The hot yoga revolution is thriving, and while there are many different classes to choose from, the original all started from Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram Yoga. I recently had the privilege to speak with yoga expert Laju Choudhury, the daughter of Bikram. Laju inspires students with her welcoming approach to Bikram. Read on to learn more.
Tell us about yourself and how you got to where you are today.
Well, I think my first steps as a baby were actually in a Bikram yoga room! Honestly, even though I was always around the yoga studio and community from a young age, I found the practice through my own journey. Anytime in my life where I felt like my path was falling off track, I would go to Bikram Yoga to gain clarity. The body and mind connection which is made during the class allows me to disconnect from my problems/concerns outside the yoga room in order to gain clarity and redirect me to my path.
What do you wish more people knew about Bikram Yoga?
It’s medicine. Non-drug (holistic) therapy, which works like medicine and promotes healing.
What is your advice for anyone who would like to start practicing yoga?
Pace yourself. It’s not a marathon. Your first class can be difficult, do the best that you can. You have a lifetime to achieve the poses. Go into your first Bikram Yoga class with no expectations and enjoy the experience.
What’s your favorite part about Bikram yoga?
How the practice makes me feel – the afterglow. Also, our community and the support it provides.
Working in the field of yoga, what are your top wellness tips you could share?
Stick to what feels right for your body and mind. Go slow and be mindful. Enjoy the journey and allow the setbacks to transform into progress.
Favorite pose or poses and why?
My favorite sequencing in the Bikram class is the spine strengthening. Healthy spine, healthy mind, healthy life. Within the spine strengthening I love Locust, legs up! It’s the craziest head rush during and after the poses.
What is the most significant change you have witnessed in the yoga industry recently?
Anything else we should know?
Don’t change the yoga. Let it change you. In my lifetime experience in the yoga industry, nothing makes me feel the way Bikram yoga does. Growing up in Los Angeles, I’ve tried it all, from soccer to dance to cheerleading, along with trying all kinds of fitness regimens. But nothing feels as good as when I do Bikram. It is also a great supplement for all other exercise and sports.
In addition to practicing yoga, I’m so thankful I get to share this gift through teaching. The Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Program is happening from October 1st to December 3rd this year. Also welcome, are all yoga practitioners to join the Bikram yoga community for a week or more of fun, yoga and healing in the magical Thailand.
To learn more, visit Bikramyoga.com.