Living a fast and tiresome life in the 21st century has affected our minds and bodies. Medication and exercise are techniques practiced by human being for as long as we have lived on mother earth. There are many forms of exercise but one form that has been present since centuries and stood the test of time is Yoga. Yoga not only focuses on body but it is also a form of medication that relaxes mind and keeps the diseases at bay if practiced properly. Bikram Yoga is a form of yoga that has taken its inspiration from ancient yoga and transformed it so that people of today can practice it in their blazingly fast schedules.
History of Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga was introduced by Bikram Chaudhry. Yoga has been practiced in a one to one setup since centuries. But this is not possible nowadays as yoga has become so popular, you cannot have a teacher for each and every student. Keeping this issue in mind, Bikram Chaudhry designed his own technique which now we know as Bikram Yoga. The benefit was that Bikram Chaudhry took inspiration from traditional style of yoga and made it accessible to the masses as Bikram yoga can be practiced within a group of 20 to 30 people at once.
Why choose Bikram Yoga?
- Bikram Yoga has made it easier for a normal person to follow
- Bikram Yoga trainers are certified by Bikram Chaudhry himself
- In 2006 there were 1650 Bikram Yoga studios accessible worldwide and that number increases as time is passing
- This technique is designed in such a way that beginners will have no issues starting
- Bikram not only focuses on physical movements but also respiratory practices
Ideal Environment for Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga is a hot yoga style and is practiced in a heated room with temperature of 40° C with humidity of 40%. This hot and humid environment benefits in warming up the muscles and discarding harmful toxins in the body in the form of sweat.
The Techniques Explained Further
Bikram Yoga is a synthesized technique of a more traditional Hatha yoga. Hatha Yoga is one of oldest form of yoga. It focuses on asanas (Physical Movement) and Respiratory (Breathing Techniques). Driven from Hatha, Bikram yoga also focuses on these two main parts. Breathing exercises help in maintaining good oxygen flow to the body that helps in making the lungs stronger and soothing the mind and fight depression.
The 26 Bikram Yoga Poses
Bikram Yoga consists of 26 different asanas (postures) and two breathing exercises that are taught in a 90 mins’ cycle. Following is the introduction and benefits of the bikram yoga poses as told by Bikram Chaudhry himself
Standing Deep Breathing – the first bikram yoga pose
- Helps in prevention of respiratory diseases and strengthens lungs
- Better oxygen intake
Half Moon Pose – the second bikram yoga pose
- This pose strengthens the bodies core muscles
- Firms and tones the waistline, hips, abdomen, buttocks and thighs.
Awkward Pose – the third bikram yoga pose
- This focuses on legs.
- It also helps relieve rheumatism and arthritis in the legs.
Eagle Pose – the fourth bikram yoga pose
- Eagle posture opens up the 14 largest joints in the skeletal system.
- Eagle Pose benefits with flexibility and supplies blood to different organs of the body.
Standing Head to Knee Pose – the fifth bikram yoga pose
- Strengthens the hamstrings and leg muscles.
- Also focuses on back, the biceps and the triceps.
Standing Bow – the sixth bikram yoga pose
- Improves blood circulation form one side of the body to the other
- It improves balance
- It improves the flexibility and strength of the lower spine.
- Spiritual affects are patience, determination and concentration.
Balancing Stick – the seventh bikram yoga pose
- Better blood circulation from the heart to the brain.
- Strengthens powers of concentration.
Standing Separate Leg Pose – the eighth bikram yoga pose
- It massages the internal abdominal organs and the small and large intestines, and gives added flexibility in the pelvis, ankles, hip joints.
Triangle Pose – the ninth bikram yoga pose
- It improves every single bone, muscle, joint, tendon and internal organ, and it revitalizes nerves, veins and tissues.
- Triangle Pose also benefits the heart and lungs, forcing them to work together.
Standing Separate Head to Knee Pose – the tenth bikram yoga pose
- Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose trims the abdomen, waistline, hips, buttocks and thighs.
Tree Pose – the eleventh bikram yoga pose
- The Tree Pose improves posture and balance and increases the flexibility of the ankles and knees as well as the hip joints.
- Prevents hernia.
Toe Stand – the twelfth bikram yoga pose
- Opens up the knee and hip joints, and helps cure hemorrhoid problems.
- Develops mental strength.
Dead Body Pose – the thirteenth bikram yoga pose
- Dead Body Pose facilitates blood flow
- Relaxes body and mind
Wind Removing Pose – the fourteenth bikram yoga pose
- It strengthens the arms, prevents flatulence, improves hip flexibility, and firms the abdomen and thighs.
Cobra – the fifteenth bikram yoga pose
- Cobra Pose strengthens the lumber spine, relieving pain and combating slipped or herniated discs, scoliosis and arthritis in that region.
