The Standing/Balancing Series
Bikram yoga posture #1 Standing Deep Breathing. Most people use only ten percent of their lungs, never allowing the lungs to reach the maximum expansion capacity that Nature intended. In Bikram Yoga the Standing Deep Breathing teaches you to use the other ninety percent of your lungs. This exercise expands the lungs to their full capacity, it increases circulation to the whole body, waking everything up and preparing the muscles for action.
Bikram yoga posture #2 Half Moon Pose improves and strengthens every muscle in the center part of the body, especially in the abdomen; increases the flexibility of the spine; corrects bad posture; promotes proper kidney function; helps cure enlargement of the liver and spleen, dyspepsia, and constipation. It increases the flexibility and strength of the rectus abdominus latissimus dorsi, oblique, deltoid and trapezius muscles. This yoga posture is a favorite among many in Bikram Yoga.
Bikram yoga posture #3 Awkward Pose strengthens and firms all muscles of thighs, calves and hips making the hip joints flexible. It firms the upper arms increasing blood circulation in the knees and ankle joints relieving rheumatism, arthritis and gout in the legs. It also helps cure slipped disc and lumbago in the lower spine. Don’t forget: Bikram Yoga incorporates a highly heated room…this heated room makes many yoga postures MUCH SAFER when done the Bikram Yoga way!
Bikram yoga posture #4 Eagle supplies fresh blood to the sexual organs and the kidneys, increasing sexual power and control. It helps firm calves, thighs, hips, abdomen, and upper arms. It also improves the flexibility of the hip, knee, and ankle joints strengthening the latissimus dorsi, trapezius and deltoid muscles. The Eagle pose is another posture that is MUCH SAFER when done heated – the Bikram yoga way!
Bikram yoga posture #5 Standing Head-to-Knee helps develop concentration, patience, and determination. Physically, it tightens the abdominal and thigh muscles, improves flexibility of the sciatic nerves, and strengthens the tendons, biceps of the thigh muscles, and hamstrings in the legs, in addition to the deltoid, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, scapula, biceps, and triceps. The standing head-to-knee posture is made not only SAFER, but much more CHALLENGING, when done the heated, Bikram yoga way!
Bikram yoga posture #6 Standing Bow Pulling is a perfect example of the “tourniquet” or “damming” effect in Yoga because it transfers the circulation from one side of the body to the other and then equalizes it, circulating fresh blood to each internal organ and gland to keep them healthy. Like the Standing Head to Knee, this pose helps develop concentration, patience, and determination. Physically, it firms the abdominal wall and the upper thighs, tightens upper arms, hips, and buttocks. It increases the size of elasticity of the rib cage of the lungs and improves the flexibility to strengthen the lower spine and most of the body’s muscles.
Bikram yoga posture #7 Balancing Stick perfects control and balance by improving physical, psychological, and mental powers. In addition, it firms hips, buttocks, and upper thighs, as well as providing the same benefits for the legs as the Standing Head to Knee. It increases the circulation, strengthens the heart muscles, and stretches the capacity of the lungs. It is one of the best exercises for the lungs. It is one of the best exercises for bad posture; strengthens the flexibility of latissimus, deltoid, and trapezius muscles improving the flexibility, strength and muscle tone of shoulders, upper arms, spine, and hip joints. Bikram yoga’s heat adds great benefit to The Balancing Stick pose, for your heart, your lungs, and your joints!
Bikram yoga posture #8 Standing Separate Leg Stretching cures and prevents sciatica by stretching and strengthening the sciatic nerves and tendons of the legs. It helps the functioning of most of the internal abdominal organs, especially the small and large intestine, and improves the muscle tone and flexibility of thighs and calves and the flexibility of the pelvis, ankles, hip joints, and the last five vertebrae of the spine. If you’ve ever tried this stretch before and NOT liked it, try it the Bikram yoga, heated way – you’ll LOVE the difference!
Bikram yoga posture #9 Triangle is the only one posture in the world that improves every muscle, joint, tendon, and internal organ in the body. At the same time, it revitalizes nerves, veins, and tissue. It helps cure lumbago and rheumatism of the lower spine by flexing and strengthening the last five vertebrae, and improves crooked spines. This is the most important pose to increase the strength and flexibility of the hip joint and of the muscles of the side of the torso. It also firms upper thighs and hips, slims the waistline, and improves the deltoid, trapezius, scapula, and latissimus muscles. The Bikram yoga, heated way adds a great deal of effectiveness to The Triangle!
Bikram yoga posture #10 Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose. The benefits of this yoga posture are the same as those of the Hands to Feet Pose: A great deal of strengthening, a great deal of stretching. It also slims abdomen, waistline, hips, buttocks, and upper thighs. And all these benefits are accelerated, thanks to the Bikram yoga, heated way!
Bikram yoga posture #11 Tree Pose. The benefits of this yoga posture are assistance in correcting bad posture, increase hip and knee flexibility and mobility, stretches spine, releases abdominal tension, relieves lower back pain, tightens gluteal muscles and good for circulatory problems, arthritis and rheumatism.
Bikram yoga posture #12 Toe Stand develops psychological and mental powers- especially patience (Physical). It helps to cure gout and rheumatism of the knees, ankles, and feet. It helps cure hemorrhoid problems.
Bikram yoga posture #13 Dead Body Pose (Savasana)returns blood/cardiovascular circulation to normal; slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure, nervousness, anxiety and irritability; teaches complete relaxation; and it stills and focuses the mind.
Relax and breathe, breathe and relax, while maintaining total stillness. When properly performed, Savasana is the most important posture in Hatha Yoga. Its name translates as “corpse pose,” or “dead body pose,” due to the complete stillness required during its proper execution (no pun intended). But Savasana is actually a powerful way to breathe life into the body. For many people, this is also the most difficult asana.
