Bikram Yoga: The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way to Radiant Health and Personal Fulfillment
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Bikram Yoga: The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way to Radiant Health and Personal Fulfillment

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  284 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Librarian's note: This is an alternate cover edition of ISBN13 9780060568085

Leave your assumptions—and your excuses—at the door. Bikram Choudhury, the world's foremost authority on Hot Yoga, is here to show you the true way to self-improvement and a new love of life. Based on a centuries-old and scientifically proven pathway to health, Bikram Yoga will whip your body, mind...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published by William Morrow (first published 2007)
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Whoa. . . this guy has a terrible personality, strong and repugnant like fancy cheese. And yet like bad tv, it was hard to put down. The impression of this self-help guru as a smug, vain, proud, greedy, and anti-spiritual man is striking, considering he is at the forefront of the huge Yoga phenomena current in America. He preaches the exact opposite of what classical yoga and Hindu doctrine are all about. And I think he is wildly successful exactly because this attitude thrives in L.A. where he...more
Oct 27, 2010 Sarah rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: yoga
"Great read, but only if yoga is of interest to you. Otherwise, the author just comes off as an arrogant prick."
- Another's Goodreads review of Bikram Yoga

I hate how non-yogi, self-centered, non-loving, and jerklike he comes off. This guy is harsh to the sweetness that is meant to be yoga. I don't like his total disregard for modern medicine- it definitely has it's place. I don't like his photos in the book. I don't like how the world revolves around him. He was definitely abused emotional...more
Clark Knowles
A lot of people wrote in their reviews that he sounds arrogant, but I found exactly the opposite. Several people wrote that he preaches the opposite of what yoga is supposed to be, but I think he makes a case that what Americans call yoga is diluted to a great degree. I found his voice refreshing and very funny. Just goes to show how subjective the reading process is... we bring all of ourselves to the page when we read. I found his honesty--even about his cars and money--and his discussions of...more
Lucy Ulmer
Go Bikram! Great book. Will forever practice Bikram Yoga. One life goal: teach Bikram Yoga.
Since I'm an avid fan and practitioner of Bikram yoga, I found this book very helpful as I finally got more "serious" about doing yoga, like doing it every day. I love hearing Bikram's philosophy behind the yoga, the what-where-when-why of its creation and intention. I loved learning more about the Indian philosophy of life, and how the yoga fits into that philosophy. Bikram yoga kicks my a$$ in every class, but this book shows how it's not just a physical discipline but something that goes way...more
Jan 19, 2013 Deanna rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
This was just SO disappointing. I have practiced bikram yoga for about a year and a half and was excited to finally get around to reading this book and deepen my understanding of the practice. First of all, there's only one measly chapter that actually talks about the postures and it really doesn't say much more than is in the class dialogue. On top of that, the pictures of the guy in postures who isn't Bikram is doing the postures incorrectly in almost EVERY single photo! Bikram comes off as a...more
I wanted to read this book to learn more about the philosophy behind yoga in general. Bikrams' belief system, from purely the spiritual side, is a complete 180 from my belief system. However, the physical aspects of yoga, at least Bikram yoga, seem to be paramount. I don't know if any of it is truly substantiated by actual published studies or not. There are studies mentioned in the book to back up what Bikram already believed or claims. All I know is that it all sounds good, again from the phys...more
I LOVE YOGA! I LOVE HOT YOGA! However I found this book to be very disappointing to say the least! This man is extremely arrogant and rude which is not what yoga is about. There is only one chapter in the book about the poses and it is not very informative. His constant bashing of Americans got on my nerves. I was also disgusted with his repeated insistence that Bikram yoga is the only true yoga. On top of that, the man (not Bikram) who is doing the poses for the pictures is not doing some of th...more
Jenny Mcdonald
I love Bikram! Don't be fooled by his shiny clothes and cars. Although he does not seem like a traditional yogi, the opposite is true. He has studied and practiced and his whole life. He believes in himself and teaches his students to do the same through his series of postures to challenge and humble us Americans. You should see the variety of students that practice Bikram Yoga. Read his book and checkout a class.
If you are a Bikram Yoga fan you will enjoy reading about the individual postures and the benefits gained from each of them. Mr. Choundhury is a bit of an eccentric and you must keep that in mind as you read his book. His regimen works for many people and it's hard to argue with that, just not sure all his claims are quite accurate. Doesn't stop me from participating enthusiastically in the practice myself.
This book is a great overview of the Bikram Yoga method. Say what you like about the author's personality (and there's much of it to be had in this book), he's honest about who he is and what he's trying to accomplish. I liked that fact that the book offered a background on the lineage behind the method as well as in-depth descriptions of the postures. It's well written and I had fun reading it.
As I went back and looked at my rating of this book, I changed my rating. Yes, I agree with some people's opinion of the author, but whether I'd want to have dinner with him on a routine basis is secondary to the fact that he has done a good thing here.

