Bikram yoga is well-known for its strict 26 postures practiced in 104°F room. Created by athlete and yogi, Bikram Choudury, Mr. Choudhury’s 26-posture sequence of yoga movements is designed “to cure chronic physical ailment and heal the body.” The heated room adds to the experience by increasing your body’s flexibility. Bikram Yoga is widely favored by star athletes such as professional soccer player, David Beckham, and big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton, due to its purported healing powers. (See Tricia Donegan: a Bikram yogini, New Yoker and lover for more information.)
We will elaborate on 3 postures that are best for active surfers and will have Tricia Donegan from Bikram Yoga Lower East Side demonstrate for us below.
Eagle Pose (Garurasnana)
Surfers: arms and shoulders are our no.1 pro-injured body parts. Paddling and handling the surfboard and waves tend to over-use our arms and shoulders. Eagle pose is a great way to stretch our surfer’s elbow and address other shoulder problems. Eagle Pose helps in the following ways:
- It supplies fresh blood to the sexual organs and the kidneys, increasing sexual power and control.
- Firms the calves, thighs, hips, abdomen, and upper arms.
- Improves the flexibility of the hip, knee, and ankle joints and strengthens the latisimus dorsi, trapezius, and deltoid muscles.
Standing Bow (Dandayamana – Dhanuraiana)
One of the most important things for surfers is balancing. Standing Bow pose can train surfers to stand on one foot while concentrating on opening up their bodies with control. Standing Bow Pose helps in the following ways:
- It improves mental determination and develops balance
- Tightens abdominal and thigh muscles
- Tightens arms, hips, and buttocks.
- Improves posture, while increasing elasticity of the rib cage and the lungs
- Improves flexibility and strength of the spine, legs, hips and shoulders.
After hours of surfing, the over-extended back, shoulder and neck can cause long-term problems on our body. Rabbit pose is an extreme stretch for our spines and necks. Reminder: suck your stomach in to get full benefit. Rabbit pose helps in the following ways:
- It produces the opposite effect of Camel pose; as a result, it stretches the spine to permit the nervous system to receive proper nutrition.
- Maintains the mobility and elasticity of the spine and back muscles.
- Improves digestion and helps sinus problems, and chronic tonsillitis
- Wonderful effect on thyroid and parathyroid glands.
- Improves the flexibility of the scapula and the trapezius muscles.