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Bikram Flow

¨The best thing to practice with all of those tools is observation and sensitivity. When we simply pay attention, whatever we focus our awareness on gives us hints on what to do.¨ ~Eddie Stern

Hatha Yoga is a method to obtain a strong and energetic body, in addition to an optimal state of health. It is also a method to achieve harmony and happiness; but above all, to develop the inner strength that helps us face sadness, pain and failure with equanimity.

In India, yoga is considered a method for humanity’s spiritual progress. Its fundamental principle is to regulate the body and mind, to then reach a higher state of concentration. Through the correct application of its different techniques, a healthy, strong and symmetrical body is obtained; as well as a creative, determined, honest and calm mind. The 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises that are done in the Bikram practice are a good example.

In Bikram we start with the lungs, we teach them how to breathe, to be elastic and to pump plenty of fresh oxygen into the circulatory system. At the same time, we remove rust from fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck and upper back. To do this we use all the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, and blood vessels in the upper body. All of this only with the first breathing exercise (Pranayama).

Then we move down and with the half moon we stretch the sides of the torso, from the armpits to the hips and thighs, especially the waist, and extend the spine from right to left (Ardha-Chandrasana). With the posterior flexion (back bending) we stretch the spine backwards, and the pelvis, together with the abdominal area, towards the front. Then we bend forward and begin to move legs and tendons, at the same time doing compression on the abdomen to massage internal organs (Padahastasana). With the rare posture, or chair pose, we work legs, knees, ankles, feet and fingers, covering the area of ​​concentration and balance, exercising the mind and nerves (Utkatasana). With the eagle (Garudasana) we stretch rigid shoulders, hips, arms and leg ligaments; we also awaken the kidneys and sexual organs.

At this point of the practice, the entire body and nervous system are warm enough to move to the standing head to knee pose (Dandayamana Janushirasana), which combines the skills of the previous poses and works deeply on the nervous system and the mind, developing concentration, patience, determination and self control. Then, with standing bow pulling pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana) all the blood flows from one side of the body to the back, and the strength and size of the ribcage increases; also increasing circulation to the heart and lungs. By moving into the balancing stick pose (Tulandandasana), we continue to draw blood to the heart, strengthening it and cleaning the veins and arteries. The flow of blood rejuvenates the brain and helps us develop the power of concentration.

The standing separate leg stretching pose (Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana), the triangle (Trikanasana), the separate leg head to knee pose (Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana), the tree (Tadasana), and the toe stand pose (Padangustasana), increase circulation to the brain, regulate the thyroid and adrenal glands, strengthen legs and buttocks, as well as the immune system. At the same time, they heal back pain, bring flexibility and balance to the entire body.

These standing postures are of great importance because they provide a lot of mobility to the spine, since they include a perfect combination of forward bends, backbendings, twists, inversions and balances. They share a common energy pattern: energy moves up the front of the body and down the back. This energetic flow is reflected, and is affected, by bone alignment. With practice, the habitual disconnection between body and mind begins to lessen.

In the second half of the practice we see how the wind removing pose (Pavanamuktasana) increases the body's ability to absorb nutrients, and with the abdominal flexion (Bikram Yoga or Sitting Posture), the flexibility of the spine is increased, internal organs are massaged and abdominal muscles are toned.

Cobra (Bhujangasana), Locust (Salabhasana), Full Locust (Poorna Salabhasana), Bow (Dhanurasana), Fixed Firm Pose (Supta-Vajrasana), Half Turtle (Ardha-Kurmasana), Camel (Ustrasana), Rabbit (Sasangasana), Seated Head-to-Knee Stretch (Janushirasana with Paschimotthanasana) and Spinal Twist (Ardha-Matsyendrasana), cures lower back pain and relieves menstrual cramps (in addition to regulating the menstrual cycle), and the immune system and all metabolic functions are stimulated. All these postures provide flexibility to the hamstrings, strengthen the torso, cure problems such as rheumatism (inflammation, degeneration or alterations of the tissues that form the muscles and tendons) and arthritis of the spine; they also regulate the functions of the liver and spleen.

In most of the postures the tourniquet technique is applied, which consists of cutting off the circulation of blood in some parts of the body and forces it into others. Therefore, short relaxations after each of these floor postures allow the blood to flow naturally throughout the body again. This technique of overexertion followed by complete relaxation is the key to better health.

The last breathing exercise (Kapalbhati in Vajrasana) has the function of cooling the body and expelling the rest of the air and stagnant toxins from the lungs, rejuvenating and revitalizing.

Finally, it is necessary to emphasize that the secret of success in this great Hatha Yoga practice lies in determination, perseverance and the appropriate guidance. So come and practice with us!

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