All 26 Poses of Bikram Yoga
| April 9, 2009
Yoga is one of the most ancient practices, which was invented in India, by Hindu Yogis more than 2,500 years ago. In the recent times though, Yoga has become popular all over the world and is commonly used by people of all ages. This is because there are numerous health benefits associated with this practice, which could include physical benefits, emotional benefits, mental benefits and also emotional benefits. Hence, yoga is regarded as being indispensable to the ultimate accomplishment in a person’s life. The basic principles of yoga are believed to affect not just the conscious mind, but also the subconscious mind. A traditional yoga routine includes three basic techniques, which include asanas (poses), meditation and Pranayama (breath control). Some of the most common health benefits of yoga include strengthening, toning up, relaxation, increasing flexibility, weight loss, better sleep and improved concentration. People use yoga for stomach pain, headaches, backaches and several other health problems.
Unfortunately, there are several people who avoid the practice of Yoga, as they believe that they will not be able to perform the different poses or exercises which are complicated. However, it is important to realize that there are many basic yoga poses that are perfect for beginners. Moreover, there are several different types of yoga, such as Bikram Yoga (also known as hot yoga), hatha yoga, power yoga, ashtanga yoga, vinyasa yoga, iyengar yoga and many more. There are several yoga studios that have special courses on beginner yoga poses. It is quite common to see a beginner yoga routine comprise ashtanga yoga poses, vinyasa yoga poses and in some cases, Bikram yoga poses too. In fact, studies indicate that bikram yoga postures are extremely popular in the west, especially with the younger people. This could be due to the fact that there are many bikram yoga benefits that people know of.
Bikram Yoga Poses
Bikram yoga is usually referred to as Hot Yoga in the United States. This style of Yoga is meant to be practiced in a room, in which the temperature between 100 and 105 degrees F. Bikram Yoga is one of the most strenuous forms of yoga, since there are 26 different poses, which are practiced in one sequence at a stretch. On average, it takes a person around 90 minutes or so, to perform all the 26 bikram poses in one go. Hence this is probably the best yoga discipline, for weight loss purpose. It is believed that bikram yoga calories burned are much higher, as compared to the other disciplines. Given below are the 26 bikram yoga poses, which need to be performed in the specific sequence:
- Pranayama Series: This is an excellent warm up routine for the body
- The Ardha Chandrasana & Pada Hasta Asana: Stand straight, joining hands high above the head, tilting the waist to the side, forming a crescent shape.
- Utkatasana: People may seem to be in an awkward pose, because it looks like they are sitting partially and standing partially.
- Garurasana: This pose is meant to resemble the position in which an eagle stands.
- Dandayamana Janushirasana: There is a lot of flexibility require for this position, as a stretched foot needs to be clasped with both the hands.
- Dandayamana Dhanurasana: It is a challenging pose, where a person needs to stand on one single foot, clasping the other leg, with one hand.
- Tuladandasana: For this pose, the person needs to stand on one foot, the other leg stretched behind, hands stretched forward, so that the body looks like a stick being balanced.
- Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimotthanasana: One of the legs needs to be stretched significantly in this pose.
- Trikonasana: A person needs to stand with the feet apart, in a way that the legs form a triangle. The person needs to then bend sideways, till the hand touches the side of the foot, to form another triangle.
- Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana: In the Standing Separate Leg, Head to Knee Pose a person needs to stretch, as each knee is bent.
- Tadasana: In this pose, a person needs to stand straight, one leg place on the thigh and hands joined in front.
- Padasana: Also called The Toe Stand Pose, this pose requires a person to squat, balancing their bodies on the toes of one foot.
- Shavasana: In this pose, a person needs to be completely relaxed in a way that the body resembles a corpse
- Pavanamuktasana: This is an excellent pose for getting rid of the gas from the body.
- Sit Ups: This is the simplest Yoga pose, which requires a person to sit up, after practicing the corpse pose.
- Bhujangasana: In this pose, a person’s body resembles the manner in which cobra stands, as it gets ready to strike.
- Salabhasana: This pose resembles a locust’s body.
