the bikram yoga series

the 26 asanas of bikram yoga

Bikram’s Yoga is a series of 26 beginner hatha asanas (postures) suitable for all ages and physical abilities.

The postures are done in the safe environment of a heated room. By the end of a class session, each individual will have worked every muscle, tendon, joint, ligament, internal organ, and gland while systematically moving fresh, oxygenated blood to 100% of the body. The result is restoration of health to all systems. As you increase strength, flexibility and balance in your body, you will be energized, you will revitalize your mind, and you’ll be working on eliminating conditions of stress produced by fast paced lifestyles.

These postures work synergistically and cumulatively to put the body back on track and in balance. This yoga builds strength, balance and flexibility by gently stretching and massaging the spine, muscles, tendons, joints, and all internal organs of the body. Lung capacity is expanded, leading to greater vitality. Bones are strengthened. Joints are opened and lubricated. Muscles are strengthened, toned, and made more flexible.

This 90-minute series begins and ends with a breathing exercise. The same sequence of postures is practiced in a heated room with mirrors. The heat allows for greater depth in stretching and while keeping the body warm prevents injury, speeds up metabolism and facilitates the release of toxins through sweat. The mirrors give you a greater connection with yourself during your practice and also let you correct and improve your own alignment. Done sequentially, the 26 postures are designed to not only tone muscles, improve strength and flexibility, but also realign vertebrae, bones, joints, improve circulation, lubricate joints and with the compression and release of different glands and organs, flush the body, restoring vitality and balance

