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Bikram Yoga - The 26 Pose Yoga in Heat

Written by: jennibagus

Bikram Yoga - The 26 Pose Yoga in Heat Bikram Yoga is named after its founder - Bikram Choudhury, who studied Yoga with Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Paramahansa Yogananda. It is a series of 26 poses performed in a room with temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Each Yoga Pose is usually performed twice and held for a certain period of time. Yoga Sessions start from Standing Postures, then the Backbends, Forward Bends, and Twists. The poses are accompanied by Kapalabhati Breath or the "blowing in firm".

Why practice Yoga in a heated room?
  • Heat is used in Bikram and Hot Yoga in order to allow
    you to go deeper and safer into a Yoga Pose.
  • Your body becomes more flexible in the heat and since most poses used in Bikram are physically challenging, heat allows you to get into a pose that you never imagined you can do.
  • It also eliminates the risk of injuries, promotes sweating, and helps you release the toxins in your body.
  • The Bikram Yoga Poses not only work on your muscles but also on your internal organs.
  • Each pose stretches and strengthens your muscles, joints, and ligaments and, at the same time release the toxins and work on your internal organs like the glands and the nervous system.
Some people are often discouraged to practice of Yoga by thinking that they are not flexible enough. Yoga is not about being flexible, but about strengthening your body and your spine in all directions with the goal of creating a union between the body, mind and spirit. All that matters is to try the right way without pushing yourself too far.

What are the Benefits of Bikram Yoga?
  • Bikram Yoga is designed to "scientifically" warm and stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the order in which they should be stretched.
  • The practice of Bikram Yoga promotes the cleansing of the body and release of toxins and utmost flexibility.
  • It can also reduce stress and increase blood circulation according to Yoga Books.
  • The practice of Bikram Yoga can also help you lose weight and develop muscles.
  • Anyone can practice Bikram Yoga even people with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders may benefit in doing the Yoga Poses by reducing symptoms, and also one of the best ways to prevent any ailments by keeping the body healthy.
In fact, it has helped its founder, Bikram, recover from a serious knee injury he acquired in his training for weightlifting. He had been told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk again. After consulting his Yoga teacher, Bikram resumed his Yoga practice and his daily performance of the Asanas allowed him to rebuild his muscle and walk again. So put on your Bikram Yoga Clothes, because even Hollywood celebrities, athletes and ordinary people also claimed that the practice of Bikram Yoga helped them in reaching high levels of performance, extending their careers, healing their bodies, achieving mental clarity and increased energy levels.

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Article Comments
Saturday 26th February 2005 at 3:19:29 PM  

anybody have positive results with bad back problems by doing bikram yoga...please let me know

Tuesday 30th October 2007 at 11:43:18 AM  

Working out in a hot room may help your flexibility -right then and there-, but it doesn't mean any real progress has been made outside of the class. You'll sweat -plenty- if you work hard in a cool, well ventilated area, but you may not know it: It evaporates. Keeping the sweat on your skin has no advantage. Hot air may makes you feel as though you've worked harder than you really have: The heat itself is a stressor. If you're about to take a desert safari, and want to train to acclimate sooner, ok, maybe. Otherwise, the temperature should be cool, to enhance your abiity to do more work without overheating. Do you just want to -feel- like you did a lot of work, or do you want to actually -do- the work? Why use half of your energy to deal with a temperature level that you don't plan on encountering your real life?

Thursday 15th November 2007 at 9:44:08 AM  

A few notes on this 'Bikram Yoga summary':-;>;The room is heated to 105 degrees in most studios...not 90-100 degrees...brrrr!-;>;Kapalbhati and 'Breath of Fire' are two different breathing techniques. In Kapalbhati, you only force the air(out the mouth) using your abdominal muscles and respiratory diaphragm...the inhale is passive. In Breath of Fire, or the 'Bellows Breath', you force the air both in and out(through the nose or mouth) using the same muscles. Breath of Fire, used often in Kundalini Yoga, supercharges the breath whereas Kapalbhati is used for expelling toxins and lowering alveolar carbon dioxide in the lower segments of the lungs.Question: Why is there a picture of a woman doing Revolved Triangle on a page about Bikram Yoga??

