Bikram yoga isn’t for the faint of heart! Practiced in 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% humidity for 90 minutes, this revolutionary yoga practice has drawn in a massive range of followers, but in recent years has also attracted many detractors.
Particularly due to the abuse suffered by the hands of the practice’s founder – Bikram Choudhary – and his hateful views towards POC and LGBTQIA folks.
In this article, we’ll take you through the 26 poses of Bikram yoga.
The 26 Bikram Yoga Poses
Awkward Pose (Utkatasana)
Stand up tall, with your feet hip-width apart. Stretch your arms straight in front of you with your palms facing the ground.
Bend at your knees like you’re sitting on an invisible chair, being careful not to fall back!
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Lie on your belly, spreading your legs slightly. Bend your knees and reach your arms back to grasp your ankles.
Raise your chest and legs, deepening the stretch by pulling through your arms. Remember to keep your gaze straight ahead.
Balancing Stick Pose (Tuladandasana)
Stand up straight, bring your palms together and lift your arms skyward, with your index fingers pointing forward.
Hinge at your hips and raise a foot behind you, all the while keeping a straight spine. Swap over.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Lie on your belly and align your hands with your shoulders. Keep your palms down with your elbows flush to your ribs and pointing up towards the ceiling.
Press off the ground gently before lifting your head, chest, and belly off the ground.
Your back should be the part of your body hard at work here, not your hands.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Lie on your back, with your eyes closed and breathe through your nose deeply.
Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
Stand up straight and lift your arms above your head, bringing your palms together into a prayer mudra.
Bend at your hips allow your torso to fall to one side, so you can feel the stretch in your convex side.
Eagle Pose (Garurasana)
Bend your knees and stack one knee over the other. Cross your elbows and bring your palms together, just under your nose.
Tap into your core and press your knees and thighs tightly together, and then swap over.
Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
Lie face down on your mat and stretch your arms to the side, aligned with your shoulders while also ensuring your hands are below your shoulder blades.
When you’re ready, draw strength from your thighs and buttocks and raise your legs off the ground.
Full Locust Pose
This pose is very similar to the pose above, but this time you breathe out and raise your chest and head off the floor, with your legs soon to follow. Maintain the pose.
Standing Deep Breathing Pose (Pranayama)
Stand up tall and straight in Mountain Pose, elongating your spine and the crown of your head.
Bring your forearms and palms together, carefully pushing your chin back so your head tips back too.
Remember to breathe slowly and steady through your nose and down into your belly (see also: Belly Breathing Vs Chest Breathing) (see also: Belly Breathing Vs Chest Breathing) (see also: Belly Breathing Vs Chest Breathing) .
Standing Head To Knee Pose (Dandayamana Janushirasana)
Place your weight on one foot, keeping your standing leg firm.
Raise your other leg and grasp your foot, carefully extending it straight in front of you.
You should attempt to bring your chest to your extended legs. Then, swap over.
Standing Bow Pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana)
Raise one of your legs at the inner ankle with your hand. Stretch your other leg to the ceiling, with your palms facing upward.
Kick your lifted leg back and up, hinging forward a little with your torso.
You should feel your spine arch back. Imagine your foot moving past the top of your head. Then, swap legs.
Standing Separate-Leg Stretching Pose (Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana)
Step your right foot over to the right. With your spine straight, bend over until you can grab your heels.
Engage your arms to get a deeper stretch until your head meets the ground.
The wider you step, the easier this pose will be.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Stand up straight, with your feet spread wide. With a straight waist, bend towards the right and raise your left hand above you, rooting yourself with your right.
Bend your right knee, stretch your left leg and lift your gaze to your extended arm. Repeat on the left side.
Standing Separate Head To Knee Pose (Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana)
With your feet together, lift your arms above your head in a steeple position.
Step your right foot out and tilt it 90 degrees, bringing your head, arms, torso, and hips with you. Make sure your hips are square.
Tuck your chin to your chest and fold your torso over your right thigh so your head touches your knees. Repeat on the left side.
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Focus your gaze on a point in front of you and place your weight onto one leg, gradually lifting the other off the ground.
Bring the foot that is lifted to the inside of your thigh on your straight leg, pressing the sole of your foot hard against it.
Keep your pelvis square so that it’s straight and extend your arms to the ceiling with your palms together. Maintain the pose for 30 seconds before swapping legs.
Toe Stand Pose (Padangustasana)
Bend your right knee towards your chest and rest your foot on your left knee.
Bend your straight leg, resting your buttocks on your left heel. Bring your hands together in a prayer mudra.
Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
Lie on your back and lift your right knee to your chest before clasping your hands around it.
Make sure to keep your shoulders square and your neck straight. Then, swap over!
Sit Up Pose (Padahastasana)
Sit with your legs extended in front of you, with your back straight and your torso to your knees. Rest your head there, and reach for your toes to get an even deeper stretch.
Fixed Firm Pose (Supta Vajrasana)
Sit in Vajrasana and put your palms next to your buttocks.
Bend back with your forearms and elbows on the floor so they can support your weight. If you’re able to, clasp your toes.
Half Tortoise (Ardha Kurmasana)
Again, sit in Vajrasana and raise your arms to the ceiling, with your arms straight and palms together.
Hinge at the waist and lower your chest to the ground. See if you can bring your forehead to the ground too!
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
In a kneeling position with your hands on your hips, slightly bend backwards and grasp your feet.
Keep your arms straight and bring your gaze to the ceiling.
Rabbit Pose (Sasankasana)
Sit in Vajrasana and slightly lift your buttocks from your heels.
Hinge forward at the waist and gently bend your back, bringing your forehead to your thighs. Bring your thumbs to your ankles.
Sitting Head To Knee Stretching Pose (Janushirasana-Paschimottanasana)
Sit down and stretch your legs in front of you. Bend your left leg and bring your heel to your groin, resting the sole of your foot on your inner thigh.
Stretch tall with your arms and bend over your straight leg, bringing your head to your knee.
Half Lord Of The Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Sitting down, stretch your legs in front of you and cross your left leg over your right leg, with your left foot close to your right thigh.
Then, cross your right leg up towards your pelvis.
Root your left hand behind you on the ground and grasp your right knee.
Keeping your back straight, twist your torso and look over your left shoulder before swapping over.
Skull Shining Breathing (Kapalbhati Pranayama)
Sit in a cross-legged position in Sukhasana and place your hands on your knees, with your palms facing up.
Sit up straight and tall, bringing your navel to the spine.
Slowly and deeply breathe in through your nose before breathing out sharply through your mouth.
Repeat this as many times as you need to, remembering to stay still and tune in to your body.
Despite the controversy surrounding its founder, we hope that our guide to Bikram yoga helps to add a little heat to your practice!
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