Those with at least one to two years of regular practice and 250 or more classes’ experience in the traditional 26&2/Bikram Yoga method are invited to join us for a unique practice intensive in intermediate preparations and postures in the Ghosh lineage. This round will be an immersive, daily, morning practice (6:15 am – 8:15 am) for the entire month of July, held Monday through Friday for four weeks (with the exception of Friday, July 14).
Monday of each week will be the instructed intermediate yoga class – $25 each or $90 for all four weeks (pre-paid, no refunds for non-attendance.)
Tuesday through Friday classes will be a silently led practice and are donation-based (cash only, payment optional). Those who attend the Monday instructional of a given week may attend any or all of the classes the remainder of that week.
Those wishing to practice the intermediate sequence with us for any days between Tuesday and Friday each week are required to attend the Monday instructional of that week.
You may attend one or more weeks in any order; it is recommended that participants do at least one week of Sequence A and one of Sequence B, but it is not required.
Monday, July 3
instructional session for Sequence A
Arm Balancing Strength, Core Strength, and Leg-Behind-the-Head Mobility
Monday, July 10
instructional session for Sequence B
Full Backward Bending Awareness, Inversions, and Pranayama
Monday, July 17
instructional session for Sequence A
Arm Balancing Strength, Core Strength, and Leg-Behind-the-Head Mobility
Monday, July 24
Instructional session for Sequence B
Full Backward Bending Awareness, Inversions, and Pranayama
Those with less experience are welcome to inquire in advance.
Each Monday session is $25 each, or $90 for all 4 weeks (prepaid only; no refunds for non-attendance). Any classes attended for the remainder of each week are donation based.
Almost four years ago, while long-distance training, I pulled a hamstring. I continued to run on it and completed a marathon in Charlevoix in June 2013.
I struggled throughout the race due to the pain in my hamstring. Also, despite my training, around mile 14 I had trouble breathing and needed to use an inhaler. At the end of the race, the pain in my hamstring was so bad that I couldn’t bend my knee. I had trouble walking over the next week both due to my leg as well as generalized soreness.
Six weeks after the race, my hamstring still hadn’t healed. I still couldn’t flex my leg despite taking time to rest. I also tried spinning, walking, stretching, and strength training, without any luck. …
That’s when I found Bikram Yoga.
Within one week of practicing Bikram Yoga, the pain from my training and racing was 100% gone, and within one month, my mobility was completely restored!
I maintained a regular Bikram Yoga practice from 2013-2015. I felt so good that in July 2015 I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.
I did the same race training as I had in 2013, but this time I made sure I practiced Bikram Yoga 2-3 times per week. The results were amazing!!
I didn’t even feel tired until mile 25, and my breathing was smooth the entire time. When I was done running, I didn’t feel any pain.
I walked two miles after the marathon to catch a cab, and I was fine. The next day, I woke up and was amazed by the quick recovery – I could walk around just fine.
I was back for my yoga practice 3 days after the race, with a smile on my face!
I started practicing Bikram Yoga in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2003 – shortly after returning to the United States after 2 years of living in rural Japan. I was working in the kitchen of the People’s Food Coop at the time and attended on the invitation of one of my coworkers. I do not think that either of us “liked” the first class – she did not ever return for a second class (that was hard!). But there were reasons I had to return. Day after day, almost every day of the week. For that first couple of years, I hated how it felt if I missed a day.
Ever since childhood, I had struggled on a daily basis to get a good, satisfying, deep breath. I was never diagnosed with asthma or any other pathologies, but it was noticeable in my daily life.
After that first class, I remember doing some grocery shopping and feeling like every breath was deep, wonderful, heavenly. I felt like I was floating through the aisles, light as a feather. Even though that first class was the hardest thing I had ever done – and I sat down five times before triangle posture! – I knew I had to go back.
Within two weeks, my chronic blood sugar imbalances disappeared. I didn’t crave sugars so desperately, and I naturally started to eat better foods.
Within one month, the carpal tunnel syndrome that had been developing was gone. And my chronic sluggish digestion was changing for the better.
