A Deeper Look: Bikram Yoga or "Hot Yoga", Let's Sweat it Out! | Bikram Asanas

If you have already experienced the sensation of entering a sauna (and you don't mind) and you have a certain passion for yoga, you just have to combine the two and try Bikram yoga, also known as Hot Yoga. It is a therapeutic yoga conceived by Bikram Choudhury, a student of Bishnu Hosh, brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, and later a yoga teacher.

A regular practitioner since the age of four, Bikram Choudhury can therefore be said to be the creator of this practice which consists of a sequence of 26 postures (Bikram yoga asanas), which, repeated constantly, can lead to healing of the body and mind.

The benefits of Bikram yoga

So far, Bikram yoga might seem like a slightly longer variant of a traditional Sun Salutation or nothing so particular as it is only a sequence of postures, but there's more: Bikram yoga is practiced in a heated room at the temperature of 40 ° C. The heat, in fact, ensures significant benefits to body and mind: not only allows the muscles to stretch without risking tears and injuries, but allows the body to eliminate toxins through sweat and the blood to circulate effectively, oxygenating organs and tissues better. . From a mental point of view then, the practice of Bikram yoga helps to increase one's energy, because it stimulates awareness: it then allows to decrease the levels of stress or to react to the latter, stimulating the mind to use the accumulated energy. . Constant practice improves concentration, relieves anxiety and calms nervousness

How a Bikram yoga class takes place

A Bikram yoga class, lasting about 90 minutes, begins with some breathing exercises, the so-called Pranayama: it warms up the body and then proceeds with a series of standing postures for realignment, compression and balance. Then there are the positions on the ground, characterized by numerous arches and forward bends that have the purpose of strengthening the back and the vertebral column.

The main Bikram yoga asanas

In hot yoga there are 5 main Bikram yoga asanas basic.

Crescent Moon , Urdhva Hastasana 

crescent moon yoga pose

The first is the Crescent Position which is practiced with legs together by raising the arms above the head, crossing the hands and slowly flexing the torso to the right. This position allows you to work on your abs, waist and back by strengthening them and improving the flexibility of the spine.

Utktatasana, Awkward Pose

Utktatasana, Awkward Pose

The second position is the so-called awkward position to be practiced standing with the legs well apart: come down with the buttocks by bending the legs and keeping your balance on your toes. The goal of this asana is to strengthen the legs and warm cold feet, in fact it is very useful if you have a rheumatism and arthritis problem.

Paschimottanasana, Seated Forward Bend

Paschimottanasana, Seated Forward Bend

This bikram yoga asana has to be done on the ground with the flexed feet: raise your arms in front of you, follow with the torso and descend towards the legs, extending the arms towards the feet. Try to reach your hands with your feet, getting where you can. In this way, you not only lengthen your spine and improve flexibility, but also train your muscles and tendons, toning your lower body.

Half moon Pose – Ardha Chandrasana

Half moon Pose – Ardha Chandrasana

To enter the asana, as you inhale, lean forward slightly with your torso, bringing your right hand to the mat. At the same time raise the left leg by rotating the pelvis upwards and keeping active legs and hammer foot. The arms are perpendicular to the floor. The head rotates towards the left arm if there are no problems in the cervical area. The weight of the body is not on the right hand but in perfect balance and distributed between the right leg rooted to the ground and the left leg pushing back. The abdominals are active as well as the pelvic floor. We can use variations: to simplify the asana, use a brick under the hand that goes towards the carpet while to make it more intense, remove the hand from the mat

Eagle Pose – Guradasana

Eagle Pose – Guradasana

Begin in Tadasana, the mountain position. Bend the knee of the left leg and then slowly lift the foot off the ground. Once you have found stability on the supporting foot, cross the left leg over the right thigh. Finally try to hook the left foot behind the calf of the other leg. Extend your arms in front of you, bend your elbows 90 degrees so that your forearms are parallel to your chest. Cross your arms putting the support leg as the highest arm. Breathe deeply in this position and try to increase the dwell time each time.

Bikram yoga is incredible to help you work on your body while disconnecting and reprogram your mind to live your best life! Always listen to your body when performing the Bikram yoga asanas and practice hot yoga from a place of mindful acceptance and appreciation for your body.

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