The System of Bikram Yoga Poses
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+2 series that has 84 postures and are often referred to as the advanced class by Bikram Choudhury's guru "Yogindra" Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the self-realization fellowship.
This hot yoga series which Bikram calls Bikram's beginning yoga class, is performed in a room 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 starts 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 the whole class
- Eyes open the 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
Breathing in Bikram Yoga
In Bikram yoga, like any other yoga style, 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.
- 80/20 breathing: You fill the lungs completely, and in the posture, you just let 20 percent of the air out through the nose because the pose requires air in the lungs to maintain proper strength. This breathing is mostly in the 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 of the Bikram Yoga poses. If they are not in this order and practiced in a room with 40 degrees Celcius (105 degrees Fahrenheit), It should not be called Bikram yoga's beginner class. This sequence of postures is practiced if it is your first yoga class or if you are ten years into your practice. You always practice after your ability for the day. Try your earnest, and you will receive 100% benefit.
"Never too old, never too bad, never too late, and never too sick to start from scratch once again." Bikram Choudhury
Pranayama - Standing deep breathing
Feet together, toes and heels touching, knuckles to the chin at all times
Interlace your fingers to make a nice and tight grip, and straighten your arms completely
Stomach in, chin up, chest up, body weight in the heels, sit down more
Squeeze your knees together, pull your elbows down
Stomach in, kick heel forward, lock the knee
Dandayamana dhanurasana - Standing bow pulling pose
Hold your foot from the inside at the ankle, kick right back, and up
Come down until your whole body is parallel to the floor, and stretch and stretch and stretch.
Pick up your heels from outside, body weight on toes, chin away from the chest
Stretch up and down like a natural human traction
Stretch up, tuck your chin into your chest, round your spine
Tadasana - Tree pose
Stand tall, straighten your spine, firm buttocks, lock the knee.
Fold from the hip, sit on the heel, palms together in namaskar
Heels together, palm open, eyes open, mouth closed.
Tight grip, elbows in, pull the knee down towards the shoulder.
Feet together, flex your toes, arms overhead, sit up, double exhale
Elbows in and down, chin away from the chest, look up and lift up.
Salabhasana - Locust pose
Kiss the towel, lift both legs, don't give up
Poorna Salabhasana - Full locust pose
Inhale, look up, arms up and back
Chin away from the chest, look up, kick and kick.
Inhale, lift chest, and knees together
Active stretch, keep stretching forward, sit down on your heels
Hips forward, chest up, chin up, look back, inhale, go back
Little weight on the head, stomach in, and hips up
Good grip with interlaced fingers, elbows in, face closer to stomach
Find length on inhale, twist on exhale.
Kapalabhati in vajrasana - Blowing in firm pose
Spine straight, relax the belly, passive inhale, and actively exhale through the lips.
Bikram beginning yoga class audio recording with Esak Garcia
- 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, and coming in and out of a pose should be done slowly.
- You are changing the body's construction, 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 benefits could be:
- Increases flexibility
- Stimulates internal organs
- Moving fresh blood to increase circulation
- Can reduce lower back pain
- Stimulate the digestive system, Improve digestion
- Improves concentration
- Clears the mind
- It helps with rheumatism and arthritis
- Stimulates immune system