Within two months, my bulimic mindset of nearly 10 years almost completely vanished, and after the immersive practice of teacher training the following year, it stayed away permanently. I gained so much time and freedom in my life after living in a sort of obsessive prison of dieting, compulsively overeating, and body-loathing since high school.
The 30+ pounds of excess weight came off later, but by that time I truly didn’t even care about the appearance of my body.
I just felt so stupidly good on the inside.
Eight months into practicing, I slipped and fractured two vertebrae. The first part of the story of that injury can be found HERE. Thanks to Bikram Yoga, my pain was gone in 20 days.
Only a few months after my back healed, I attended and completed Bikram Yoga Teacher Training at La Cienega HQ, Los Angeles, in August of 2004. I loved it. There is nothing like a 15-hour-a-day, 5+-day-a-week, 9-consecutive-week immersion in a yoga practice. People say it is hard to leave their lives and homes and families and jobs for 2+ months. That it is hard to do two 90 -minute+ Bikram Yoga classes every day.
But in my experience, living for a decade in a mental prison – of body-loathing, what we call “OCD”, dieting, eating uncontrollably, counting calories, desiring external validation – was much, much harder.
Supporting more than one life
Throughout 2006 – and until the day my labor started – I practiced Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga at least 4 days a week. It took away all of my morning sickness, relieved my back pain, and kept my blood sugar steady in each trimester.
I had a healthy home-birth largely due to the physical awareness I had developed with this yoga. After 3 hours of the last “pushing” stage of labor, the baby was still stuck, the contractions were irregular and debiltating, and I could tell something was not right. Upon communicating this with my midwife, she found that he (although I did not know the sex at the time) was coming out with his hand resting against his temple. Thanks to her skills and my ability to breathe and relax, I was able to give birth without injury to either of us. Without question it would have been a cesarean section in any of the best hospitals.
As a toddler and young child, my son had experienced some traumas and was very anxious. Thanks to this yoga, I was able to physically carry him and support his needs, yet maintain the health of my body and mostly stay out of muscular pain.
Year-by-year, the benefits continue
In the years since then, I have used the Beginners’ class and other Ghosh lineage practices to:
relieve the pain from sciatica and plantar fascitis,
build strength and maintain more calm when dealing with verbally abusive individuals / pathological narcissists,
reduce anxiety and insomnia, and
nearly eliminate premenstrual cramps that were previously debilitating.
My environmental allergies occur at only about 10% of their former severity. I used to have to take something daily in the spring; now I take an allergy pill maybe once a year. If things are really bad.
I am currently in a sort-of maintenance mode, where my health issues are under relatively good control. But I know that life can bring challenges at any moment, and I am so appreciative that I have this yoga to use for both healing crises and everyday life. It is my primary form of health insurance.
And these are only the benefits that have occurred on the most surface layers. The deeper ones are much harder to describe.
Participation in the USA Yoga Championship
I believe that encouraging younger generations to get interested in a therapeutic hatha yoga practice is of vital importance in our world. To support this belief, I established weekly (free) Youth classes at BYCA over one year ago. This past winter I also volunteer-instructed at a Lansing Public Schools 6th-grade classroom.
I am participating in this year’s championship for three main reasons:
to inspire people to start, maintain, or intensify their therapeutic hatha yoga practice,
to continue to build an inspirational healing yoga community in mid-Michigan
to develop more balance in my personal yoga practice
Instead of training in more advanced postures, this year I am happy to demonstrate the “natural” point in my practice. Sort of like a snapshot in time. Without pressure or expectation. Without thoughts of what others are thinking. (What a glorious waste of time and energy, no?!)
Just my best focus in the moment, demonstrating the amazing communication superhighway between the mind and the body. In every class I practice, and hopefully in the moments when I get up on the stage.
If you did not yet read my philosophy of competition and competitiveness in yoga, here it is.
One of my longer-term goals is to practice sustainably so that I can eventually participate in the Senior Women division (ages 50+) of the Championship. I am excited to support the USA Yoga organization and events with the hope that they are still around in 12 years!
