Proper Breathing Technique For Bikram Yoga

By pal | September 30, 2008
Proper Breathing Technique For Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is yoga as taught by Bikram Choudhury. This yoga is also known as 'hot' yoga because it is done in a heated room, where the temperature is 105 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity level is maintained between 30- 40%. The idea behind the heat is that through the excessive sweating that is induced, the body gets rid of toxins, a concept similar to the use of sauna baths. In Bikram yoga you go through 26 yoga poses, and the heat also helps to reduce the body’s stiffness and prevents injuries. The time duration to practice the exercises is about 90 minutes. They consist of forward and backward bends and postures that twist the body and stretch the spine in several directions. The exercises begin with a series of standing exercises and finish with floor exercises which include ten sit ups and two breathing exercises called the Victorious ( Ujjayi ) breath and the Shining Skull breath (Kapalabhati).

In yoga, correct breathing is of prime importance. In Bikram yoga, two types of breathing are recommended. Each of the two breaths is used for different poses.

  • The '80-20' breath: Inhale, taking a deep breath such that you feel your rib cage rise. Begin the asana and exhale 20% of your breath. Inhale 20%. Continue with this 20% exhalation and inhalation as you hold the pose. The oxygen is needed to perform the pose. Exhale completely once you finish the pose. The 80-20 breath is used for balance and energy while doing the standing poses and the back-bending ones.
  • he Exhalation breath: You inhale deeply as you begin the pose and then exhale completely as you achieve the pose. The Exhalation breath is used while practicing the forward bending poses. This breath prevents lower back strain, helps the pelvis to rotate properly, tightens the abdominals to tone the body and exercises the digestive organs to help in digestion.

You may find the breathing difficult to do at first, but soon your body will get used to it and you will realize the energy generating value of yogic breathing. Your breathing capacity will also improve.

In Bikram yoga, you need to hold each pose for ten to twenty seconds. Bikram yoga can be done by people of all ages and levels of fitness. People who suffer from arthritis, diabetes and other diseases can also benefit from Bikram Yoga. The body gets toned, exercised and revitalized and achieves a sense of wellbeing.

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