Created by Bikram Choudhury, Bikram Yoga is a style of Yoga that involves performing a set of poses that are synthesized from Hatha Yoga asanas (body postures). The exercises are practiced in a studio with a temperature of about 40 degrees and 40% humidity.
A Bikram Yoga session involves 26 different asanas and lasts for a total of 90 minutes. Also referred to as hot yoga, the practice has become increasingly popular with Yoga enthusiasts in recent years.
It provides many similar benefits as traditional yoga, such as improved flexibility, strength, stress, anxiety and depression reduction, increased mindfulness, and enhanced cardiovascular and muscular function. Because Bikram Yoga features a higher temperature, it is a more intense Yoga workout than other practices.
There are 26 different postures, or asanas, in Bikram Yoga. These poses are listed below for you to try out. It’s important to remember to breathe deeply and calmly throughout your session, and to make sure that you have a high-quality Yoga mat at the ready.
1. The Standing Deep Breathing Pose – Pranayama
Begin your session with this pose. Stand up, inhale slowly for 6 counts and exhale slowly for 6 counts.
2. The Half-Moon Pose – Padahastasana
Move your arms back as far as they can go and bend your spine backward from coccyx to neck. Hold your weight on your heels, keeping your legs straight. Lift your chest and push your stomach, legs, and hips forward. Return to the starting position.
3. The Sit-Up Pose – Pada-Hasthasana
Sit down with your legs out in front of you with your arms by your sides. Keep your back straight and feet together. Bend towards your knees and rest your head on them.
Reach for your toes and put your hands around them. Flex your arms at the elbows and put them on the floor beside your calves.
4. The Awkward Pose-Utkatasana
Stand up straight with your feet arm length apart. Push your arms forward, and keep them straight, with your palms facing down. Now, bend your knees and lower your body as if you are sitting in a chair. Hold the pose.
5. The Eagle Pose-Garudasana
Stand up straight and bend your right knee. Place your left knee over your right knee, then rest your left leg on the back of your right shin.
Raise your arms in front of you up to shoulder level and bend your elbows to 90-degrees. Place your right hand over your left. Repeat for the other side of your body.
6. The Head-To-Knee Pose – Dandayamana-Janushirasana
Stand up straight with your feet together. Lock your fingers to form a cup with your hands. Bend at your waist, then lift your right leg toward your chest by bending at the knees and holding your foot with your cupped hands.
Straighten your right leg gently. Bend your torso until your chest touches your right knee. Hold the pose.
7. The Standing Bow Pose- Dandayamana-Dhanurasana
Stand up straight and lift one of your legs with your hand by your ankle. Raise the other arm up and outwards, with your palms facing forward.
Slowly extend the leg you lifted, making sure your torso is moving forward. Kick your other leg up. When stretching higher, your torso should bend forward more.
8. The Balancing Stick Pose — Tuladandasana
Stand up straight and raise your arms. Clasp your hands. Lift your left foot off the ground, keeping your back straight. Raise your left leg further upward. Hold the pose.
9. The Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose- Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana
Stand up straight and take a big step to the right with your right leg. Stretch your leg to the right. Stretch your arms outward and bend forward towards the ground.
Reach your hands towards your feet and hold your ankles. Lower your torso further down until your head touches the floor. Hold the pose.
10. The Triangle Pose- Trikonasana
Stand up straight and bend towards the right. Raise your left hand and allow your right hand to touch the floor. Keep your right foot to the right. Bend your right knee and stretch your left leg outward. Turn your head left and look up toward your left hand. Hold the pose.
11. The Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose – Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana
Stand up straight with your feet together. Raise your arms and join your hands together above your head. Move your right leg towards the right and turn your right foot towards the right.
Tuck your chin into your chest and bend your torso towards the right until your head touches your right knee. Hold the pose and then repeat for the other side.
12. The Tree Pose – Tadasana
Stand up straight with your feet together. Put your hands together in prayer against your chest. Raise your right foot.
Bend at the knee and place your right foot on the thigh of your left leg near the root of the left thigh. Square your shoulders and keep your left leg straight. Hold the pose.
13. The Toe Stand – Padangusthasana
Stand up straight with your arms by the side. Bend your right knee towards your chest and place your right foot on your left knee.
Bend down on your left leg and rest your weight on the heel of your left foot. Bring your hands together in prayer against your chest. Hold the pose.
14. The Dead Body Pose – Savasana
Lie down on your back with your legs slightly apart. With your hands by your sides, face your palms upwards. Close your eyes, inhale and exhale deeply. Hold the pose.