For our health, for the health of our elders, and for the health of our children…
I started practicing Bikram Yoga six years ago and have had the pleasure of practicing in many different places. Having started in Honolulu, and then in Houston, Austin, Boston, and Berlin before ending up here at my most favorite of studios. (Aren’t we lucky!!)
I am forever indebted to a close friend of mine, a former dancer like myself, who introduced me to Bikram yoga. I witnessed how she seemed, through her practice, more focused mentally, to physically glow, and to be able to use all the toxic stuff with which the dance world infuses you for a positive means.
Lindsay Working on Toe Stand (Padangustasana), 2016
Acceptance and discovery in yoga
Yoga, unlike ballet, focuses on the process and on the acceptance of where you are with a posture, and, ultimately, that’s what’s really spoken to me about this practice. In dance, I hated racing to the finish line of who could become the best the fastest. My brain is just not designed for that kind of race; the pressure of that level of competition is soul-crushing for me.
I love how, with yoga, I am constantly tinkering with a posture and working toward minute improvements that may some day add up to some form of relative perfection. The trusting in that process of discovery, of all the psychic and physical subtleties within me, is the best lesson in self-acceptable and faith.
Participation in USA Yoga Championship
I wanted to participate in the USA Yoga championships for two main reasons. I have been slowly working to expand my practice through engaging with some of the intermediate postures, and the championships seem like a good opportunity to re-enter the performance realm within a safe and supportive environment.
For the championships this go-round, I chose relatively simple, seated intermediate postures. This way, I can participate but not make myself crazy with anxiety about sticking a posture on-stage, alone with no mirror, and a bunch of people watching. I’ll worry about doing that maybe next year or in ten years. It’ll be a process.
I am very excited to announce that two of the foremost North American ambassadors of Ghosh Yoga will be coming to Bikram Yoga Capital Area this March for a weekend of workshops! Ida Jo and Scott Lamps will be leading six unique, not-to-be-missed yoga practice seminars from Thursday-Sunday, March 23-26, 2017.
In the summer of 2016, I completed the inaugural Ghosh Practice Week in Madison, Wisconsin. The practice, the leadership, the questions, the diversity, the thoroughness, and the overall experience was so beneficial that I have asked them to come to Michigan to share with you all.
I truly believe that these workshops are essential for any dedicated student of Bikram Yoga, as well as a must-do component for any Bikram Yoga teacher, whether current, former, or aspiring. The historical and philosophical insights exceed the usual posture workshop or master class. Your practice and teaching will truly be expanded. Those interested in apprenticing at BYCA in the near or distant future should complete as many of the 6 workshops as possible.
Ida Jo’s and Scott’s approach will introduce those from other yoga lineages or even from a non-yoga background to the benefits of the Ghosh lineage. Many of the classes are ideal for regular and beginning practitioners, and others are accessible to those who have no experience with yoga of any kind.
Those looking for the most basic therapeutic class will benefit from Yoga Therapeutics: Back Pain and Stress Reduction.
Seasoned Bikram Yoga practitioners and teachers will be challenged by Advancing Your Practice, and will have their horizons broadened by Buddha Bose Workshop with the History of Ghosh Yoga.
Ida Jo and Scott recently visited the Pure Bikram Yoga community in Austin, Texas, to rave reviews, and will be presenting again at the One Fire Hot Yoga Festival in March.
Complete workshop descriptions are currently available at Bikram Yoga Capital Area, and full information and registration links are available on our Events Page. We expect these workshops to fill up, as this is Ida Jo’s and Scott’s first workshop visit to Michigan.
As you have probably noticed, there is a lot of yoga out there! As yoga and fitness studios continue to open and close, I find it increasingly important for us to understand the practices in more depth – focusing on the history, lineages, science, and testimonials of practitioners. For practitioners of Bikram Yoga, Ghosh lineage yoga, and hot yoga – or for those interested in trying them – here are the most basic distinctions and history.
What is Ghosh Yoga?
Ghosh’s Yoga of Physical Education was founded in 1923 in Kolkata, India, by the late Bishnu Charan Ghosh. It was then named Ghosh’s Yoga College in 1970 and currently operates under the direction of Bishnu Ghosh’s granddaughter, Muktamala.