I've practiced yoga all of my adult life. I am not an athlete, but yoga makes perfect sense to me. I have no doubt that Bikram was trained in hatha yoga by very serious yogis who gave him this pattern of discipline. It is a gift, regardless of whe...more
This is a good introduction to Bikram's Hatha yoga in three parts.

Part One: My Story and The Meaning of Yoga
This first section gives a little history on him and his guru, then describes his move to the United States to teach yoga in the early seventies and the increasing popularity of his method over the past 40 years. He also explains that in his practice yoga ("to join") means union of body and mind. He contrasts this with other forms of yoga, explaining that his method is specifically for cr...more
What, no downward facing dog? Baah! says the master of tough-love yoga instruction. Anyone who's spent more than 5 minutes around me lately has gotten stuck listening politely as I gush about my hot and steamy love affair with my developing yoga practice. As I've become a voluntary repeat prisoner in Bikram's "Torture Chamber" I wanted to go to the source for greater understanding of the asanas and their physical benefits. However, because I was drawn to a dedicated yoga practice more for the sp...more
John Supple
Having started practicing at a Bikram studio about 6 years ago I was interested in reading his book. Originally I enjoyed the challenge of the classes but the repetitive nature of the class started to wear on me. After a while I thought maybe I am missing something in my practice and I might find it in this book. Wow I found it alright, found out that this man did not embody the type of practice that I was interested in. I have always thought of my yoga practice as the absence of ego but Bikram...more
Aug 21, 2007 Jennifer rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yoga enthusiasts
I regularly practice Bikram yoga, and while I love the classes and feel wonderful when taking them regularly, I think that Bikram is a bit of a nut. I'm intrigued by his assertion that his yoga is the only true yoga, that all other forms have been Westernized, as well as his assertion of the multitude of health benefits available to regular practitioners. Do I believe it all? Nope, but anyone knows that if you don't use it, ya lose it, so since I enjoy it and can see benefits, I'll keep practici...more
I read this book nearly two years ago, when I started doing Bikram yoga. I still remember vividly his learning yoga at age 4. I am persuaded by his assertion that American yoga in many instances is watered down, significantly altered from the intent of original Indian yoga. I could spend pages telling you what Bikram yoga practice has done for my strength my flexibility, reducing physical pains, raising spirits, strengthening and healing me in so many ways. Well, my local Bikram studio was force...more
I decided to read this book because I wanted to better understand the poses. The pictures were a nice reference, but it was only somewhat helpful in addition to attending classes. I did find some parts of the remainder of the book interesting. What Bikram said about relationships got me thinking. His marriage was arranged of course and it made me think that having a list of requirements in a mate probably isn't the way to go. It made me realize that I may not be willing to get to know someone be...more
Anda Manteufel
Yes -- Bikram is a crazy and arrogant man. If you cannot get past this fact, do not read the book. I, however, love Bikram and believe his style of yoga to be the most fitting for my lifestyle and personality. I think this book is best used after the reader has been practicing Bikram yoga for a while. The poses are not described very well, but I found the descriptions to be a nice complement to an already disciplined yoga practice. I enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book, and would rate is five sta...more
I had never done any yoga before walking into my first Bikram Yoga class 7 months ago. I prepared by reading a lot of blogs on what to do the first time you go etc. that led me to have a really great experience with the practice.