- Other important benefits include improved digestion, relief from menstrual disorders, improved appetite, and raising low blood pressure.
- Cobra Pose also improves the functioning of the liver and spleen.
Locust Pose – the sixteenth bikram yoga pose
- Locust Pose has many of the same benefits as Cobra, but it is even better for slipped discs and sciatica.
- It strengthens the upper spine, and the uncomfortable stretching of the arms can actually relieve tennis elbow.
- Locust can also help with varicose veins in the legs.
Full Locust Pose – the seventeenth bikram yoga pose
- Full Locust increases strength in the middle spine which is good for scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylosis and slipped discs.
- This kind of pose opens up the rib cage and increases elasticity there.
- It also firms the abdominal muscles, upper arms, hips and thighs.
Bow Pose – the eighteenth bikram yoga pose
- Bow Pose opens up the rib cage, which allows the lungs to expand more fully.
- This 360-degree flexion of the spine revitalizes all the spinal nerves by increasing circulation, and strengthens the spine along its entire length.
- Besides helping with all manner of back problems, Bow Pose aids digestion, fights constipation, and combats bronchitis and diabetes while improving the functioning of the large and small intestines, the liver, kidneys and spleen.
Fixed Firm Pose – the nineteenth bikram yoga pose
- Fixed Firm Pose strengthens and improves the flexibility of the lower spine, hips, knees and ankle joints.
- It increases circulation to the lower limbs, and is therapeutic for lower back pain, sciatica, rheumatism and varicose veins.
- It helps prevent hernias.
Half Tortoise – the twentieth bikram yoga pose
- Half Tortoise Pose can actually help us to live longer.
- Tortoise is great for tense necks and shoulders.
- It also increases blood flow to the brain which enhances memory and mental clarity.
- This posture also stretches the lower part of the lungs,which is therapeutic for asthma, counter indigestion, flatulence, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Camel Pose – the twenty first bikram yoga pose
- Creates maximum compression of the spine, which stimulates the nervous system.
- By stretching the abdominal organs, Camel helps constipation.
Rabbit Pose – the twenty second bikram yoga pose
- Increases the mobility and elasticity in the spine
- Helps in relieving tension in the neck, shoulders and back.
Head to Knee Pose and Stretching Pose – the twenty third bikram yoga pose
- It is excellent for the immune and lymphatic systems, increases circulation to the liver, pancreas, thyroid, thymus and intestines.
- Improves digestion and is good for allergies and arthritis.
- Relieves chronic diarrhea by improving the circulation in the bowels.
Spine Twisting Pose- the twenty fourth bikram yoga pose
- Twists the spine from top to bottom, which increases circulation to all the spinal nerves, veins, and tissues, and improves the elasticity of the spine.
- Relieves lower back pain and helps prevent slipped discs, rheumatism of the spine, kyphosis, scoliosis, cervical spondylosis and arthritis.
- Calms the nervous system.
Blowing in Firm Pose – the twenty fifth bikram yoga pose
- It improves digestion and circulation, and increases the elasticity of the lungs with every forceful exhale.
- Pushes out carbon dioxide and replaces with Oxygen
- Strengthens the abdominal organs and increases circulation to them.
- Blowing in Firm stimulates the digestive system as well.
Sit Up- the twenty sixth bikram yoga pose
- Stretches the spine and increases flexibility
- Works the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the legs and improves circulation there as well
Some really healthy bikram yoga benefits
Above Mentioned Poses if done properly and under the guidance of a trained instructor, have tremendous physical benefits. These 25 asanas work each and every part of the body making them firmer, toned and flexible.
Yoga is a form of medication and this form of yoga is no different. It offers several benefits when internal organs and their health is concerned. When practiced in daily life can, it benefit in healthier organs, increased immunity and better digestion. There are lots of diseases and orthopedic problems which can be avoided by practicing this type of yoga.
Spiritual Bikram Yoga Benefits
Yoga soothes and relaxes mind. People practice yoga to develop patience and relaxing their mind and bodies. Morever, mood is affected when the body and mind are not in their optimal state and Bikram Yoga helps in optimizing them.
Removal of harmful toxins
Bikram Yoga is a form of hot yoga. In the hot and humid environment, it is required to intake a good amount of water as the body sweats lots of toxins are released. However, sweating of the body is a good sign while exercising as the more fat you burn the more you are going to sweat.
For further research, the following bikram yoga video will be helpful. It summarizes Bikram Yoga benefits quite well. You can surf the internet, mainly youtube for even better bikram yoga videos. It’s quite understandable that bikram yoga poses are not easy to learn but bikram yoga videos will be a useful resource.