The 26 Bikram Yoga Poses

Bikram yoga classes always consist of the exact same 26 Bikram yoga poses, called asanas, each of which is held for 10-60 seconds apiece during the twice-through routine of the class. Every class is exactly the same, as the same 26 poses are performed in the same order, held for the same amount of time.

This is done for a reason. Bikram Chowdhury created the program with the help of the University of Toyko's hospital staff, designing the program so that each asana would lead purposefully into the following asana. This is done so that some poses act as tourniquets, constricting and then releasing the blood in specific body parts, forcing the blood to flush through the system. The order and exact positioning of these poses is also designed to stimulate pressure points so that the body will realign energy (chi), flush toxins from the body, release constricted muscles and release tension.

Each class starts with pranayama breathing, accompanied by specific stretches that enhance the controlled breathing exercise. This leads into eleven standing asanas, each of which is designed to flow from one to the other, challenging every muscles, ligament, and body system. You will rest in savasana, then will launch into twelve floor sitting and lying asanas. You will finish out with Kapalbhati breathing.

Bikram yoga poses will improve your posture, instigate rapid weight loss or gain (depending on your body's need), enhance your muscle tone, and increase your ability to breathe deeply and with better range. When you first try a Bikram yoga class, you will want to inform the instructor that you are new to this form of yoga.

It is advisable to watch a class or read up on the exact poses beforehand so you will be prepared to assume the poses. It is also a good idea to get a check up with your doctor beforehand to make sure you are in adequate enough shape to participate in a Bikram yoga class. The classes are very challenging and are not for those who are in poor health or have heart conditions.

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Bikram Yoga is style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury after his emigration from India to the United States. Not only is the sequence of asanas designed to generate heat to warm the body, these 26 bikram yoga poses or postures are practiced in rooms heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Often called hot yoga, Bikram finds its roots in traditional hatha yoga and is designed to support the increase and movement of fresh, oxygenated blood throughout all parts of the body.

Bikram devotees swear by the 105-degree temperate and specific yoga moves that separate Bikram yoga from the rest of the pack. Read on to learn what is making this brand of yoga so hot right now.

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Twenty six poses?  Ninety minutes of challenging asanas? Temperatures of up to 100 degrees? Forty percent humidity? How can any of that reduce stress? How does that relieve tension? What are the stress relieving benefits of hot yoga?

For busy, professional adults, finding methods for fitting a productive fitness program into a hectic schedule can be stressful enough. For many, Yoga offers an opportunity for a unique physical and spiritual work out offering a reduction in stress as well as leaner and more tone bodies.

Since intimidation or lack of knowledge often keeps would-be yogis out of the studio, read on to learn what you can expect at your first hot yoga class.

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