Ghosh Yoga has a fascinating history of meditation, breathing techniques, showmanship, physical culture, asana, bodybuilding, therapeutic exercises, medical research, and individual prescription of exercises and asana. The Ghosh lineage has been transmitted worldwide primarily via Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury, Tony Sanchez, and their trained teachers.
Currently, Ghosh Yoga in its fuller expression is being taught in North America and Europe by Tony Sanchez and his trained teachers, and Ida Jo and Scott Lamps. Ida Jo and Scott have completed Muktamala’s Therapeutic Training program as well as many other yoga trainings and are now the North American administrators of the therapeutic training program at Ghosh’s College. They have sole permission in the U.S. for use of “Ghosh Yoga” and have published the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Practice Manuals in the tradition. You can read more about Ghosh Yoga at Ida Jo and Scott’s website.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga refers to the standardized beginning sequence of Ghosh lineage therapeutic postures, as distilled and taught by Bikram Choudhury (b. 1946) and his students. Mr. Choudhury was one of Bishnu Ghosh’s students in Calcutta in the 1960s and brought his teaching to the United States in the early 1970s. He taught primarily in Southern California until 2016. Bikram and his former wife (Rajashree Choudhury) and senior teachers have certified approximately 4000* teachers to teach in that time.
Bikram Yoga is commonly also known as the 26&2 (26 postures and 2 breathing exercises) and is taught at independently owned yoga schools all over the world. It is traditionally practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees F and 40% humidity. Over the decades, it has been found that the heat provides an increase in the circulatory benefits via the “tourniquet effect”, as well as reduced stiffness, cardiovascular benefit, and improved stress tolerance, among other health benefits.
Although these schools have traditionally been named “Bikram Yoga”, they are truly independent and not part of a corporation, chain, or franchise (despite what most media sources and the official Bikram Yoga website report). Rather, they are owned and directed by teachers who were trained and certified by Bikram and his most senior teachers, and who have committed to upholding the techniques and methods of Bikram’s beginning yoga system.
Many Bikram Yoga teachers and experienced students also practice the intermediate and advanced postures and sequences of the Ghosh lineage, taught in various manifestations by Bikram Choudhury, Tony Sanchez, and others.
How does this relate to “hot yoga”?
Bikram Yoga is known as the Original Hot Yoga, because it was the first – and, for a time, the only – yoga class taught in a heated room. Many other unrelated yoga and exercise traditions began to add heat to their rooms over the decades, so “hot yoga” and Bikram Yoga are no longer equivalent.
“Hot Yoga” can refer to any movement, asana, or exercise class in a hot room and is not necessarily related to the Bikram or Ghosh lineage.
When you see a studio or a class called “Hot Yoga”, it generally now refers to one of two things:
Former Bikram Yoga schools that have removed the word “Bikram” and now use “Hot Yoga” in their school names. These still teach the traditional Bikram method and usually have lineage-trained teachers. Some have added other types of yoga or fitness classes, and some have not.
Other hot yoga studios that do not have a connection to or training in the Ghosh or Bikram Yoga lineage. They might have teachers in a lineage from a different part of India, but most are not directly descended from an Indian yoga tradition. Many feature classes with a combination of yoga postures, dance, exercise, weights, barre, or music classes.
We realize it can be a bit confusing, so we always recommend researching the specific training lineage of the owners of the schools you are interested in practicing at.
Another way that you can find a Bikram-lineage school – owned by a Bikram-trained teacher – is on the directory of the Original Hot Yoga Association website.
Join us this winter for Intermediate and Therapeutic Yoga Classes in the Ghosh Lineage!
Every other Sunday, from January 15-April 23, join BYCA owner and mentoring teacher Ann Chrapkiewicz for classes focused on specific areas of the body. In these classes, we will combine therapeutic exercises for specified sections of the body with preparations for intermediate yoga postures in the Ghosh lineage. Each session is limited in size to 10 students, ensuring individual attention to each level and need.
Classes will be held from 11:15 am – 1:00 pm on the following Sundays: