces maximum compression of the spine. Improves the flexibility of the neck and spine and relieves backaches. This is the peak of the floor series. This posture stretches the abdominal organs to the maximum, and cures constipation. It stretches the throat, thyroid gland, and parathyroids. Like the Bow Pose, it opens a narrow rib cage to give more space to the lungs. It also firms and slims the abdomen and the waistline.In addition, this posture allows release of emotional tension held in the body as stress, anxiety, anger and depression.
23. Sasangasana (Rabbit pose): Produces the opposite effect of the Camel, giving maximum longitudinal extension of the spine. As a result, it stretches the spine to permit the nervous system to receive proper nutrition. It also maintains the mobility and elasticity of the spine and back muscles. The Rabbit improves digestion and helps cure colds, sinus problems and chronic tonsilitis. It also has a wonderful effect on the thyroid and parathyroid glands. This pose improves the flexibility of the scapula and trapezius and helps children reach their full growth potential.
24. Janushirasana (Head to knee pose with stretching pose): Helps to balance the blood sugar level. It improves the flexibility of the sciatic nerves, ankles, knees and hip joints. It also improves digestion, enhances proper functioning of the kidneys, and expands the solar plexus.
25. Paschimotthanasana (Stretching Pose): Increases the flexibility of the trapezius, deltoid, erectus femoris, and bicep muscles, sciatic nerves, tendons, hip joints, and the last five vertebrae of the spine. Relieves chronic diarrhea by improving the circulation of the bowels. It also increases circulation to the liver and spleen and improves digestion.
26. Ardha-Matsyendrasana (Spine twisting pose): The only exercise that twists the spine from top to bottom at the same time. As a result, it increases circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, veins, and tissues, and improves spinal elasticity and flexibility and the flexibility of the hip joints. It helps cure lumbago rheumatism of the spine, improves digestion, removes flatulence from the intestines, and firms the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks.
Kapalbhati in Vajrasana (Blowing in firm): This last breathing exercise strengthens all the abdominal organs and increases circulation. It makes the abdominal wall strong and trims the waistline. It also allows the body to release toxins through the respiratory system.
That wraps it up for us. Until next time!