26 Postures, 2 Breathing Exercises
Every Bikram class begins with a deep-breathing exercise known as Pranayama Breathing. Designed to warm the body up from the inside out, this breathing exercise also increases and improves lung function, floods the body with fresh oxygen, and begins the spine warm-up.
Bikram’s sequence of 26 postures is designed to systematically open and stretch the body, moving blood and fresh oxygen through the entire body, every organ and fiber, restoring the organ systems to optimal working order. Proper weight, vibrant good health, and a sense of well-being naturally follow from the proper functioning of the body and its systems.
The 26 postures are designed to work together so that each posture warms, opens, and stretches muscles, tendons and ligaments in the proper order. Each posture is designed to target specific muscle groups and organ systems, building on the benefits of previous postures while simultaneously preparing the body for the postures that follow.
Each class ends with a final breathing exercise that cools the body down and helps it to release toxins, especially Lactic Acid, that can cause soreness following exercise.
Click on a pose to see more details.
Questions We Hear A Lot:
Q: Do you do the same postures every class?Yes! Bikram designed these postures to work both individually and as a collective so that health benefits to the body are maximized over time. He also designed the sequence for bodies in all stages of life and all types of health. Old young, sick, well, super-fit or a little flabby, it doesn’t matter: you will be able to at least attempt all the postures and gain benefit from practicing the yoga.
Q: Don’t you get bored doing the same thing every class?To the contrary! Because the sequence is always the same, students have the opportunity over time to deepen their understanding of each posture with all of their nuances. As they move through years of practice, students often report that it is the subtle and delicate micro-movements that keep them challenged and interested.
Q: The most athletic thing I do is walk my dog, can I do this class?Yes. By doing every posture to the best of your ability with the body you have today and your willingness to try, you will improve your health. Bikram yoga is practiced by world-class athletes and eighty-year-old grandparents, by tri-athletes and couch potatoes, by the healthy and ill. Bikram designed the sequence to be accessible to EVERYONE to help improve the health of EVERYONE.
Q: I have an injury…Very few people are in perfect condition and health every day of their lives. Once you have checked in with your doctor and been cleared to exercise, come in and do what you can. If you wait for perfect health, you likely will wait a very long time. Come in, take class, take it slow, listening to the signals your body gives, and over time your injuries will heal and you will be stronger than you would have thought possible. We have many students with chronic conditions who do what they can to the best of their ability, calling the yoga their “physical therapy.”