Bikram Yoga, also known as Traditional Hot Yoga, works the body from the inside out, from the micro to the macro level. Each posture stretches and strengthens the specific muscles, ligaments and joints needed for the next posture.
People of any age and condition can do this yoga. Some students with acute illnesses have been cured of chronic disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and chronic back pain as a result of their Bikram Yoga practice.
Many athletes including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and John McEnroe attribute lack of injuries and longevity in their sport to this yoga. Professionals say it gives them mental clarity and increased energy, helping them to excel in their fields. All Bikram Yoga students agree that it helps them look and feel great, lose weight and reduce stress. It is the perfect blend of strength, flexibility and balance.
Best Beginner Class: Bikram Yoga
Not Recommended for First Time Students: Bikram Flow
THE BIKRAM YOGA SERIES
Pranayama Breathing: Pranayama
Preparation for the entire body to begin work, good for mental relaxation, helps lower high blood pressure, reduces irritability, helps regulate sleep patterns, allows for the detoxification of airborne toxins, exercises the nervous, respiratory, & circulatory systems.
Half Moon Series: Ardha Chandrasana with Pada Hastasana
Works whole skeletal & circulatory systems, opens the shoulders, relieves lower back pain, abdominal & midsection toning, relieves bronchi distress, good for sciatic problems (nerve which runs the entire length of the back of the leg), improves cell division, stimulates pituitary gland (area of stimulation in the brain), exercises the colon, pancreas & kidneys to name a few organs, exercises the muscular, skeletal, respiratory & glandular systems.
Awkward Series: Utkatasana
Improves overall body strength, opens pelvis, helps relieve menstrual cramping & lower body joint pain, helps define muscles in the lower half of the body, uses all major muscle groups, helps to minimize the soft tissue under buttocks, aligns the skeletal system including the spine, helps in the digestion of food, good for immune disorders, improves the strength & flexibility in the knees, toes & ankles & helps to relieve and/or prevent arthritis/pain in these same areas, good for sciatica problems & helps improve liver, intestine & pancreatic function.
Works the 12 largest joints of the body, stretches the central nervous system, creates pressure on lymphatic glands which when released, improves the glands function, increases hip joint mobility, strengthens the lower body, improves balance & helps to prevent & heal varicose veins.
Standing Head to Knee: Dandayamana-Janushirasana
Improves mental strength & concentration, helps join mind & body for more consistent behavior, uses all major muscle groups & organs (primarily digestive & reproductive systems), improves circulation, flexibility & pancreatic function & strengthens the back muscles.
Standing Bow: Dandayamana-Dhanurasana
Helps improve the body’s cardiovascular system by increasing blood circulation to the heart & lungs, opens the diaphragm & shoulders, improves elasticity of spine, creates marriage of strength & balance, improves digestive functions, helps with infertility problems (balances the ovaries), helps tone the abdomen and midsection & helps prostate problems.
Balancing Stick: Tuladandasana
Helps improve blood flow to the whole body especially the heart & lungs, helps to clear/prevent blocked arteries/future cardiac problems, total spine stretch, relieves stress from spine, great for mental health, helps prevent & heal varicose veins, builds strength in the lower body & exercises the pancreas, liver, spleen, the nervous system & circulatory system. Stimulates abdominal organs. Increases stamina. Improves digestion and aids elimination. Improves balance.
Separate Leg Stretching: Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimonttanasana
Helps prevent aneurysms & tumors of the brain by increased blood circulation to the brain, good for depression & emotional stress, centers & stretches the spine/nervous system, helps relieve constipation, tones abdominal area, good for reducing symptoms of diabetes, increases circulation to the adrenal glands, reduces pressure in the lower back & exercises the muscular & reproductive systems.
Great for cardiovascular system, stretches & tones the sides of the body, opens the shoulder & hip joints, helps improve kidney, thyroid & adrenal gland function, tones the hips & thighs, helps improve chemical imbalances such as depression & helps those experiencing constipation, colitis, low blood pressure & menstrual discomforts. Works all of the body’s muscular systems at the same time.
Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee: Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana
Helps reduce the symptoms of depression & other mental disorders , helps improve/prevent memory loss, helps relieve migraines, tones the abdomen & midsection, helps to balance blood sugar which therefore helps those with diabetes, the compression & release of pressure to the pancreas, kidneys, endocrine, digestive & reproductive systems helps improve each of their respective functions, balances the thyroids.
Tree & Toe Stand: Tadasana & Padangustasana
Help to correct bad posture & improves balance, improves hip & knee mobility, creates total body traction, tightens gluteus maximus, releases abdominal tension, releases inflammation of lower back, good for circulatory disorders, arthritis (specifically in the knees & legs) & rheumatism. Creates balance between the body & mind, strengthens stomach muscles & joints & lessens joint pain.
Wind Removing: Pavanamuktasana
Helps relieve constipation, helps eliminate flatulence & hyperacidity, relieves low back pain, strengthens & tones the abdominal muscles & wall, massages the ascending, descending & transverse colon, helps keep the gastrointestinal processes healthy, normalizes HCL acid (an acid present in the digestive system to help turn food into energy for the body).
Cobra, Locust, Full Locust & Bow: Bhujangasana, Salabhasana, Poorna Salabhasana & Dhanurasana
Compresses & opens spine, strengthens lower, mid & upper spine, creates more elasticity in whole spine, tones the muscle fibers in the back, accelerates & improves the circulation of spinovial fluid, holds vertebrae in position and can improve posture & helps relieve cervical spondylosis (a disorder that results from abnormal growth of bones in the neck & degeneration in the cushions between the vertebrae of the neck).
Fixed Firm: Supta-Vajrasana
Increases mobility of the joints (by putting pressure on joints against gravity), helps to form & tone abdominal muscles, stretches the hip joints & diaphragm, relieves lower back pain, slims thighs, & helps sciatica, rheumatism, gout, diabetes & varicose veins.
Half Tortoise: Ardha-Kurmasana
Helps relieve stress & migraines, eases stomach discomfort, digestion problems & constipation, increases blood flow to the heart, brain & from the knees to the toes, stretches the spine, helps those with insomnia, stretches lower lungs (good for asthma sufferers) & increases flexibility in hips.
Compresses the spine helping to ease back & neck problems, opens the rib cage, heart, lungs & digestive system, stimulates the nervous system, great for lungs & any problem in the bronchial plexus (a bundle of 5 nerves, which control muscles in the shoulder, arm & hand), strengthens back & shoulder muscles, improves neck movement, stretches the throat, sends fresh blood to kidneys & helps to eliminate toxins.
Helps those with insomnia, depression, colds, sinus congestion, tonsillitis, laryngitis, allergies & glandular defects, compresses the thyroid gland, helps to balance hormones, improves flexibility of scapula (“shoulder blades”) & stimulates the nerves behind eyes.
Separate Leg Stretching Head to Knee: Janursirasana with Paschimottanasana
Stimulates the thymus gland, which helps produce white blood cells and therefore strengthens the immune system, helps improve the digestion system, improves flexibility of sciatica and ankle joints, stretches and strengthens the pelvic girdle, hip joints, shoulder muscles and spine. Increases circulation to the liver, spleen and pancreas, helps balance blood sugar.
Spine Twisting: Ardha-Matsyendrasana
Compresses & stretches spine – improving its elasticity & flexibility, helps to detoxify the body, opens the bronchial muscles & rib cage, helps to tone the abs, helps prevent slipped discs in the back, increases blood circulation to spinal nerves, veins & tissues, relieves back pain & deformity in lumbar region of spine, helps arthritis of knee & sciatica & provides a massage for the kidneys, liver, gall bladder, spleen & pancreas.
Kapalbhati Breathing: Khapalbhati in Vajrasana
Detoxifying (cleansing), helps to bring mental clarity, helps to form the abs & to normalize the bowels, energizes the entire body, improves oxygenation &respiration throughout the entire body, increases blood circulation, reduce high blood pressure & improves heart function.
Dead Body: Savasana
Relaxes your central nervous system and calms your mind, helps relieve stress, relaxes the body, decreases beta brain waves and shift to slower brain waves, reduces insomnia and helps improve sleep, reduces headaches and fatigue and helps to relieve depression.