The 26 Postures and Poses Of Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga builds every posture on the one before. The combination and order of the postures offers lots of great benefits. At the end of a Bikram Yoga class, oxygen-rich blood will have been delivered to every cell in the body, and you will have moved your spine in all the directions it was designed to move in. This strengthens your nervous system, heals and prevents injuries, strengthens the mind and body, and improves your health.
The postures are ordered partly based on the Western understanding of anatomy, and on the Eastern knowledge of postures, breathing, and meditation. This combination is beneficial for managing many health problems caused by stress, overeating, poor posture, and a busy lifestyle.
Posture 1 – Pranayama or Deep Breathing
This posture gets you ready to concentrate for the lesson. Breathe in through the nose for six counts and out through the move for six counts.
View Pranyama sequence
Posture 2 – Ardha-Chandrasana with Padahastasana or Half Moon with Hands to Feet Pose
The next posture has three parts; the half moon side bend and the half moon backbend and it is combined with the hands to feet pose. Hands to feet is a forward bending stretch where you bend at the hips and stretch the entire length of your spine.
Posture 3 – Utkatasana or Awkward Pose
Arch your lower back, then keep your spine straight and tall to create a strong back and abdominal muscles to support this shape. This works to open your hips, strengthen your ankles, feet, calves and shins, and strengthen the muscles along your spine and abdominal wall.
Posture 4 – Garurasana or Eagle Pose
Twisted arms and legs stretch your shoulders, chest, and lymph nodes. Lift your chest up and arch backwards to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.
Posture 5 – Dandayamana-Janushirasana or Standing Head to Knee Pose
This has four stages that enhance a forward bending arc of the spine. Don’t move onto the next stage until you have achieved the one before.
Posture 6 – Dandayamana-Dhanurasana or Standing Bow Pose
Kick your leg back and up for hip and thigh flexibility, stretch your arms in opposite directions to open your shoulders and chest and bring your upper body down level to the floor to change the blood circulation of the heart.
Posture 7 – Tuladandasana or Balancing Stick Pose
This balancing posture builds strength and flexibility in your ankles and feet. Stretch your fingers as far away from your toes as you can to get a deep stretch on your entire nervous system.
Pose 8 – Pose/Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana or Standing Separate leg Stretching Pose
This stretches the lower back and hamstrings. Bring the head lower than the heart to lower the heart rate.
Pose 9 – Trikonasana or Triangle Pose
This posture is a hip opener, shoulder and chest opener and spine twist. You need a lot of core strength to hold your upper body in the right position.
Pose 10 – Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana or Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose
It is a forward bending compression posture where you compress the front side of the spine and stretch the back.
Pose 11 – Tadasana or Tree Pose
This works on the flexibility of the hip, knee and ankle of the leg that you hold up, as you balance on one foot.
Pose 12 – Padangustasana or Toe Stand Pose
The toe stand should only be attempted once you can keep your heel higher than the level of your pubic bone, you can easily maintain a straight solid standing leg, your hips are level with the floor and you can keep the vertical stretch on your spine.
Pose 13 – Savasana or Dead Body Pose
Stay completely still to let the blood circulation to have as little resistance as possible and work to relax and slow your breathing.
Pose 14 – Pavanamuktasana or Wind Removing Pose
This is a forward bend from the hips, which promotes blood circulation to the hip joint, flexibility for the hip joint and also gives a gentle lower-back stretch.
Pose 15 – Sit Up
View Sit Up
Pose 16 – Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
The cobra pose compresses the lower back and squeezes your kidneys
Pose 17 – Salabhasana or Locust Pose
When done correctly this posture can ease the symptoms of RSI of the hands, wrists and elbows
Pose 18 – Poorna-Salabhasana or Full Locust Pose
This is meant to create pressure in the middle part of the spine.
Pose 19 – Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
This is a big stretch for the front side of the body while strengthening the muscles along your spine.
Pose 20 – Supta-Vajrasana or Fixed Firm Pose
This posture is very good for working on knee or ankle injuries and to give a good stretch to the front side of the body.
This gets you ready for the last and deepest backward bend of a class.
Pose 21 – Ardha-Kurmasana or Half Tortoise Pose
This posture involves constant stretching forward your arms and squeezing together your legs and feet in order to create an active stretch along the whole spine.
Pose 22 – Ustrasana or Camel Pose
In this posture you should aim to create an even backward bend in all parts of the spine, not just the easy parts to bend backward, like the lower back or the neck.
Pose 23 – Sasangasana or Rabbit Pose
Now move the spine in the opposite direction. The goal is to create an even stretch along the entire back side of the spine from the head to the tailbone.
Pose 24 – Janushirasana met Paschimotthanasana or Head to Knee with Stretching Pose
The entire back-side of the legs are stretched as well as the full length of the spine. This posture works best if you can get your legs straight and from there stretch your spine.
Pose 25 – Ardha-Matsyendrasana or Spine Twisting Pose
This is a good hip opener. When you stretch up as tall as you can and twist you get a nice compression and stretch on the front of your abdomen.
Pose 26 – Kapalbhati in Vajrasana or Blowing in Firm
Sit up as tall and straight as you can. Keep your arms straight and strong, pushing down into your legs. Pretend you are sharply blowing out a candle. This makes your belly snap in with each exhale.
Savasana or Dead Body Pose to end
It is the same as the one you do between the floor series postures on your back. The difference is that your eyes are closed.
Give yourself at least two minutes in this position to fully relax and if possible allow your heart rate and breathing to slow down.