/ Bikram Yoga Poses / About Bikram Choudhury / About Erin Cleary Cook, Director, Bikram Yoga Main Line

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is a demanding series of 26 postures (asanas) that works the entire body for 90 minutes.

The class is conducted in a heated room to improve circulation, increase cardiovascular health, help eliminate toxins, and significantly reduce the risk of injury during deep muscle stretching. The series is designed for all levels, first time students and experienced practitioners alike.

Physically, Bikram yoga is the perfect marriage of strength, flexibility, and balance. These are the three keys to your Bikram yoga practice, but don’t worry most people only have one of these qualities and nobody has all three! We work in class to help you find your own personal balance of these three qualities. Mentally, Bikram yoga trains the mind in five ways: to have faith in yourself, to learn self-control, to gain determination, to improve concentration, and to build patience. In time, you'll learn to focus your mind and control your breath, enabling you to work harder, more deeply, and with more patience with yourself. With each class you will better learn the true meaning of Bikram yoga: a union of the body, mind, and spirit. To truly understand the magic of Bikram yoga you must experience it yourself first-hand.

Join us for a class today!


See for yourself how Bikram Yoga has changed people's lives here on the Main Line and all over the world.


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Pranayama Breathing
• Mental relaxation
• Detoxification
• Works the nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems

Half Moon Pose
• Helps lower back pain, constipation, obesity of stomach, bronchi distress, scoliotic deformities, frozen shoulders
• Works deltoid, trapezius, pectoralis major and hamstrings
• Exercise the colon, pancreas and kidney

Awkward Pose
• Works quadriceps and deltoids
• Helps to open pelvic area, alleviates joint pain and arthritis of the knees, strengthens lower limbs, relieves sciatica, improves flexibility in toes and ankles

Eagle Pose
• Control of sexual energies, improves function of central nervous system
• Strengthens lower extremities, joint mobility for hip girdle and all major joints by creating pressure in the joints and releasing it, it allows fresh blood supply to flow in

Standing Head To Knee Pose
• Works the muscular, skeletal, reproductive and digestive systems
• Improves concentration, avoids sciatica by improving circulation and flexibility, reduces diabetes, strengthens back muscles and nerves

Standing Bow Pulling Pose
• Increases circulation to the heart and lungs
• Improves elasticity of the spine by compressing it
• Helps with lower back pain
• Opens diaphragm and lungs

Balancing Stick
• Increases blood flow all over the body at the same time
• Clears arteries
• Builds strength in lower extremities
• Works the pancreas, kidney and spleen
• Works muscular, reproductive, nervous and circulatory systems

Standing Separate Leg Stretching
• Helps constipation, abdominal obesity and hyperacidity
• Increases circulation to the brain and adrenal glands
• Good for small and large intestines

Triangle Pose
• Good for kidneys
• Helps chemical imbalances in the system
• Helps colitis, constipation, hip and back pain, spondylitis, general mobility and menstrual disorders
• Cardiovascular benefits
• Works circulatory, digestive, immune and reproductive systems

Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose
• Helps abdominal obesity, diabetes, thyroid, blood and sugar balance, pancreas and kidneys
• Works endocrine, reproductive and digestive systems
• Works obliques, iliopsoas, quads and deltoids, trapezius, biceps and triceps

Tree Pose
• Creates hip and knee mobility
• Releases abdominal tension
• Helps reduce inflammation of the lower back and spinal cord

Toe Stand Pose
• Creates balance in the body and the mind
• Strengthens stomach muscles
• Helps with arthritis, knee problems and gout pain
• Strengthens weak joints

Dead Body Pose - relaxation posture

Wind Removing Pose
• Helps constipation, flatulence and hyperacidity
• Massages ascending colon, descending and transverse colon

Sit-up - abdominal & lower back strengthening

Cobra Pose -- Locust Pose -- Full Locust Pose -- Bow Pose
• All 4 postures (spine strengthening series) work to compress and open up the spine • Each posture works a specific section of the spine (lower, middle & upper spine) • Creates spinal changes, helps lower back pain, scoliosis and cervical spondylosis

Fixed Firm Pose
• Strengthens and improves flexibility of lower spine, knees and ankle joints
• Helps to cure sciatica, gout and rheumatism in the legs
• Helps varicose veins
• Helps to cure and prevent hernia

Half Tortoise Pose
• Provides maximum relaxation
• Cures indigestion, constipation and flatulence
• Stretches lower part of the lungs-good for emphysema and asthma
• Helps diabetes

