Original Hot Yoga Therapy

Ghosh Yoga College of India

The Original Hot Yoga system of 26 postures in a 105 degree room was derived from the yoga therapy system of Bishnu Charan Ghosh in the 1930’s. Ghosh was the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, the renowned spiritual leader and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship. Yogananda focused largely on the internal limbs of yoga, as with the majority of yoga practitioners in India, and was strongly influenced by the teachings of Vivekenanda (author of “Raja Yoga”), one of the first Indian yogis to influence the West. Bishnu Ghosh was a strong proponent of the external, physical limbs of yoga, notably for their health-giving, therapeutic aspects.

The conditions of Calcutta during that tumultuous time in India history created numerous diseases and health conditions, whereby people turned towards physical cultivation and yoga practices to maintain their desired health. Many referenced yoga texts state this point. 


“All internal diseases and toxins are destroyed by the practice of asana.” Yoga Yajnavalkya, 3:17

“Having done asana one gets steadiness of body and mind; diseaselessness and lightness of the limbs.” Hatha Yoga Pradipika, 1:17

“The six cleansing techniques bring about purification and asanas bring about strength.” The Gheranda Samhita, 1:10


From Yoga Therapy to Artistic Performance

The Ghosh Yoga College was rooted in Yoga Therapy, taught one-on-one between teacher and student. Customized yoga prescriptions of exercises and yoga asanas were dispensed. The teacher personalized the student’s practice and guided him or her (men and women practiced in different rooms) to the next step, as needed. One could see the integration of calisthenics, gymnastics physical therapy, and yoga asanas.

Ghosh was also influenced by other yogis of his time, including Krishnamacharya, Iyengar, and Sivananda. Asana demonstrations and artistic performances were common, as the circus arts, bodybuilding, muscle control, and gymnastics were coming to the forefront of India’s national identity. The combination of strength, balance, and flexibility of yoga’s physical practices could not only support a system of yoga therapy, but also artistic displays to garner public interest. While the posture mayurasana, pictured above, might appear difficult, it is referenced by all three yoga texts.

“This is mayurasana which destroys all impurities.” Yoga Yajnavalkya, 3:16

“[Mayurasana]…overcomes defects and quickly destroys all diseases – enlargement of the spleen, enlargement of the abdomen, and so on. It stimulates the stomach’s fire [and] incinerates all bad food…” Hatha Yoga Pradipika, 1:31

“The glorious Mayurasana turns to ash all excess, unwholesome food that has been eaten, increases the gastric fire, digests lethal poison, quickly overcomes all diseases such as intestinal tumors, fever, and so forth, and has no disadvantages.” The Gheranda Samhita, 2:30

Ghosh established a yoga school in Tokyo in the early 1970’s, and introduced the system of postures that was then brought to the United States, modified, heated to 105 degrees, and in the 1990s was popularized as Bikram Yoga. The basic principle behind this beginning hatha yoga class is that anyone can do it, no matter what age, shape, or condition. The Original Hot Yoga is a complete, therapeutic yoga class that can be done safely by all people to restore youth and vitality. In fact, there is mounting scientific evidence supporting the benefits of heated exercise and heated yoga, including reducing cardiovascular disease risk, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.


Original Hot Yoga Therapy

In today’s world, we see more students coming in with physical injuries, including back, knee, shoulder and neck pain. Sedentary lives, sitting for too long, and using electronic devices lead to poor posture and long periods of inactivity, that lead to chronic pain and conditions that can be alleviated through a regular practice of Original Hot Yoga.

It is said that there are an infinite number of variations to each of the 26 postures in our series, simply by way of modifying the depth of the posture. The objective of practicing is not the posture itself; it is the physical body in its current condition. With patient practice, the body will eventually sit in the ideal form of the posture. Trust that doing what you can in each moment of a class, to the best of your ability, will give you therapeutic benefit.

However, there are instances where some of the postures may be modified or better aligned to enable the student to experience more rapid injury recovery. These adjustments require the care and guidance of our certified Original Hot Yoga Association and Bikram Yoga teachers.

Don’t be shy to ask. Come Sweat & Glow with us!

ORIGINAL POST: https://pureyogatexas.com/get-informed/original-hot-yoga-therapy/