Thursday 15th November 2007 at 9:58:35 AM  

For a more accurate description of Bikram Yoga, the heat and it's this article:

Tuesday 20th November 2007 at 12:40:18 PM  

The article needs a correction, and a proper picture... I will try to help... My name is Sam Goldman and I teach Bikram Yoga.

The room is heated to 105 Degrees. (the article says 90-100)
The picture is of a different type of triangle pose... There are lots of excellent pictures on Bikram's website.
Sam Goldman

Tuesday 20th November 2007 at 12:47:02 PM  

Bikram yoga is amazing at healing a bad back among other things... lots of info on Birkam's website... There is one excellent article there by a friend of mine named Sara who fixed her years of constant pain due to heriated discs with Bikram yoga... For myself my doctor is amazed on how my scoliosis has almost completely straightend out and I am over an inch taller and I started yoga at 33 with a body ready for the scrap heap. I had knee problems for 19 years and now I am getting close to normal range of motion...
Sam :)

Friday 25th January 2008 at 5:45:26 AM  

I did the hot yoga last night and have been plagued by calve cramps in my swimming routine and today is the first day that I can walk normal again. The heat allows for a deeper stretch and you need to remember to drink plenty of water for sure.Blessings,

Monday 14th April 2008 at 5:49:45 PM  

Greetings, all. Just wanted to comment about my experience over the past three weeks with Bikram Yoga. I'm 51. I have never done any style of Yoga before. I've always been fit and relatively athletic, however I have been aggravated by sciatica for over 20 years. In the past 5 years, I was found to have spinal stenosis and mild arthritis, primarily in my neck. Within the past year or so, it had become increasingly difficult to maintain my lifestyle without daily doses (some days morning and night!) of ibuprofen to control my sciatica and back pain. An easy workout at the gym would leave me sidelined for a couple of days and I could not seem to break this cycle. And then I read an article online about Bikram Yoga. The writer pointed out how Bikram Yoga, due to the heat and humidity of the room, has been known to be good for folks suffering from various types of musculoskeletal problems. I decided to try it. In the three weeks that I've been practicing, I've attended a total of 10 Bikram Yoga classes. The day after I took my second class, I realized I was not reaching for my ibuprofen bottle - I had no sciatica pain. But, would this relief continue? Fast forward to today, a little over three weeks and 8 classes later. I still have not once suffered sciatica pain. And no back pain, either. And with each practice in the Bikram studio, I find I'm more flexible and have greater range of motion than I have had in years. I honestly and truly feel that Bikram Yoga has revitalized my entire body. And I could go on and on about how much I feel it has positively affected my mind and all other facets of my being as well. So if you're like I was, hesitating because you "just don't know" - give it a try! I'm so glad I did!

Saturday 2nd May 2009 at 6:32:40 PM  

The reason for the heat in Bikram is to get your muscles warm and to be able to move into deep poses. Bikram is not a race and it's not about how long you can do it for, there are 26 poses and for each pose you do 2 sets. It is a 90 minutes of pushing your body and the reason for the heat is ot only to get deeper in the poses because of warmed up muscles and it's also to sweat toxins out of your body. If your not doing Bikram in a hot room then you've beat the perpose of Bikram.

Peter Mac
Monday 3rd August 2009 at 11:05:49 AM  

As Pabllo is right in saying that the Heat generated by doing the various posse of Hot Bikram yoga, tenders the body flexibily and hence enhancing the power of yoga more.

lucy c
Thursday 19th November 2009 at 12:19:24 AM  

I just want to say that I have noticed amazing benefits since starting bikram fact i would now definitely say that I am addicted. I feel so much more relaxed than I have been in a long time and find it amazingly grounding. It has also made my skin glow and I sleep so deeply now.
For anyone thinking of trying it definitely give it a go just''s not for everyone but def worth a try.

Dear Internet
Wednesday 3rd February 2010 at 8:37:36 PM  

Bikram Yoga is the best decision I have made in my life. I started the practice about a month ago & I am addicted! I have slept better in the past month then ever in my life. Please check out my blog posts on Bikram yoga :) Thanks!

