Bikram Yoga Postures & Breathing Exercises
Outlined below is the list of 26 Hatha Yoga postures. We have provided a few tips to remember during your practice. Learning the postures in class and under the supervision of one of our authorized Bikram instructors is a must. Enjoy the amazing healing benefits for a lifetime. As Bikram and his guru have said, "It's never too late, it's never too bad and you are never too old or too sick, to start from scratch again."
Bikram Yoga's twenty-six posture exercises systematically move fresh, oxygenated blood to one hundred percent of your body, to each organ and fiber, restoring all systems to healthy working order, just as Nature intended. Proper weight, muscle tone, vibrant good health, and a sense of well-being will automatically follow.
Deeply inhaling and exhaling to warm up your lungs. Gets your breath flowing and circulation going, preparing you for class. You may feel a little light headed from this exercise.
3 Parts : Side Bending, Back Bending & Forward Bending
Warming up your spine, and lungs on each side. This creates a great stretch down both sides of the body, lengthening your middle and creating a nice waistline overtime.
Tremendous stretching in upper thighs, backs of knees, and calves. Increases flexibility and spurs an increase of blood flow to surrounding area.
3 Parts : Feet Flat, On the Toes & Knees Together on the Toes
Let Strengthening, these make your legs very strong, like doing squats! You will create beautiful strong legs and get your circulation and blood pumping. Warms you up to stretch later.
Warming up the joints here. This posture is good for 14 Major Joints 7 on each side. Plus other benefits!
Creating English Bulldog Determination and Bengal Tiger Stregth. This posture improves Will Power and very humbling pose because you must move step by step and complete each part before moving foward. Balances your blood sugar. Requires lots of core and overall strength.
By this point in class your heart rate is elevated and this posture is here keep the heart pumping. You kick and reach at the same time to achieve this posture. In Bikram Yoga this is our version of Dancers Pose and we ask you to point the toes and grip the foot from the inside. This posture is a spine twist and designed to provide a "marriage of the heart and lungs." Requires a steady slow breath and tremendous concentration.
Good for your heart health! This a powerful posture for achieving and maintaining a strong cardiovascular system. Helps to reduce blood pressure and creates a so-called 'mini heart attack' feeling to prevent one later. Makes the heart muscle STRONG. Best achieved by really using the arms/shoulders, no saggy arms for Tula!
Stretches out your whole spine and especially good for your lower lumber. Helps with sciatica too.
Some have called this the master pose of the standing series, but that is all debatable. One thing is for sure that Trikanasa, if done correctly have amazing overall benefits for the body. Strengthens the legs, core and very good for the heart and lungs. Another marriage of the heart and lungs.
Aka Skinny Pose or Happy Pose as we jokingly refer to this posture because of it's amazing benefits for the endochrine system.
Helps bring proper alignment to the lower body joints, the hips, knees, ankles and feet. Preparation for Toe Stand and also good to center yourself at the end of this standing series. Toe Stand can put pressure on the knees so make sure your knees are healthy, nobody with recent knee surgery should do this posture right away. It may take time for some people to achieve this. Requires tremendous focus and concentration to balance on your toes. Make your toes and feet very strong and improves the arches of your feet.
Your first savansana on the floor marks the beginning of the floor series. You will now do this posture in between each of the floor series postures. Half of of the Bikram Yoga series is standing and the other half is on the floor. This first savasana is the longest break you will get in class. Here you practice open-eyed meditation (please do not close your eyes) and complete stillness. Here you want to breath slowly and normally, no fast breathing. Calm down your breath and your heart in between each posture on the floor series to recharge, revitalized and reenergize! This savasana is where you receive the benefits of each posture so take it very seriously and try to be as still as possible. No moving.
Balancing out the stomach acid, improving digestion. Don't change the interlocked finger grip. Please keep the right grip as taught by your instructor. Mahalo!
Re-engergizing sit up which requires you to aim your forehead to your knees and enhale two times very quickly. Your heels should not come up off the floor here and you should keep your arms and head together.
Strengthens and brings circulation to the lower spine / lumbar region.
This posture is good for your upper spine and elbows, wrists and shoulders. Good for scoliosis, tendonitis, osteoporosis, arthritis and other upper spine conditions. It's like putting braces on your elbows. You can expect them to hurt and feel tender or sore in the beginning, but overtime with consistent practice your elbows will become straighter and feel less tender. It's only a few seconds so you can do anything for a few second and it's really good for you!
This one takes lots of energy for just 10 seconds to peel your whole body off the floor against gravity! Strengthen your entire back and all over your middle spine. Balance only on your hips and fly like a 747 taking off and cruising at the highest altitude! Surfers this is YOUR pose.
Here you strengthen and compress the entire spine. Also referred to as the "master pose" of the spine strengthening series because you really use your whole back top to bottom. This is essentially a backward bend on your belly so you have to use a lot of kicking power from your legs here, while never loosing your grip. A very therapeutic posture and brings lots of circulation and fresh oxygenated blood to all of your internal organs. Tips are to keep a tight grip and try to keep your feet as close as you can throughout the posture.
Good for opening up your ankles and whole foot as well as your knees. Realigns the lower body. The more you lift your chest up in the final expression of the posture then the more benefits you will receive for your internal organs as well.
Bikram claims this posture brings so much relaxation and blood flow to the upper body, and creates such a calming effect on the nervous system that it is liken to 8 hours of sleep. Of course not to replace your sleep but it does balance your sleep wake cycle enough to make you calm so you may sleep very deeply when you do sleep. It's the perfect preparation posture before the next one which is the deepest backbend of the series.
We encourage you not to miss out on this posture during class! This is what you have worked so hard to get warmed up for during this series. Camel Pose is the deepest backbend and you must be very warmed-up, especially as a beginner. This is a word by word posture so listen carefully to your instructor and don't rush to fast in our out of it the posture. Make sure you do not hold your breath the whole time, breath slowly through your nose. Tremendous healing happens as you compress the back of the spine and open the whole front side of your spine top to bottom. Good for your heart, lungs, internal organs and reproductive organs (especially for women). Miracles happen here with the amazing healing benefits of this backward-bend.
This is the opposite stretch from Camel Pose, and the deepest extension of the back of the spine and compression of the front. You stretch your entire spine in this pose.A couple quick tips for this posture : During your first class please JUST WATCH the other students to the first set. Do not try it on the first set. You will learn a lot from watching and listening the first time. When you do attempt the posture remember DO NOT loosen your grip, hold on tight and try not to put too much weight on your head.
Great leg stretching, gently extends tendons and ligaments for a much-needed stretch!
A final good BIG TWIST at the end of class to make sure that you have worked your spine in every direction. Listen carefully to the instructions while your teacher is talking to make sure you have the proper alignment for this posture. It is very important to do with a good set up.
Also called Breath of Fire of Skull Shining Blowing. This comes at the end of class to expel any and all stale air from the lungs. Purifies the body.