Unlike other workout routines, Bikram Yoga has the unique ability to adapt to every need, taking whatever forms are necessary to provide each individual with experiences that will take them to their ultimate goal. It is equipped to sway and twist like the branches of a tree, adapting to every unique wind, to each being that is attracted to it. Some people simply want a great workout and Bikram Yoga postures can provide that. Others might want a place to relax, the time to reflect and mature – Bikram Yoga offers that as well.
Below mentioned are some of the best poses you should know about:
1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana): SOOTHE YOUR LEGS AND YOUR MIND
Such bikram yoga poses provide a wonderful stretch for your legs, especially your hamstrings. By bringing your head below your heart, it is also beneficial for lowering blood pressure and soothing the body.
Stand with the outside of your feet parallel to the sides of your mat, either touching or slightly apart. Root through all four corners of your feet, pressing evenly into the mat. Shift your weight slightly forward into the balls of your feet as you fold forward. Engage your thigh muscles (quadriceps) to lift the kneecaps. Place your hands on the floor, behind your calves, or on blocks. You can also grab opposite elbows and hang to allow further extension of the spine. There should be no tension in the neck and all four sides should be equally lengthened.
The most important part of such Bikram yoga poses is to keep a straight spine, so that there is even extension in the front and back of the body. Do not sacrifice a flat spine in order to get your hands closer to the ground or your face closer to your legs.
2. Corpse Pose (Savasana): FIND YOUR BREATH, RESTORE YOUR BODY, COMPLETELY RELAX
The ultimate reward and final relaxation in yoga, Savasana soothes and calms the entire body, bringing awareness inward and focusing solely on the breath. This pose is also used to treat high blood pressure and migraine headaches.
Quietly, intentionally, lie down on your back, preparing for Savasana. Release your arms out to your sides a comfortable distance, no more than a few inches. Palms face up. Allow your legs to extend wide enough that you feel your low back release into the floor. Bend your knees if this is uncomfortable in your low back. Release any exertion of the muscles, relaxing from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes. Close your eyes. Soften your eyes behind the eyelids. Relax the jaw. Release the hands from any gripping – let them accept the peace of this pose. Melt your shoulders away from the ears and into the floor. Relax your diaphragm with each exhale. Allow your feet to fall to the sides as you relax the muscles in your ankles. Be present in this moment, feeling gratitude and peace with every breath.
Notice the gentle rhythm of your inhale and exhale; the rise and the fall of your chest, the ebb and flow of energy. As you inhale, be mindful and in touch with this exact moment. As you exhale, rest completely into the floor. Stay in this pose for as long as you can, enjoying the full effect of all of its benefits. Savasana is among some of the best Bikram yoga poses.
3. Warrior (Virabhadrasana): BECOME A GREAT WARRIOR – STRONG YET AGILE
Virabhadrasana is among powerful Bikram yoga poses. It stretches your hip flexors, strengthens your legs and back, relieves tension in the shoulders, gently twists the spine, opens the chest, and is great at relieving tightness in your shoulders and upper back.
Start by standing at the front of your mat. Step one leg back, far enough that when you come into a lunge your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is directly over your ankle. The edges of your front foot are parallel to the sides of your mat. The toes of your back foot turn out slightly. Your heels should be in one line.
Bend your front knee so that your thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee tracks right above your foot. Press into the heel of the front foot and into the outer edge of the heel of your back foot. Your back leg should be strong with the quadriceps engaged. Try to square your hips with the front of your mat by bringing the front hip back and rolling the back hip forward. Reach your arms up above your head with the palms facing in. Center your gaze on your thumbs and feel the energy radiating from your shoulders through your fingertips. If while bringing your arms up your shoulders tightened, focus on moving your shoulders down away from your ears and breathing into any areas of tightness. Virabhadrasana is among some of the most beneficial bikram yoga poses.
4. Boat Pose (Navasana): POWERFUL ABS WILL KEEP YOUR BOAT AFLOAT
Although dreaded by many students when taught because of its difficulty, Navasana is among Bikram yoga poses that do an exceptional job in toning the abs and legs, as well as strengthening the hip flexors, which is crucial for more advanced standing and balancing postures.
Sit in the center of your mat with your legs out in front of you, knees slightly bent. Navasana is performed on your SIT bones, the bones under the flesh of your buttocks that you sit on. When you find your SIT bones, balancing in this posture becomes much easier, but it might take you a few times to locate exactly where they are. Rock slightly back onto your SIT bones as you lift your legs off the floor. Straighten your legs, using your hipbones to lift the legs higher. Your arms extend straight in front of you with palms facing each other. (Do not grab your legs – this is cheating!) Try to avoid any rounding in your spine by lifting your lower back towards your lower abdomen. Lengthen out of your waist, elongating the spine and opening the chest. Look straight ahead, keeping the muscles of your face relaxed. Do not stop breathing while you are holding Navasana (lots of people do this and it just makes it harder).
Until your body has developed the strength necessary for full Boat pose, feel free to bend your knees as needed.
5. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana): FLEXIBLE HIPS AND A STRONG BACK WILL IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
Depending on your flexibility and the natural rotation of your thighs, this pose may either be incredibly easy or extremely difficult. Either way, practicing such bikram yoga poses will strengthen your back and abs and improve flexibility of your hips and groins. For women, this pose can also relieve some of the discomforts of your menstrual cycle.
Sit in the middle of your mat, bringing the soles of your feet together so they touch. The heels of your feet should be fairly close to your pubic bone. Allow the knees to bend out to the sides, falling towards the floor. If the knees are unable to go lower than the waist, place blocks below them for support. Lift up from the hipbones, lengthening all four sides of your waist. Create space across the collarbones as you move the shoulder blades in toward the chest. Your hands should hold your feet; using them to open your feet while heels continue to touch will intensify the opening of your groins. Your chin should stay parallel to the floor as you gaze softly forward.
The list of reasons why people are drawn to Bikram Yoga is as eclectic as the people themselves. From the power to heal to its trendiness in the celebrity world, the spiritual aspect and the ability to connect with the universe (or God, or deity, or whatever), Bikram Yoga is what you want and need it to be.