Sunday 13th June 2010 at 1:19:53 AM  

I am 50 years old woman, 169 lbs (obese) but regularly workout since last 25 years. I am a very positive and energetic person. With slip disc 25 years ago, now frozen shoulder and extreme sciatica nerve issue there are major hindrance to my my daily life including sleep. Prescriptions like celebrex, ibuprofin etc did not work in my body and gave side effects. Then started Homeopathy 3 months ago, that worked 20%, but nothing close to feeling better to have one good day of normal life. I kept suffering with tingling, numbing and pain due to sciatica. My gym introduced Bikram Yoga and after 3 months of dilly dallying I signed up for the class. Today I have completed 13th class. Since 1st day it''s been a challenge for me to get used to the poses, push myself, and all this in 108 deg heat in super humid place like Mumbai, India. I couldn''t sleep all night after my 1st class, would get up frequently to literally feel my pain was significantly less. This experience was so exciting that took my sleep completely that night. I literally pinched myself all night to believe it. Now it''s my 13th class and still find very challenging but I can vouch that folks I am not a technical person, however, there''s some truth to Bikram process. Just push yourself and try few classes and observe and listen to your body. I have lost just 2 lbs in 2 weeks but almost 1 inch overall. My energy level has increased and I have become more aware of nutrition. To observe if Bikram yoga works in my body, I stopped Homeopathy when I started. In the last 2 weeks I had to take just 1 dose which I believe is due to over training with weights and other machines. Hope you push yourself to at least try few Bikram Yoga classes. Wish you all a great health!!!

Monday 21st June 2010 at 9:22:00 AM  

BEWARE CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA! in this overheated environment. I know someone whose defibrillator saved her life when it zapped her during this class. Sweating profusely can lead to electrolyte depletion and sudden cardiac arrhythmic death.
Besides the best way to truly warm muscles to their core is to do warmups, - NOT stretching or external heating. As for flexibility, more people are probably treated for the consequences of HYPER
mobility than stiffness. That''s why CORE STRENGTHENING is so critical. The fact that so many people mention their ADDICTION to this form of yoga shouls raise red warning flags.

Louie Brefel
Monday 5th July 2010 at 5:04:22 PM  

Are any classes offered in Houma, La. 70364
Please advise. Thanks-;-;-;-;-;-Louie

Saturday 24th July 2010 at 9:35:50 AM  

I find it interesting that not one comment correcting the article mentions that in addition to the heat, humidity is added to the room at around 70%. To Viv, using the word "addiction" is just many people''s way of expressing how devoted they are to the practice as it has made them feel good. Don''t get hung up on a word. Finally, there is a warm-up period in bikram; it''s part of the practice and lasts 25". I''ve been practicing regularly for over two years now and my daughter says I have the body of a 20 year old. I feel better and look better than I''ve ever looked in my life. I''m 51. Don''t knock it till you''ve tried it.

Tuesday 27th July 2010 at 7:25:03 AM  

I have to say a lot of yoga is taught very haphazardly. Great emphasis is placed on practicing these postures correctly in a Bikram Class and the sequence is very methodical, with each posture in a specific order that gives maximum benefit.
I love it, the heat really builds endurance and as the previous person mentioned your skin will glow. It may not be for everyone, its very intense and the first few classes you will probably want to run out of the room. Stick with it and you will be amazed.

Monday 16th August 2010 at 3:48:48 AM  

I don''t understand why Bikram Yoga gets so constantly slanted, and are usually by people who had never tried it.
Granted, Bikram is not for everybody, but do go and try with an open mind.
I have done 2 yrs of Kundalini and now 1 and half yr with Bikram and my body responds so much better with Bikram. before Bikram I didn''t even know I had such bad back, bad posture and round shoulders. now my back sings, my hip sings, cellulites reduced, I have better posture, toned body shape, lost weight and the most important thing - a better understanding of my body. my knees (which is the reason why I tried yoga in the first place) are greatly healed. and I feel generally more youthful.
what''s not to like about Bikram?