I'm now hooked to Bikram Yoga now & just finished my first 30 day challenge! Reading this book while doing the challenge was really helpful to taking a deeper look at the roots of what I was taking part in.

I felt the reflections back onto Bikram's guru Bishnu Ghosh w...more
I grabbed this one at the book store because I wanted a more in-depth understanding of the poses I do during my Bikram yoga classes. I rated it 4 stars because I did achieve the understanding I was looking for.

I agree with a lot of readers--that Bikram Choudhury does come off a bit arrogant and controversial--but I don't mind. I'm not looking to him for spiritual guidance or enlightenment, I'm looking for guidance in mastering yoga poses.

I recommend this book if you are interested in, or are c...more
Lilly G
I was too cheap to buy a copy of this book, even though I've done Bikram classes for 2 years on and off. The book is an excellent companion to his course, or any yoga practice. And in fact, it makes the 'leader of the cult' quite likeable. His explanations have helped my practice, and it was a good new source of motivation. Discussion of the poses is rounded out with a bigger discussion of karma and life benefits, which probably sets it apart from most instructional yoga books. Good stuff.

OK, a complete re-write of the first book; much more informative and, what I particularly liked, some side issues and a more interesting part about a Yogi's outlook on different life issues. Of course, as with all Bikram related things, you have to like his approach to life, yoga, politics, and everything else.

What I was missing is a little bit of Bikram's own phrases and words in the book; something that was special about the first book.
Great read, but only if yoga is of interest to you. Otherwise, the author just comes off as an arrogant prick. Choundhury goes into such detail on each of the 26 postures (pictures included) that even someone who has very little experience with yoga could probably work from this book alone. The long list of health benefits for each position is very motivational. I now have a much better idea why I am putting myself through this torture!
I am disappointed that this is the man that helped to develop the yoga style that I connect with. The book begins in a condescending and arrogant tone which assumes who the reader is and what the reader thinks. I did however like the detailed description of each pose and the explanations of Bikram yoga benefits. If you can stomach the beginning the rest of the book lightens up. I also only found one reference to the health claims.
Oct 18, 2009 Meghan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who has a passion for yoga!
During the winter of 2009 it was very refreshing to do some outdoor running, however I also became very bored with my indoor treadmill running and gym routine. I always had a desire to try yoga and thought it would be a good balance to my running routine. This book teaches you step by step each pose and explains why it is beneficial. I then joined a Bikram Yoga studio in Falls Church.
It is interesting to get some background on Bikram yoga and its founder. He comes off as a bit of a tool and full of himself, but I guess he can't help that. I was really interested in this book to learn more about the poses and will probably re-borrow it to review just those sections in the future. I couldn't get into any of the touchy-feely yoga philosphies.
Gonzalo Montoya
If you're looking for enlightenment this book is not for you. If you are ready to hear the truth about why you're sick and fat then go ahead. Read this book! Bikram is not Gandhi and he never said he was. He's brutally honest and he will help you to be a better version of yourself if you're ready to heal on the mat.
I am so inspired. I never thought I would like yoga but after taking Bikram yoga I am starting to feel so much better..mentally and physically. After reading Bikram's book I fully understand why his classes are so tough. His classes are truly a place of torture...of course in a good way.
Cindy Lau
Nov 07, 2007 Cindy Lau rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Haven't finished the book yet, but it's already helped me improve my yoga practice, and inspired me to really make it a priority in my life. Bikram yoga is really great not only for improving health, but also disciplining the mind and teaching you to free yourself of your perceived limits.
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Goodreads Librari...: Description of book reads like a Review 4 31 Sep 19, 2013 04:18PM  
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