- Poorna Salabhasana: Building on the pervious pose, this bikram yoga pose is more like a comple locust pose
- Dhanurasana: The body needs to be bent in a certain way, so that it resembles an archer’s bow
- Supta Vajrasana: This is one of the easiest poses, as compared to all the other bikram yoga 26 postures.
- Ardha Kurmasana: In this pose, a person’s body is supposed to resemble the body of a tortoise.
- Ustrasasana: This is also known as the Camel Pose, as the shape of the body, resembles a camel.
- Sasangasana: The back is bent in this pose, so that the head touches the floor and the body resembles the body of a rabbit.
- Janushirasana and Paschimotthanasana: This is quite a complicated pose, where the head needs to be brought to the knee.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana: Like the previous pose, this is a very complicated pose too, with which a person may need some assistance.
- Khapalbhati: This refers to a relaxing pose.
There are certain advanced bikram yoga poses too, that people can practice, after achieving a certain level of mastery in the basic bikram yoga poses chart.
Even though there is a correlation between bikram yoga and weight loss, it is important to consult a fitness expert before practicing this style. There are certain bikram yoga risks and dangers that people should be made aware of by instructors training at bikram yoga studios. People who are practicing this form should also make sure that they don the appropriate bikram yoga clothing, to avoid any problems.
Bikram Yoga or “Fire Yoga” or “Hot Yoga” is the conceptualization of Bikram Choudhary, who on the basis of several Hatha Yoga Poses and Pranayama, or breathing exercises, developed this form of yoga. The peculiarity of this form of yoga is that in each session lasting for 90 minutes, 26 yoga poses are performed in a pre-determined sequence and in conjunction with Kapalbhati Pranayam or “breath in firm” breathing technique. It is one of the most dynamic forms of Hatha Yoga and requires total commitment and honesty.
The room where the yoga sessions are held is maintained at a temperature of 105°F and at 40% humidity levels. The reasoning behind this is that heat warms the muscles and ligaments allowing for greater flexibility. Enhanced flexibility allows one to stretch to his maximum potential, thereby attaining a full range of motion required for many of the poses. Heat also induces sweating, thereby helping effective removal of toxins, which clog the body and prevent optimum body functioning. It also burns more calories than other forms of yoga.
Bikram Yoga enables a person to increase his lung capacity and breathe in more oxygen. Oxygen is essential at the cellular and organ level. More often than not low levels of oxygen are the main cause for susceptibility to disease. Increased levels of oxygen also help reduce fat cells thereby aiding weight loss. The endocrine system also benefits from oxygen supply by restoring hormonal balance.
The poses are designed such that they allow for Extension and Compression, which greatly benefits blood circulation. Some of the poses are compressive; they restrict blood supply to a particular body part, thereby forcing the heart to pump more blood in response (Extension). Once the person moves out of the pose and regains normal position, the oxygenated blood rushes to that body part providing it more oxygen than it would under normal condition. This extension and compression detoxifies the body and bacteria, toxins, and other waste products are effectively removed.
Following are the 26 Bikram Yoga poses:
- Pranayama - Deep Breathing
- Ardha Chandrasana with Pada-Hastasana – Half Moon Pose with Hand to Feet Pose
- Utkatasana – Awkward Pose
- Garudasana – Eagle Pose
- Dandayamana Janu-Shirasana – Standing Head to Knee Pose
- Dandayamana Dhanurasana – Standing Bow Pose
- Tuladandasana – Balancing Stick Pose
- Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana – Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
- Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
- Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana – Standing Leg Head to Knee Pose
- Tadasana – Mountain Pose
- Padangustasana – Standing on Toes Pose
- Shavasana – Dead Body Pose
- Pavanamuktasana – Wind Releasing Pose
- Sit up
- Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
- Salabhasana – Locust Pose
- Poorna Salabhasana – Full Locust Pose
- Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
- Supta Vajrasana – Fixed Firm Pose
- Ardha Kurmasana – Half Tortoise Pose
- Ustrasana – Camel Pose
- Shasangasana – Rabbit Pose
- Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana – Head to Knee Pose done with Stretching
- Ardha Matsyendrasana – Spine Twisting Pose
- Khapalbhati – Blowing in Firm Breathing.