Friday 24th September 2010 at 12:43:37 PM  

Viv. You have to be seriously dehydrated to go into Cardiac Arrhytmia. If you do 90 minutes of Bikram with no fluids and you are terribly out of shape then yea it could happen. An electrolite imbalance is extremely hard to achieve. There are people who run marathons in 90 degree heat without consuming much if anything at all.

Like an exercise program, you should be wise and careful and listen to your body. You can explode your heart by lifting too much and holding your breath.

Friday 1st October 2010 at 9:53:49 AM  

Kevin,As an avid X-C skier I can so identify with the joy of a healthy body capable of high intensity exercise. But if you have ever sat by your child in a coma after a cardiac arrest, you,too,would want to make sure no one else had to endure such agony.You might also wonder "Where was the teacher?", "What cautions were discussed at the course inception?", "Does every class have an AED (automatic external defribrillator) - and someone trained to use it?"
This is Sudden Arrhythmic Death Awareness month. If you listen to the news, you''ll sadly but regularly hear of young people dying in sport from undiagnosed heart issues. The earliest sign may simply be fainting - with no other known medical cause. Forearmed is forewarned...Wishing you all the very best...

Thursday 2nd December 2010 at 9:43:14 PM  

i was an athlete. yoga bore me to death. BUT my back was bothering me for about 2 years so i went to ooops BIKRAM yoga. as first times go in bikram it was awful cus i don''t drink. backpain was gone! GONE for anohther 3 years. i only went once! and didn''t go back. then i had an injury and got sciatica and hopped around in pain for 4 years. ok, back to bikram. this time it took about 7 classes to get rid of it. 3 years later with no bikram it''s coming back and again here i go :)) ... i feel 10 years younger. good luck to you too

Saturday 18th December 2010 at 4:56:40 AM  

Great to read all this. Can somebody infrom where is the classes available in chennai india.

Wednesday 22nd December 2010 at 8:44:51 AM  

I want to thank the blogger very much not only for this post but also for his all previous efforts. I found your blog to be greatly interesting. I will be coming back to your site for more information.

Friday 24th December 2010 at 9:37:58 AM  

Hey everybody-
I''m a 50yo life long athlete who has been practicing Bikram Yoga 4ish times a week for almost 5 yrs. I suffered back and knee pain in my mid 40s and was about 15 lbs over weight. My first Bikram class was transformational. I knew immediately that I had arrived at a new and very different form of exercise, designed to be complete and balanced. Yes, it''s hot. So is the equator where most people live.
I have lost 20 lbs, no back pain, no knee pain, no health problems. I eat very carefully and stay hydrated with respect for my yoga practice. The studio where I practice is a very friendly and supportive place. I have grown and my health has prospered from this Yoga. Thanks Bikram! Namaste!

Wednesday 2nd February 2011 at 9:05:10 PM  

I joined the 10 day trial period and going to continue...Ha ha ha...I had a terrible time on the very first day...probably due to heat and dehydraytion...However been great since then...

I just hate to travel some distance in order to get to Bikram yoga...Its like am spending abt 1 hour to go and come back...

Otherwise I find it is a great practise, I enjoy it...I am hoping to lose some weight as I have lots of fat patches...Sincerely, its great gives good nights sleep...keeps me very active..

Thursday 17th March 2011 at 4:44:11 AM  

Hi, I''ve been practicing bikram yoga for the past 3 weeks and now i''m on my 5th class. How come i couldnt sleep at all after my bikram class? and it will continue for 2 days. Does anyone have an experience like this on their first month of practicing bikram yoga?

Friday 25th March 2011 at 11:07:48 PM  

The article states that the 105 degree room "eliminates the risk of injuries". I know that warm temperatures reduce the risk of injury, but isn''t it true that a room over ninety degrees actually increases this risk?

And Ade, what time of the day are you practicing?

Ankit Pandey
Sunday 15th May 2011 at 4:42:53 AM  

Well It really works with my personal experience i can say this. It worked for me.
I read article on Bikram Yoga here :-

Wednesday 24th August 2011 at 6:59:56 PM  

I''m 57 and have been 8 times so far. About the 4th time I really started to feel a big difference in my mood, I started sleeping better and found that my running and other cardio exercises I do are eaiser and I get more out of them. I''m getting better at the poses with each class and I''ll keep going. Overall, I feel really great. It''s all about you and what you want out of it.

