A Complete Guide on Bikram Yoga Poses (26 Poses)
Do you want to learn Bikram Yoga Poses?
Are you aware of Bikram Yoga 26 Poses and their benefits?
Yoga is a very vast science which can be used to bring an excellent balance in your body, mind, intellect, and life. It involves postures combined with breathing techniques that create a calmness in your entire system. There are different forms of yoga and one of them is “Bikram Yoga”.
Who is Bikram Choudhury?
Bikram yoga was founded by Bikram Chaudhary in the late 1900s. Bikram Choudhury started learning yoga when he was in his 20’s after an accident. Doctors had given up on him and told that he would never be able to walk again. But with the help of Yoga and his teacher Bishnu Charan Ghosh he was fully recovered in just 6 months. Though he is a controversial person, no one can deny that he founded Bikram yoga studious which benefited many people in healing.
His yoga studious became a huge hit in the United States after which he started training more people to conduct the classes. At present, there are thousands of certified instructors and his studios are famous all over the world.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga is a set of 26 yoga asanas which are performed in sequence with specific breathing patterns. All the asanas and pranayamas are done in a heated room at a temperature of 40-degree Celcius and 40% humidity in 90 minutes.
This feature in Bikram Yoga helps to remove the toxins through sweating. This also helps in weight loss and calms the mind. Stress is one of the main reasons for many illnesses including obesity, hypertension, PCOD etc(1). Bikram Yoga Poses helps to relax and rejuvenate.
Many times due to excessive sweating people feel dehydrated after the sessions, so it is advised to hydrate well throughout the day when you start attending the classes. All the classes of Bikram Yoga are conducted by trained instructors and it is the same sequence everywhere. You can also try yoga for weight gain.
If you have any health conditions explain it to the instructor so that you get appropriate help.
Asanas Performed in Bikram Yoga
Each asana performed in the Bikram Yoga recruits a different set of muscles. Combined with a specific breathing pattern, it detoxifies and heals your body. Let’s have a look at the asanas
1. Pranayama (Deep Breathing)
This pranayama will help you calm down and will help to adjust your body with the environment.
How to do
- Sit in Sukhasana and take long deep breaths.
- Focus on your breathing and loosen your shoulders.
- Continue for 5 minutes.
2. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
It will help you ease side abdomen muscles. Ardha Chandrasana strengthens your legs, buttocks, and spine. It relieves stress, reduces depression and brings a balance in your body.
How to do
- Stand straight and keep your weight equally on both the feet.
- Raise your hands to join them in the prayer pose.
- Keeping your elbows straight bend towards your right side.
- Do not bend your knees.
- Repeat the same with the left side.
3. Utkatasana (Awkward Pose)
How to do
- Utkastasana means sitting on a chair but an imaginary one.
- Stand straight on the mat and raise both your hands up.
- Look straight and sit on the imaginary chair.
- Keep your spine erect.
- Hold as long as you can and relax.
4. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
It helps to improve concentration and balances the entire body and mind.
How to do
- Stand straight on a mat.
- Bend your left knee slightly and wrap your right knee on it.
- Bring your palms in front of your face with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
- Wrap your right hand on your left hand.
- Hold as much as you can and relax.
5. Dandayamana- Janushirasana (Standing Head to Knee Pose)
It is a challenging forward bending pose. It helps to improve body balance and confidence. Since it is a challenging pose, it helps to develop your will power. You will need time and practice to do this pose perfectly.
How to do
- Stand straight on your mat.
- Gradually raise your right leg such that it is parallel to the ground.
- Now, hold your right foot with both the palms. You may bend your elbows.
- Bend your head and try to touch it to your right knee.
- Stay still in the pose as much as you can. And relax.
Here is a video on Bikram Yoga Poses by Maggie Grove
Other Bikram yoga Pose are
6. Dandayamana- Dhanurasana (Standing Bow Pose)
7. Tuladandasana (Balancing Stick Pose)
8. Dandayamana- Bibhaktapada- Pashchimottanasana (Standing Seperate Leg-Stretching Pose)
9. Trikonasana(Traingle Pose)
10. Dandayamana- Bibhaktapada- Janushirasana (Standing Separate Head to Knee Pose)
11. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
12. Padangustasana (Toe Stand Pose)
13. Savasana (Dead Body Pose)
14. Pavanamuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)
15. Padahastasana (Sit Up Pose)
16. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
17. Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
18. Poorna Salabhasana (Full Locust Pose)
19 Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
20. Supta Vajrasana (Fixed Firm Pose)
21. Ardha Kurmasana (Half Tortoise)
22. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
23. Sasankasana (Rabbit Pose)
24. Janushirasana-Paschimottanasana (Sitting Head To Knee Stretching Pose)
25. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Spine Twisting Pose)
26. Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breathing Technique)
The Breathing pattern in all the above asanas is
- Take a deep breath in and assume the pose.
- Hold the pose and exhale completely.
- Again breathe in while you assume the next pose and continue.
The breathing pattern is simple but sometimes it becomes difficult to continue the pattern. So, it is recommended to start slowly and again continue the breathing as soon as you realize you have lost the flow. Try Yoga for high blood pressure, it is very effective.
After performing 12 asanas continuously, you get to relax in Shavasana followed by 7 challenging supine poses. Then the next 6 poses are seated yoga poses. The session is ended with Kapalbhati Pranayama which is very powerful in flushing out toxins.
Along with these, various other yoga asanas like Surya Namaskar, are very helpful in overall well being.
Advantages of Bikram Yoga
- Bikram Yoga helps you detoxify by flushing out toxins through breath and sweat(2).
- You will start losing excess fat.
- It calms you down and reduces anger, anxiety.
- Improved sleep quality.
- It improves your flexibility. Also, a yoga to increase height.
- You start feeling balanced and focussed.
- It energizes and rejuvenates you.
- You will feel that all the chatter in your mind has stopped for and you have calmed down.
- Excessive dehydration can be harmful to people with cardiovascular problems, hypertension.
- It may also cause heatstroke and dehydration to many people.
- You may feel nauseated due to the sweaty smelly environment.
However, these things can be taken care of. Let see how
- If you have cardiovascular history, share it with the instructor and you will be guided accordingly.
- Increase your water intake throughout the day when you start Bikram yoga classes.
- Reach the class before 15 minutes to let your body adjust to the environment.
- Wear short and comfortable clothes to let your body breathe throughout the session.
- Do not overstretch and overforce any asana on you. Do as much as you can and slowly increase the pace.
Bikram Yoga Vs Hot Yoga
Bikram yoga is often confused with Hot yoga as both are done in a hot and humid environment. But both are very different. Hot yoga is done in any heated room without any specific sequence whereas Bikram yoga has a predefined sequence.
Also, Bikram Yoga poses are derived from traditional hatha yoga and hot yoga is generally vinyasa yoga (linked yoga) sequence.