1. Standing Deep Breathing

Pranayama Series
Benefits: Good for mental relaxation , sleep disorders, and anxiety/irritability. Brings fresh oxygenated blood to every cell of the body. Breathing is one of the most important aspects of yoga.
Ardha Chandrasana with Pada-Hastasana
Benefits: Helps to improve strength in the abdominal muscles and improves flexibility in the spine. Releases frozen shoulders and helps firm and trim the stomach and waist line. Aids in the release of the spine and aids in recovery of slipped or ruptured disc. *The spine is capable of backward bending as much as forward bending. Improves circulation to the legs and brain. Increases flexibility in the spine and sciatic nerves and strengthens the biceps of the thighs and calves. Stretches the hamstrings and invigorates the entire nervous system.
Benefits: A strength posture that strengthens and firms all muscles of the thighs, calves, and hip and improves hip flexibility. Firms the upper arms. Increases blood circulation in the knees and ankle joints and relieves rheumatism, arthritis, gout in the legs, and helps to cure slipped disc and lumbago in the spine.
Benefits: Working all 12 major joints in the body by creating pressure in the joints then releasing, allowing fresh blood supply to flow. Facilitating in body alignment. Known as the ‘fertility’ posture, massages the reproductive organs.
Dandayamana – JanuShirasana
Benefits: Develops concentration, patience, and determination. Strengthens abdominal and thigh muscles, improves flexibility of sciatic nerves, and strengthens the tendons, biceps of the thigh muscles, and hamstrings in the legs.
Dandayamana Dhanurasana
Benefits: Increases concentration, determination and patience. Increases circulation to the heart and lungs. Improves elasticity of the spine and helps to balance out body energies. Regulates menstrual cycle. Helps with lower back pain.
Benefits: Firms hips, buttocks, and upper thighs. Improves the flexibility, strength and muscle tone of shoulders, upper arms, spine and hip joints. Improves circulation, strengthens the heart muscle, and stretches the capacity of the lungs. Clears blockage of the arteries for prevention of cardiac problems.
Dandayamana – Bibhaktapada – Paschimottanasana
Benefits: Helps relieve depression and loss of memory. Increases circulation to the brain and adrenal glands. Opens the hamstrings and lengthens the spine. Relieves constipation.
Benefits: Works 100% of the body; muscles, joints, nerves & tissues. Strengthens quads, calves and hamstrings. Good for hip and back pain. This posture is a marriage between the hear and the lungs which changes chemical imbalances in the system. Helpful with menstrual irregularities.
Dandayamana – Bibhaktapada – Janushirasana
Benefits: Helps maintain blood sugar levels. Causes compression of the pancreas and kidney which acts as a cleanse. Marriage between pineal and thyroid glands. Muscular, skeletal, endocrine, digestive and reproductive systems all benefit. This posture is helpful with depression and anxiety. Also beneficial for colds, sinus problems, and migraines.
11. Tree Pose
Benefits: Facilitates hip and knee mobility. Excellent for posture and balance. Aids in rheumatism and circulatory disorders.
Benefits: Challenges your mental concentration and helps to create balance within body and mind. Strengthens stomach muscles and helps to avoid gout, arthritis of the knee and legs. Strengthens weak joints.
Benefits: Returns cardiovascular circulation to normal. Slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure – teaches complete relaxation and stillness.
Benefits: Massages the colon and can help to prevent constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Helps to normalize production of stomach acid. Stimulates the liver, intestines and spleen. Improves flexibility of the hip joints and relieves lower back pain.
Sit up
Benefits: Strengthens and tightens the abdomen. Open mouth exhalation stimulates diaphragm and eliminates toxins from lungs.
Benefits: Concentrating on strengthening the lower 1/3 of the spine. Helping in the prevention of osteoporosis. Cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, coccyx.
Benefits: Strengthening and lengthening the upper 1/3 of the spine. Isometric pressure promotes muscle power in to and all over the spine. Balance strength to both sides of the body.
18. Full Locust Pose
Poorna – Salabhasana
Benefits: Working the middle 1/3 of the spine. Helpful with hight blood pressure and back extension.
19. Bow Pose
Benefits: Works entire spine, helps with back pain and scoleosis. Holds vertebrae in position. Strengthens quads and inner thing muscles. Opens shoulders, neck and throat centres.
20. Fixed Firm Pose
Supta – Vajrasana
Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the psoas muscles. Stretches knee and ankle joints. Relieves lower back pain. Slims thighs, firms abdomen and calves. Helps cure sciatica, gout, varicose veins. Helpful in the prevention of hernia.
21. Half Tortoise Pose
Ardha – Kurmasana
Benefits: Stretches and lengthens shoulder and lat muscles. Lengthens entire spine. Provides maximum relaxation. Cures indigestion, constipation, and insomnia. Good for emphysema, asthma, and other respiratory ailments. Increases blood flow to the brain bringing mental clarity, enhancing memory.
Benefits: Opens the chest. Strengthens muscles of the back & shoulders. Improves flexibility of the neck and spine. Produces maximum compression of the spine. The entire nervous system is stimulated. Because the heart chakra is opened often an emotional release happens in this pose.
Benefits: Counter posture to the camel. Stretches and lengthens the lower spine. Helps maintain mobility and elasticity of the spine and back muscles. Nurtures the nervous system by allowing blood to flow to the brain.
Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana
Benefits: Circulation of blood to legs & brain. Increased flexibility of the spine and ham strings. Increases flexibility of the shoulder muscles, hip joint, and last five vertebrae of the spine. Stretches sciatic nerve. Increases circulation to the liver, spleen, pancreas, thyroid, thymus and intestines. This pose improves flexibility of the sciatic nerves, ankles, knees and hip joints. Improves digestion, enhances the proper functioning of the kidneys, and expands the solar plexus.
Ardha – Matsyendrasana
Benefits: Twists the spine from bottom to top helping to prevent slipped discs, scoliosis, arthritis, rheumatism. Increases circulation and nutrition to the spinal nerves, veins and tissues. Relieves lethargy, depression and releases tension. Helps cure vertigo and dizziness.
Benefits: Improves oxygenation to the body. Rids the body of toxins energizing and revitalizing the body. Helps bring mental clarity and alertness.


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