Monday 17th October 2011 at 7:28:21 PM  

I''m a soon-to-be 58 year old male, and I started Bikram nearly a year ago after more than 30 years of running (several marathons, and countless races of lesser distances). I LOVE Bikram Yoga and find it to be as physically challenging as anything I have ever done, including marathon training. Most important, I have found that running broke down my body, but Bikram Yoga always builds me up. Ie, for the first time, I have never injured myself. I''m a fan!

Monday 24th October 2011 at 7:23:57 PM  

I just took my first "real" hot yoga class at 105degrees for 90 mins. I don''t know if I can do it again! I''m so torn, I liked some things about it but I was dying the last 30 mins. I shuffled home like an old lady and drank a bunch of gator aide. I was exhausted all day but oddly I felt so ''light'' and relaxed. I''m nervous about trying it again and I can''t imagine doing it more than once a week!! Does it get better with continued practice?

science and math
Monday 7th November 2011 at 10:37:17 PM  

This yoga is really very effective.

Thursday 24th November 2011 at 9:21:19 PM  

Spent Thanksgiving morning in class for first time at invitation of friend. I have raced since mid-sixties and never felt so bad from heat as I did today. I am going to try some yoga in a reasonable environment next because I found the heat dangerous. It''s inefficient at best to warm tissues from external heat, life threatening at worst. I will mention a strange sensation at the end. As I stood (with considerable difficulty), my torso organs/guts sagged within me...I could feel the droop within me. I am 57, male, slim/tall and running fit/inflexible.

my vagina smells
Sunday 4th December 2011 at 6:52:33 AM  

I hope this yoga can make my posture better

Friday 9th December 2011 at 8:13:24 AM  

Its really great.i hope it will make me fit.

Monday 12th December 2011 at 12:57:18 PM  

Gently massaging slightly hot sesame oil on the lower back and then doing exercise named as good mornig(ask any gym goer) or naukasan in yoga,you will never face any type of back problem.

Sunday 1st January 2012 at 1:28:46 PM  

I tried bikram yoga the first time on Friday, Dec. 30th, I was surprised to find how much my hips have locked up. I had done some simple yoga classes before and had really helped my hips to open and not be sore. Now, 12 years of not doing it, I am stiff and locked up. I enjoyed the class and am looking forward to getting into a routine, going to start with 3 x a week and hopefully work into 5 days a week. I could just feel it working my entire body, even though I could not do most the moves very well yet...I look forward to getting in shape, what a great way to start the new year!

Sunday 15th January 2012 at 5:45:20 PM  

Any diabetic on bikram?

Saturday 21st January 2012 at 9:25:27 AM  

I find it amazing how many warnings there are on healthy foods or activities, warning obese, doughnut eating, sedentary people to please don''t do any of the exercises and make sure to ask your doctor if you should dare to forego your junk food eating habits as this might be highly dangerous.

Nobody is asking you to embrace Olympics level workouts and eat raw veggies harvested in the great outdoors. Maybe a gradual but persistent expanding shift might be a better idea that to just spew warnings.

How many deaths and preceding miserable lifes are there due to obesity, not exercising and related problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, joint issues and many more? Who thinks of extreme exercise without regular health check-ups and lifestyle adjustments accordingly?

Friday 17th February 2012 at 11:57:58 AM  

Well, my comments are the same as many others. After working out my whole life I decided to try Bikram to help with my years of spine problems and pain. And it is miraculous in what it does to your spine. I''m now limber and pain free. I''ve been doing Bikram for over 2 years but I felt the results right away. My skin glows too and peole think I''m 20 years younger than I am. (No Botox!. Oh yes, I''m 61 and feel better than I did 30 years ago when I was 1st told I needed back surgery; which I never had and certainly don''t need it now. Thanks to Bikram and the owners of the studio I go to in Orlando, and the great instructors there.

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