Bikram Yoga is a sequence of 26 postures selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.
It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.
Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury is the founder of the worldwide Yoga College of India™. Born in Calcutta in 1946, Bikram began Yoga at the age of four with India’s most-renowned physical culturist at that time, Bishnu Ghosh, the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda (Author of the most popular book on Yoga, The Autobiography of a Yogi, and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles).
Bikram practiced Yoga at least four to six hours every day at Ghosh’s College of Physical Education in Calcutta. At the age of thirteen, he won the National India Yoga Championship. He was undefeated for the following three years and retired as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion.
At seventeen, an injury to his knee during a weight-lifting accident brought the prediction from leading European doctors that he would never walk again. Not accepting their pronouncement, he had himself carried back to Bishnu Ghosh’s school, for he knew that if anyone could help to heal his knee, it was his teacher. Six months later, his knee had totally recovered. Ghosh was a celebrated physical culturist and the first to scientifically document Yoga’s ability to cure chronic physical ailments and heal the body.Bikram later on devised the 26 postures sequence, which work irrespective of age groups. These 26 postures series has a profound healing power on your body and mind. He founded Bikram’s Yoga College of India. Bikram has shown the light of healthy life to millions of people around the world.
Pramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, was the older brother of Bikram’s beloved guru, Bishnu Ghosh (see below). In 1920, Yogananda came to the U.S to serve as India’s delegate to an international congress of religious leaders convening in Boston where he delivered his well-received address on the “Science of Religion.” In 1924, Yogananda established the international headquarters for the Self Realization Fellowship in order to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India’s ancient science and philosophy of Yoga and meditation. Yogananda emphacized the underlying unity of worlds great religions and taught universally applicable methods for attaining direct personal experience of God. When Yogananda returned to India, he instructed his younger brother, Bishnu Ghosh, to go to America and teach Americans how to practice hatha yoga. Though American were enthusiastic about the new science of yoga, they could not begin to learn the techniques for proper meditation until they got their bodies into shape. Yogananda said that the body is a temple but the Americans had not yet realized this. Their temple was empty. Bishnu Ghosh had to show them how to build up the body, the temple and fill it up before Yogananda’s teachings could be utilized.
Bishnu Ghosh, Bikram’s beloved Guru, was the first person to bring the ancient science of Hatha Yoga to the West at the request of his older brother, Paramahansa Yogananda. Ghosh developed a Yoga regimen that provides a unique blend of spiritual inspiration and highly disciplined physical exercise. His view of the human body as the temple of a living God has been a major force in the renaissance of Hatha Yoga in the West. In 1923, at the young age of 20, he founded the first Ghosh College of Physical Education in Calcutta and his fame quickly spread throughout India. Other schools were opened, first in India, and then in locations around the world. In 1939, Ghosh came to the United States to educate people on the subject of yoga by giving demonstrations of amazing yoga feats. He lectured at Columbia University in New York, generating a great deal of interest in the field, and was widely acknowledged and respected in the academic community. In the 1960’s, Ghosh asked his disciple, Bikram, to open up several schools in India which soon became very successful. Bikram was then asked by Ghosh to open up two more schools in Japan. Since then, Bikram has carried the message of the curative powers and benefits of yoga, and the possibility of a disease-free long life, around the world. He has trained thousands of teachers and has over 500 affiliated schools. Ghosh’s College of Physical Education is still in operation in Kolkata. It is operated by the Granddaughter of Bishnu Ghosh, Muktamala.