Definition of Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga is a type of yoga that involves a sequence of set poses. This yoga is usually done in a hot room at or above body temperature. It was an incarnation of yoga that was popularized by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s in California.
Bikram Yoga practice includes repeating the same 26 poses in set cycles for over 90 minutes. The yoga instructors go through a nine-week training program which helps them to learn the set practice and dialogue. At the present time, there are more than 1,650 Bikram yoga studios around the world.
The pose practice in this yoga is chosen by the Choudhury from classic Hatha poses. Those poses are designed to “systematically move fresh and oxygenated blood to 100 percent of your body and to each organ and fiber”.
How is Bikram Yoga performed?
The rooms in which Bikram yoga are performed are heated, in many cases up to a sweltering 105 degrees Fahrenheit (i.e. 41 degrees Celsius) and kept at fairly high humidity which is usually about 40 percent. Like the two sides of a coin, Bikram yoga and hot yoga are two different yogas. Hot yoga is the type of yoga practice that can be practice in a hot room. The rooms of hot yoga are in times not as hot as its room. Choudhury refers to Bikram yoga rooms as “torture chambers”.
Benefits of Bikram yoga
The benefits of Bikram yoga :
- It builds strength, flexibility, balance, and enormous toleration.
- It prevents chronic illness and injuries.
- Also, it helps in weight loss and toning.
- It improves posture.
- It promotes better sleep.
- Similarly, it deepens the sense of well being, vibrant health, and a peaceful mind.
- It teaches you how to breathe fully and correctly.
- It maintains youthful appearance (oxygenation and cleansing improves skin tone).
- Furthermore, it reduces stress.
- It improves heart and lung capacity.
- It eliminates back pain.
- Also, it combines the left and right hemispheres of the brain which improves memory, learning, coordination and balance.
- It builds mental strength by holding your mind in a focused meditative state.
You might also love to read about Ashtanga Yoga: Primary series, Poses, and sequences.
Like other yoga, Bikram yoga also has many poses which are listed below:
- Standing Deep Breathing: Pranayama
- Half Moon Pose
- Awkward Pose
- Eagle Pose
- Standing Head-to-Knee Pose
- Standing Bow-Pulling Pose
- Balancing Stick Pose
- Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
- Triangle Pose
- Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose
- Tree Pose
- Toe Stand
- Corpse Pose
- Wind Removing Pose
- Sit Up
- Cobra Pose
- Locust Pose
- Full Locust Pose
- Bow Pose
- Fixed Firm Pose
- Half Tortoise Pose
- Camel Pose
- Rabbit Pose
- Head-to-Knee Pose and Stretching Pose
- Spine Twisting Pose
- Blowing in Firm
The poses like triangle pose, tree pose, eagle pose and cobra pose are common to hatha yoga poses. The yoga should be done in a specific, unchanging order, so that we can achieve the desired benefits. The standard Bikram pose chain does not include inversion poses such as headstands which are typically found in yoga classes because it is difficult for beginners to do them safely. In advanced Bikram classes, the instructor may lead students in inversion poses.
The postures of Bikram yoga includes two types of series. They are:
1) The standing series
- Deep Breathing (Pranayama)
- Half Moon with Hands to Feet Pose (Ardha-Chandrasana with Padahastasana)
- Awkward Pose (Utkatasana)
- Eagle Pose (Garurasana)
- Standing Head to Knee Pose (Dandayamana-Janushirasana)
- Standing Bow Pose (Dandayamana-Dhanurasana)
- Balancing Stick Pose (Tuladandasana)
- Standing Separate leg Stretching Pose (Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana)
- Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
- Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose (Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana)
- Tree Pose (Tadasana)
- Toe Stand Pose (Padangustasana)
2) The floor series
- Dead Body Pose (Savasana)
- Wind Removing Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
- Cobra (Bhujangasana)
- Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
- Full Locust Pose (Poorna-Salabhasana)
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Fixed Firm Pose (Supta-Vajrasana)
- Half Tortoise Pose (Ardha-Kurmasana)
- Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
- Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
- Head to Knee with Stretching Pose (Janushirasana meet Paschimotthanasana)
- Spine Twisting Pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana)
- Blowing in Firm (Kapalbhati in Vajrasana)
- Dead Body Pose (Savasana)