Camel Pose
• Strengthens muscles in the back and shoulders
• Produces maximum compression of the spine, stimulating the nervous system
• Improves flexibility of the neck and spine
• Relieves backache
• Strengthens muscles in the back and shoulders
• Produces maximum compression of the spine, stimulating the nervous system
• Improves flexibility of the neck and spine
• Relieves backache
• Helps kyphoscoliosis

Rabbit Pose
• Stretches spine, maximum extension-opposite of Camel
• Helps maintain mobility and elasticity of spine and back muscles
• Nurtures the nervous system, brings blood to the brain, helps cure depression
• Helps diabetes
• Helps with colds, sinus problems, chronic tonsillitis, sore throats and strep throat
• Good for thyroid, parathyroid and larynx

Separate Leg Head to Knee Stretching
• Helps to balance blood sugar levels, especially good for diabetes
• Good for the immune system, stimulates the thymus
• Improves kidney function
• Increases circulation to the liver and the spleen, pancreas, thyroid, thymus and intestines

Spine Twisting Pose
• Only posture that twists the spine from top to bottom at the same time
• Improves flexibility of spine and hip joints
• Helps prevent slip discs
• Increases circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, veins and tissues
• Helps sciatica
• Improves digestion
• Helps tennis elbow

Kapalbhati Breathing
• Helps to rid body of toxins
• Good for emphysema and other respiratory ailments
• Strengthens, massages and increases circulation to the abdominal organs and muscles, including the diaphragm
• Good against high blood pressure and good for the heart
• Helps lower back pain, constipation, obesity of stomach, bronchi distress, scoliotic deformities, frozen shoulders
• Works deltoid, trapezius, pectoralis major and hamstrings
• Exercise the colon, pancreas and kidney

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Bikram Choudhury began studying hatha yoga at the age of four. His physical fitness guru was Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Parmahansa Yogananda (founder of The Self-Realization Fellowship). At 12, Bikram was the youngest-ever national yoga champion of India, holding the title three consecutive years until his guru asked him to stop competing for the sake of the other participants. Bikram went on to pursue an athletic career as a marathon runner and a champion weight lifter, setting world record lifts and competing in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.
At age 20, a weight lifting accident crushed his knee, leaving him severely crippled. Bikram was told by doctors that he would never walk again. With the guidance of his guru, Bikram created his 26-posture series, which restored his health and fully rehabilitated his knees. Quickly he established himself as a world expert yoga teacher, opening schools throughout the East. Combining all that he learned from Eastern doctrine and from Western doctors and scientists at Tokyo University Hospital, Bikram perfected his comprehensive system.

Bikram then tailored his technique for the Western person, specifically for our cultural problems of occupational stress, chronic overeating, poor posture, and a fast paced lifestyle. He scientifically formulated and demonstrated yoga's ability to regenerate tissue and heal many chronic ailments. Consequently, he became known as "The World's Most Knowledgeable Yoga Teacher."

As an exact technique and series of fixed postures, Bikram's "hot box" yoga will bring health and peace to all ages and all levels of fitness.

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Erin Cleary Cook is the Director of Bikram Yoga Main Line and opened the studio in October 2004. Erin is a Harvard Graduate and was a Division 1 athlete at Harvard, a four-year letterwinner in Lacrosse. Keeping up her physical activity once moving to New York City upon graduation, she discovered Bikram Yoga in 1998. Erin’s eyes were immediately opened to a totally new way to work out. Like so many athletes, Erin damaged muscles, tendons and joints from years of running and training for sports. Erin found that she could get an equally intensive workout doing Bikram yoga as she could going for a 5 mile run. Since moving back to Berwyn where Erin grew up, she realized that the choices for taking yoga classes, especially Bikram classes, were extremely limited. Having left her Director of Sales position at a software company in NYC, Erin was looking for a new business opportunity as well as a way to continue her Bikram practice. In September 2003, Erin enrolled in Bikram’s Intensive Teacher Training program and left for Los Angeles for 9 weeks of bootcamp. Erin was trained by Bikram Choudhury himself for 9 weeks, 6 days a week, on topics such as yoga therapy, biochemistry, anatomy & physiology and the Bikram method. Since graduation from Teacher Training and completing her internship teaching at Bikram Yoga Philadelphia, Erin has made it her mission to recruit only the absolute best Bikram certified instructors to teach at Bikram Yoga Main Line. Since 2004, Erin has auditioned and mentored many teachers and closely analyzed their fit with Bikram Main Line students. Erin truly believes that now Bikram Yoga Main Line’s group of 11 teachers are the absolute best in the area! She is thrilled to have made her dream a reality of bringing this challenging and therapeutic yoga to her hometown.

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