15. The Wind-Relieving Pose – Pavanamuktasana
Lie down on your back with your feet together and arms placed along the sides of your body. Wrap your hands around your right knee.
Pull your knee towards your chest and press your thigh on your abdomen. Keep your neck and left leg straight and square your shoulders. Hold the pose.
16. The Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana
Lie down on your stomach with your toes together, and your arms by your sides. Place your palms at your sides near your chest, face downwards while gently pressing into the floor.
Push up with your palms and lift your head, chest, and stomach from the floor. Bend your arms slightly at the elbows and square your shoulders. Hold the pose.
17. The Locust Pose – Salabhasana
Lie down on your stomach with your chin touching the floor and your heels together. Place your arms under your abdomen with your palms facing down and fingers spread out.
Lift your right and left legs. Lift your chin and place your mouth on the floor. Place your legs together, apply pressure through your hands, and lift both your legs simultaneously. Hold the pose.
18. The Full Locust Pose – Poorna-Salabhasana
Lie flat on your stomach. Stretch your arms out at the sides with the palms facing downwards. Keep your legs together. Lift your head, chest, and torso off the floor.
Lift your arms along with them, stretching them outward, with the palms facing down as you do so. Lift your legs off the floor. Hold the pose.
19. The Bow Pose – Dhanurasana
Lie down on your stomach. Keep your arms along the sides of your body. Keep your legs hip-width apart. Bend your knees and stretch out your arms to hold your ankles.
Lift your chest and legs off the floor and pull your legs back by applying pressure on your ankles with your hands. Look straight and hold the pose.
20. The Fixed Firm Pose – Supta-Vajrasana
Sit down and place your palms underneath you with your fingers facing forward. Bend yourself backward, keeping your forearms and elbows on the ground.
Hold the weight of your torso on your elbows and look straight forward. Reach for your toes with your hands and hold them. Hold the pose.
21. The Half Tortoise Pose – Ardha-Kurmasana
Sit down and raise your arms. Put your hands together and entwine your thumbs. Keep your arms straight out, with your biceps against your ears.
Now, bend down from your waist and lower your torso towards the ground. Touch the ground with your forehead and little fingers. Hold the pose.
22. The Camel Pose – Ustrasana
Kneel on your Yoga mat and put your hands on your hips. Face the soles of your feet upwards and keep your knees and shoulders in a straight line.
Bend your body backwards gently and grasp the soles of your feet with your fingers. With your arms straight, look up to the ceiling. Hold the pose.
23. The Rabbit Pose – Sasangasana
Sit down and raise your buttocks off your heels. With your arms by your sides and your back straight, bend from the waist forward and round your back. Rest your forehead on your thighs, and reach your arms out backward, reaching for the soles of your feet. Rest your thumbs on your ankles with your other fingers touching the soles of your feet. Hold the pose.
24. The Head To Knee Pose & Stretching Pose – Janushirasana & Paschimotthanasana
Sit down with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your left leg and place your heel near your rear, resting the rest of your foot on your inner thigh.
Raise your arms overhead and bend forward towards your right leg, while bending at the elbows and holding the big toe of your right foot with your hands. Rest your head on your right knee. Hold the pose.
25. The Spine-Twisting Pose – Ardha-Matsyendrasana
Sit down and extend your legs out in front of you and put your feet together. Bend your left leg, move it over your right leg, and place your left foot close to your right thigh.
Bend your right leg and move it closer to your pelvis. Press the sole of your right foot against your left buttock. Bend your torso to the left and look straight over your left shoulder.
Keeping your back straight, move your left arm behind you and rest your palm on your back. Extend your right arm and hold your right knee with your right hand. Hold the pose.
26. Skull Shining Breathing Technique – Kapalbhati Pranayama
Sit down cross-legged and place your palms on your knees in a meditative pose. Inhale deeply as you pull your stomach in towards your back. Relax, then exhale strongly, and follow it up by an automatic inhalation. Repeat this for 20 counts.
Now that you know the 26 asanas (or body postures) that Bikram Yoga consists of, you can reap the benefits of practicing this style of Yoga. Remember, it may take you a while to form the postures correctly, but as you practice more and become more familiar with the poses you will find significant improvements to your mental and physical health.
Setting the temperature in your studio or home to around 40 degrees will make your session more intense and bring a myriad of health benefits to your Yoga routine. We hope that this guide has helped you to get started on your Bikram Yoga journey to better health and well-being.
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