When Bikram Choudhury synthesized traditional Yoga techniques and its practice in a heated room, he said that it allowed for deeper stretching, injury prevention, and stress and tension relief. Bikram Yoga gained in popularity in the 70's for its marked change from the traditional approach.
Hot, sweaty, challenging, and even competitive, Bikram Yoga is the hottest buzzword in new age Yoga, and its most popular address is Bikram Yoga Union Square run by Otto Cedeno.
Owner and director of Bikram Yoga Union Square, Otto Cedeno was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and came to the United States as a child. In 2000, John Golterman, owner of the Bikram Yoga studio in Chelsea introduced Otto to Bikram Yoga.
Otto immediately fell in love with this practice and quit his Broadway dance and acting career to pursue it full time.
In 2002, after two years of practice and teacher's training, Bikram Yoga Union Square was born.
The practice of Bikram Yoga includes 26 Yoga poses and 2 breathing techniques, but the emphasis is on a room heated from 104 to 110 degree Fahrenheit with 40 percent humidity. At the Bikram Yoga Union Square, the studio is heated to 104 degree Fahrenheit. However, the instructors do make it a point to open the windows and let in fresh air.
The Bikram Yoga Union Square facility prides itself on the cleanliness of its studio and extends the idea of cleanliness to the New York community by partnering with various NGOs.
The staff at Bikram Yoga Union Square is trained to be friendly and gracious. They understand that practicing this grueling form of Yoga in a hot room, surrounded by strangers, and sweating profusely is daunting for a beginner.
Bikram Yoga is challenging and does require a lot of commitment. The goal of Bikram Yoga Union Square is to ensure that its students and practitioners stay strong and dedicated to this unique form of Yoga.
All the instructors at the Bikram Yoga Union Square have been certified through Bikram's Yoga College, India. Prior to certification, an instructor must complete an intensive nine-week training requiring over 500 hours of study. Bikram Yoga Union Square insists that if you are practicing Bikram Yoga with an unqualified instructor you run the risk of injury.
Bikram Yoga Union Square promises the best quality Bikram Yoga instruction in a clean, comfortable, safe and friendly environment. If you are a beginner you can sign up for their 7-day introductory course of unlimited Bikram Yoga at 20 dollars per week. Various other packages let you choose from 30 to 120 dollars. Towels, mat rentals and locker rentals are separate and can be availed of at the studio
Students are advised to come on an empty stomach, well hydrated, and be prepared to sweat. It is best to invest in formfitting Yoga apparel and keep your hair tied high.