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Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class by Bikram Choudhury
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Feb 24, 12

bookshelves: misc-non-fiction
Read in February, 2012

I started doing "Bikram yoga" several times a week a few months ago, and got this book to gain more instruction on how to attempt different poses. This is what it claims to be: a beginner's guide to the unique sequence of yoga postures that Bikram Choudhury has been teaching in Los Angeles since the seventies. I did find many of the tips in this book to be helpful and gained a better understanding of why these particular postures were chosen and put in this particular order. It was also helpful to learn the purpose of each pose, as it motivates me to do them properly in order to receive the intended benefit (increasing flexibility in the hip joints, strengthening the knees, etc.)

HOWEVER... the book could be so much better. First, the photos are terrible. They're all black-and-white, fuzzy, and show figures floating in space. The photo you see on the cover is the only modern, color photo in the entire book. Most of the ones used are 30 years old or older. Why?! Would it be too much trouble to include some decent photos? Second, the book is twice as long as it needs to be because it's filled with a bizarre monologue of Bikram speaking to his students during a fictional class. Apparently his English is horrible and he thinks he's a stand-up comedian. It's irritating and adds nothing to the reader's understanding of the yoga practice. He also claims repeatedly that students should be able to do each pose after just a few weeks of trying (untrue, I assure you) and that practicing his yoga sequence will prevent or cure just about any physical or mental problem a person might have (slightly far-fetched).

The more recent book, "Bikram Yoga" contains the same information without the clutter, has better photos, and adds some commentary about yoga in general. I'd recommend that one instead.

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