Topic: Bikram yoga
A study at Colorado State University is looking at the health effects of Bikram yoga, a form of yoga in which practitioners follow a prescribed set of 26 poses in a room heated to 105 degrees. The sketchy thing? The majority of the funding for the study comes from the founder of Bikram yoga, Bikram Choudhury. More
The backlash against Bikram yoga has been going on for some time now, but a new book, Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga, by writer Benjamin Lorr casts a more extensive critical eye on Bikram and the world of competitive yoga. While I think it’s important to have a dialogue about Bikram and yoga as a practice in general, I think it’s also important to take Lorr and his experience with a grain of (pink, organic and Himalayan, of course) salt. More
Want to know why I hate Bikram Choudhury? For starters, he’s suing Yoga To The People, a studio owned by one of his former students, Gregory Gumucio, for $1 million on grounds of copyright infringement. Which doesn’t make me angry because I think he’s wrong—in all likelihood, Gumucio and his teachers are probably ripping off his ideas—but, as plenty of Bikram-critics have pointed out before: Yoga has existed for thousands of years, and at least in theory, the whole point of all those back bends and chair poses is to cultivate a more loving, peaceful attitude (in addition to a nice butt). So suing someone for trying to spread all that feel-good, do-good philosophy is pretty ludicrous. (Not to mention; Bikram didn’t exactly ‘invent’ any of the moves he’s teaching himself.) More
As good-willed as yoga is supposed to be, are some studios too willed by money? After all, with membership fees that can run $100 to $300 a month alone, the costs simply make this practice out-of-reach for a lot of people. Which makes me wonder: Why exactly is it so expensive? After all, there isn’t a lot of equipment involved, most studios are just wide open spaces and anyone who teaches yoga knows instructors don’t get paid big bucks. More
In case you’ve been wary of giving Bikram yoga a try, Jason Bateman made a very convincing case for it when he appeared on David Letterman recently, explaining his childhood experience of the 105-degree practice in Los Angeles More
During a devout stint of yoga practice, I usually (privately) entertain the dream of becoming a yoga teacher. Any rational person would point to my inability to hold tree pose as a major drawback to this plan, but in my mind, it’s not inflexibility or lack of strength that make my dreams come crashing down; instead, chanting om and speaking Sanskrit are where my confidence falters. According to a recent Newsweek article, my overblown sense of ability may just make me the perfect instructor candidate: They say that these days, teaching yoga is for narcissists. While the leader of the pack is supposed to be a humble and spiritually enlightened guru, they point out that often, they’re more like performers who’ve finally found their captive audience. Instead of tuning into Dharma, instructors are indulging their egos, thanks to their devoted, high-paying students. More
Blame Canada. In 2004, I was living in Toronto for the summer, right on Bloor and Yonge at the crossroads of Canadian fashion and shopping. Working as a singer/dancer for a cruise line, I couldn’t help but notice all the super-cute yoga pants and athletic tops my Canadian colleagues were wearing to rehearsals. Feeling like King Midas with my $500 weekly paycheck, I decided to join the natives and buy a lululemon athletica top. What a doomed decision.
Seven years later, my collection of Canadian workout gear has expanded to three additional tanks, two skirts, four pairs of hot yoga shorts, six sports bras, two pairs of black cropped pants and one sweatshirt, plus my husband’s own collection of lulu shorts and pants. Between the two of us, I’d say we’ve spent roughly $1,200 (give or take the seldom sale) to look pretty while we work out.
Since opening its first store in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2000, lululemon athletica has become a veritable candy store for yogis, dancers, runners, and gym rats who crave fashionable workout gear. Today, lululemon has 138 stores and 54 showrooms in Canada, the United States, Australia and Hong Kong. With their electric-colored sports bras, bun-shaping pants, and snugly sweatshirts, walking out of a lulu store empty-handed is nearly impossible – unless you’re broke in the first place. More
There’s a type of yoga for everyone, and everyone also seems to think they invented some type of yoga – but not according to the Indian government. In reaction to several U.S. companies trying to patent their own version of … More
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