On the physical level, using Savasana after certain postures finishes and accelerates the compression and release cycle in which internal organs are first deprived of blood, then flooded with it. The high-speed cleansing flushes out accumulated toxins, free radicals and other debris in its powerful current. This natural irrigation and internal cleansing that occurs after the compression of the postures is how we gain energy through yoga practice.
To begin: Lie flat on your back, keeping your limbs straight. Bring your heels together and your arms close enough to almost touch the sides of your body. Turn your palms upward toward the ceiling to release pressure in the shoulder joints, and keep your eyes open to remain present and awake. Relax your whole body as one unit. Let the floor support your full weight.
Concentrate on your breath, inhaling deeply through your nose to the depths of your abdomen up through your chest, and exhaling fully (again, through the nose) from chest to abdomen. Keep the mouth closed. Softly fix your gaze on a single point on the ceiling or an arbitrary point in space. Continue for two minutes.
Bikram yoga posture #14 Wind Removing Pose cures and prevents Flatulence, which is the source of most Chronic abdominal discomforts. It also improves the flexibility of the hip joints and firms the abdomen, thighs, and hips.
The Spine Strengthening Series
Bikram yoga posture #16 Cobra Pose is one of the best ways to maintain the body in perfect condition. It increases spinal strength and flexibility, helps prevent lower backache, and helps cure lumbago, rheumatism, and arthritis of the spine. It also relieves menstrual problems (irregularity, cramps, backache) cures loss of appetite, helps correct bad posture, and improves the functioning of the liver and spleen. The Cobra strengthens the deltoids, trapezuis, and triceps. The Cobra is a GREAT example of a yoga pose that is MUCH more SAFE AND EFFECTIVE when done the Bikram yoga, heated way!
Bikram yoga posture #18 Full Locust Pose has the same benefits as the Cobra but it is even more potent in the cure of any back for spinal problem such as gout, slipped disc, and sciatica. It cures tennis elbow and is also excellent for firming buttocks and hips. The Full Locust is (arguably) the BEST example of a yoga pose whose effectiveness is improved by the Bikram yoga, heated way!
Bikram yoga posture #19 Bow improves the Functioning of the large and small intestines, the liver, kidneys, and spleen. It helps straighten rounded spines, relieves backache, and improves pigeon chest by opening the rib cage, permitting maximum expansion of lungs and increased oxygen intake. The Bow also revitalizes all spinal nerves by increasing circulation to the spine. It improves digestion and strengthens abdominal muscles, upper arms, thighs, and hips (especially good for increasing the flexibility of dancers hip joints.) It also improves the flexibility of the scapula, latissimus, deltoid, and trapezius muscles. The Bow pose challenges even the FullLocust (posture #18), as the yoga posture MOST IMPROVED by implementing the Bikram yoga, heated way!
Bikram yoga posture #20 Fixed Firm Pose helps cure sciatica, gout, and rheumatism in the legs. It slims thighs, firming calf muscles, and strengthens the abdomen. It also strengthens and improves flexibility of the lower spine, knees and ankle joints. A great pose to increase over-all torso flexibility.
Bikram yoga posture #21 Half Tortoise provides maximum relaxation. It cures indigestion and stretches the lower part of the lungs, increasing blood circulation to the brain. It firms the abdomen and thighs. It also increases the flexibility of hip joints, scapula, deltoids, triceps, and latissimus dorsi muscles.
Bikram yoga posture #22 Camel stretches the abdominal organs to the maximum and cures constipation. It also stretches the throat, thyroid gland, and parathyroid. Like the Bow Pose, it opens a narrow rib cage to give more shape to the lungs. And because it produces maximum compression of the spine, it improves the flexibility of the neck and spine, also relieves backache. It also firms and slims the abdomen and the waistline. The Camel is a great pose – it really helps to finish up your spine-strengthening series with The Camel.
Bikram yoga posture #23 Rabbit produces the opposite effect of the camel, giving maximum longitudinal extension of the spine. As a result, it stretches the spine to permit the nervous system to receive proper nutrition. It also maintains the mobility and elasticity of the spine and back muscles. The rabbit improves digestion and helps cure colds, sinus problems, and chronic tonsillitis. And it has a wonderful effect on thyroid and parathyroid glands. The pose improves the flexibility of the scapula and the trapezius and helps children reach their full growth potential. Doing the rabbit pose after the camel pose (posture #22) will really help you recognize the benefit of the Bikram yoga, heated way – you will feel VERY good after this, the rabbit pose!
Bikram yoga posture #24 Head-to-Knee Pose helps to balance the blood sugar level. It improves the flexibility of the sciatic nerves, ankle knees and hip joints; improves digestion; enhances the proper functioning of the kidneys; and expands the solar plexus. The Stretching Pose relieves chronic diarrhea by improving the circulation of the bowels. It also increases circulation to the liver and spleen and improves digestion. It increases the flexibility of the trapezius, deltoid, erector femoris, and bicep muscles, sciatic nerves, tendons, hip joints, and the last five vertebrate of the spine. Like all the other balancing yoga postures, the Bikram yoga, heated way helps make the Head-to-Knee pose all the more SAFE…and all the more CHALLENGING!
Bikram yoga posture #25 Spine Twisting Pose is the only exercise that twists the spine from top to bottom at the same time. As a result, it increases circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, veins, and tissues. It improves spinal elasticity and flexibility of the hip joints. It helps to cure lumbago and rheumatism of the spine, improves digestion, removes flatulence from the intestines, and firms the abdomen, thighs and buttocks. The Spine Twisting pose is a all-time Bikram yoga favorite. The spine twisting pose requires (and develops) both strength and flexibility harmoniously.