30 Minute Bikram Yoga Session:
The great peculiarity of Bikram yoga is the location within which the practice takes place. It takes place in an overheated environment. Oftentimes, up to a temperature of 40° Celsius. In other words, the execution of the asanas takes place in a specially designed microclimate. According to its supporters, the heat can have a positive effect on the muscles and the whole body. Today we’ll discuss Bikram yoga and how you can perform a 30 minute Bikram yoga session.
Bikram yoga incorporates 26 asanas and 2 pranayama’s (breathing exercises). Moreover, offered to students in sequences, designed to work profitably and make the most of the benefits of high temperatures. This sequence is carried out in an exact order and repeated twice in 90 minutes.
Furthermore, Bikram yoga is considered a more advanced or intense style, designed to heal the body, while challenging the mind. The room is heated to protect the muscles, allowing for deeper and safer stretching. Thus, Bikram is not for the faint of heart. For beginner yogi’s, it’s even more important to understand the structure of the class. In addition, always practice Bikram with an instructor. Instructors can help maintain a sense of calm in body and in breath.
Benefits of Bikram Yoga:
It’s mostly about the environment. As beforementioned heat and humidity are believed to help avoid trauma during stretching. Some literature indicates Bikram yoga helps improve;
Bikram yoga may also have a positive impact on;
- improving glucose tolerance;
- bone mineral density;
- lipid profile;
- arterial stiffness;
- and perceived stress.
In addition, the heat increases the heart rate promoting better cardiovascular exercise. Thus, helping to improve endurance, muscle tone, softening the collagen around the joints and increasing freedom of movement.
A Bikram Yoga Class:
Begin with 1 pranayama exercise. Then, followed by 24 asanas which are divided into 12 standing positions and 12 on the ground. Afterwards, concluding with another pranayama exercise.
In the standing position there are 5 balance asanas helping increase concentration. However, while in sequences on the floor, there are backward bends, forward bends, and twists.
The instructor is always in front of his/her students. Thus, helping guide them with a series of precise instructions.
Below you will find the list of positions practiced in Bikram for a 60 minutes practice. You can go up to 90 minutes adding the two pranayama exercises.
- Standing Deep Breathing (Pranayama);
- Ardha Chandrasana, (Half Moon);
- Utkatasana (Awkward Pose);
- Garudasana, (Eagle Pose);
- Dandayamana Janu Sirsasana, (Standing head-knee-position);
- Dandayamana Dhanurasana, (Standing bow position);
- Tuladandasana, the (Standing stick position, in other styles it is also known as the warrior 3);
- Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana, (Standing Seperate-leg pose, in other styles it is also known as Prasarita Padottanasana D);
- Trikonasana, (Triangle Pose);
- Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana, (Standing Sperate-leg head-to-knee-pose);
- Tadasana (Tree Pose);
- Padangustasana, (Toe Stand);
- Savasana, (Corpse Pose);
- Pavanamuktasana, (Embryonic position);
- Pada-Hasthasana (Yoga Sit-up);
- Bhujangasana, (Cobra Pose);
- Salabhasana, (Locust Pose);
- Poorna-Salabhasana, (Complete Locust Pose);
- Dhanurasana, (Bow Pose);
- Supta-Vajrasana,(Sleeping Lightning);
- Ardha-Kurmasana, (Half Turtle Pose);
- Ustrasana, (Camel Pose);
- Sasangasana, (Rabbit Pose);
- Janu Sirsasana, (Head-To-Knee);
- Ardha Matsyendrasana, (Half Twist Position of the Fish Lord);
- Kapalbhati Pranayama, (Skull Shining Breathing)
Final Thoughts – Teacher & Tips!
For all yoga styles we always recommend starting out with an instructor. Certainly for Bikram, this is essential. As far as getting a session done in 30-minutes? Probably not the way to go for a “full Bikram ” experience.
In any case, here are some tips for practicing any yoga style. Firstly, and fundamentally, listen to your body. Secondly, respect your body and it’s abilities at a given time. In the case of Bikram yoga, it’s easier to outwork yourself. It’s easy to feel more flexible in this environment then you actually may be, as well. This is where an instructor is paramount.
Thirdly, we’d advise being careful if trying to to improvise, especially if you are just starting out. It is essential to rely on a trained and qualified teacher. A trained, experienced, and competent teacher is able to correctly guide and assist with any style of yoga.
Moreover, for a style like Bikram yoga, it is necessary to contact a specialized yoga center.