The History of Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga pic

Bikram Yoga

Lee Hnetinka, a successful San Francisco-based entrepreneur, founded the e-commerce logistics company Darkstore in early 2016. When not handling the day-to-day operations of the innovative company, Lee Hnetinka practices Bikram yoga.

Bikram yoga is based on poses from the much older tradition of Hatha yoga, which traces back thousands of years. The founder of Bikram yoga, Bikram Choudhury, merged 26 Hatha poses into a standardized routine that he believed promoted physical health. This routine is usually performed for an hour and a half in a humid room with a temperature between 90 and 95 degrees.

Mr. Choudhury began to teach his system to students at the Bikram’s Yoga College of India, which grew in popularity. Today, there are over 300 Bikram yoga studios in the United States alone. Each course is led by an instructor who has passed a rigorous, specialized training program.

Though Bikram yoga hasn’t been studied intensively, the yoga poses it incorporates have been shown to reduce blood pressure, lower stress levels, and increase flexibility. Additionally, the higher temperatures may improve blood flow and help oxygen reach muscle tissue, making practitioners more flexible.


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