Yoga Sequences

Bikram Yoga Poses

Posted on 2019-01-14


Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class


The sequence of the Bikram yoga poses sometimes referred to as the 26+2, is a system of hatha yoga poses and was created sometime in the early seventies by Bikram Choudhury. The 26 postures are picked from the classic 84 series by Bikram Choudhury's guru "Yogindra"  Bishnu Ghosh brother of Paramahansa Yogananda founder of the self-realization fellowship.

The series that Bikram calling Bikram's beginning yoga class is performed in a room that is heated to 40 degrees Celsius and takes around 90 min including the Shavasana. All postures are done twice with a couple of exceptions (Tree pose, Toe stand pose, and Spine twisting pose. The sequence is always practiced the same way and the certified yoga teacher is to follow certain instructions. 


How do I know it is a Bikram yoga class?

  • Class always start with Pranayama deep breathing
  • The sequence of poses is always practiced the same way and the certified yoga teacher is to follow certain instructions. 
  • Breathing through the nose during whole class
  • Eyes open whole class
  • The yoga teacher is not practicing with class, only teaching by verbal instructions and no hands-on corrections
  • Yoga class is alignment focused with a lot of verbal instructions
  • In between all the poses on the floor is a savasana 
  • Class always ends with Kaphalabati

Breathing in Bikram Yoga

In Bikram yoga like any other yoga styles, the breathing is in and out through the nose (normal breathing). But each pose has a particular correct way of breathing. 

  • Normal breathing: In and out through the nose. You never empty the lungs completely.
  • 80/20 breathing: You fill the lungs completely and in the posture, you just let 20 percent of the air in out through the nose, this because the pose requires air in the lungs to maintain proper strength. This breathing is mostly in backbends
  • Exhale of the breath: You start with a full breath in and when entering the posture you exhale completely. This breathing is mostly in forward folds. 

 

Bikram Yoga Poses

Down below is the correct order that postures are practiced also alignment cues you might here in class.


Pranayama - Standing deep breathing

Feet together toes and heels touching, knuckles to the chin at all times

Pranayama


Ardha chandrasana with Pada hastasana - Half moon pose with hands to feet pose

Interlace your fingers make a nice and tight grip, straighten your arms completely 

Bikram half moonPadahastasanaBackbend

Utkatasana  - Awkward pose

Stomach in, chin up, chest up, body in the heels, sit down more

Utkatasanaawkward poseutkatasana

Garurasana - Eagle pose

Squeeze your knees together, pull your elbows down


Dandayamana janushirasana - Standing head to knee pose

Stomach in, kick heel forward, lock the knee

standing head to knee pose

Dandayamana dhanurasana - Standing bow pulling pose

Hold your foot from the inside at the ankle, kick right back an up 


Tuladandasana - Balancing stick pose

Come down until your whole body is parallel to the floor, stretch and stretch and stretch

balancing stick

Dandayamana bibhaktapada paschimotthanasana - Standing separate leg stretching pose

Pick up your heels from outside, body weight on toes, chin away from chest

Standing separate leg stretching pose

Trikanasana - Triangle pose

Stretch up and down like a natural human traction

triangle pose bikram

Dandayamana bibhaktapada janushirasana -  Standing separate leg head to knee pose

Stretch up, tuck your chin into your chest, round your spine

separate leg head to knee

Tadasana - Tree pose

Stand tall, straighten spine, firm buttock, lock the knee

tree pose

Padangustasana - Toe stand pose

Fold from the hip, sit on the heel, palms together in namaskar


Savasana - Dead body pose

Heels together, palm open, eyes open, mouth closed


Pavanamuktasana - Wind removing pose

Tight grip, elbows in, pull the knee down towards the shoulder


Situp

Feet together, flex your toes, arms overhead, sit up double exhale


Bhujangasana - Cobra pose

Elbows in and down, chin away from the chest, look up and lift up

cobra pose

Salabhasana - Locust pose

Kiss the towel, lift both legs up, don't give up

locust pose

Poorna Salabhasana - Full locust pose

Inhale, look up, arms up and back


Dhanurasana - Bow pose

Chin away from chest, look up, kick and kick

bow

Supta vajrasana - Fixed firm pose

Inhale lift chest, knees together

supta vajrasana

Ardha kurmasana - Half tortoise pose

Active stretch, keep stretching forward, sit down on heels

ardha kurmasana

Ustrasasna - Camel pose

Hips forward, chest up, chin up, look back, inhale go back

camel

Sasangasana - Rabbit pose

Little weight on head, stomach in and hips up

rabbit

Janushirasana with paschimottanasana - Head to knee with stretching pose

Good grip with interlaced fingers, elbows in, face closer to stomach

head to kneestretching

Ardha Matsyendrasana - Spine twisting pose

Find length on inhale, twist on exhale

spine twist

Kapalabhati in vajrasana - Blowing in firm pose

Spine straight, relax the belly, passive inhale and active exhale through lips






Bikram beginning yoga class audio recording with Esak Garcia 

Precautions

  • You should not eat before yoga class. 2-3 hours is a good rule of thumb to stay away from an unpleasant experience
  • Hatha yoga must be practiced mindfully, coming in and out of a pose should be done slowly.
  • You are changing the construction of the body so small steps are necessary with tiny changes in the poses. Treat them like a baby learning how to walk with baby steps.


What are the benefits of Bikram hot yoga?

Some benefit could be: 

  • Increases flexibility
  • Stimulates internal organs
  • Moving fresh blood to increase circulation
  • Can reduce lower back pain
  • Stimulate the digestive system, Improved digestion
  • Improves concentration
  • Clears the mind
  • Helps with rheumatism and arthritis 
  • Stimulates immune system

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