About Bikram Yoga

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga, also known in many places as “hot yoga,” “26&2,” and “bikram method,” is the original hot yoga series. This set sequence was designed nearly 50 years ago to make the magical benefits of yoga available and healing to everyone at the same time, no matter whether you are a beginner or yoga aficionado, sick or healthy, sad or smiling. It is intense, challenging, and extremely rewarding.

minutes of class

degrees of the room

%

humidity level

postures

breathing excercies

potential benefits

The Bikram Yoga Sequence

Pranayama Breathing

(Breathing Exercise)

Increases lung capacity and elasticity. Improves flexibility in your neck and shoulders.

Half Moon with Hands-to-Feet

Ardha-Chandrasana with
Pada-Hastasana

Improves spine flexibility and core strength.

Awkward (Parts I, II, III)

Utkatasana

Strengthens legs and arms, improving circulation to the lower joints.

Eagle

Garurasana

Improves flexibility in the largest joints of the body: scapulae, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. Flushes and activates the lymphatic system.

Standing Head-to-Knee

Dandayamana-Janurshirasana

Develops concentration, determination, and patience. Great for the cardiovascular system.

Standing Bow Pulling

Dandayamana-Dhanurasana

Improves cardiovascular function and circulation to the heart and lungs. Develops balance between strength and flexibility.

Balancing Stick

Tuladandasana

Strengthens the heart and improves artery function.

Standing Separate Leg Stretching

Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana

Releases tension in the lower back. Combats clinical depression.

Triangle

Trikonasana

Exercises the circulatory, digestive, immune, reproductive and muscular systems – all at the same time.

Standing Separate Leg
Head-to-Knee

Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana

Stretches and tones the spine and nervous system. Balances pituitary and thyroid glands.

Tree

Tadasana

Improves hip and knee flexibility.

Toe Stand

Padangustasana

Strengthens core muscles and weak joints.

Dead Body

Savasana

Returns circulation to normal. Promotes mental clarity and physical relaxation.

Wind Removing

Pavanamuktasana

Optimizes function of the digestive system.

Sit-Up

(not an asana)

Strengthens abdomen and increases energy.

Cobra

Bhujangasana

Increases spine strength and flexibility and relieves lower back pain. Improves function of intestines, liver, kidney, and spleen.

Locust

Salabhasana

Increases spine strength and flexibility, and relieves upper back pain. Improves circulation in the arms, combatting tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Full Locust

Poorna-Salabhasana

Increases spine strength and flexibility and relieves back pain, especially in the middle spine.

Bow

Dhanurasana

Increases strength of entire spine.

Fixed Firm

Supta-Vajrasana

Improves circulation to the lower limbs and flexibility of the lower spine, hips, knees, and ankle joints.

Half Tortoise

Ardha-Kurmasana

Increases blood flow to the brain, promoting mental well-being, memory, and clarity. Relieves neck and shoulder tension.

Camel

Ustrasana

Stretches the throat, lungs, abdominal organs, shoulders, and hips. Releases emotional tension.

Rabbit

Sasangasana

Creates maximum extension of spine, increasing spine mobility. Reduces tension in neck, shoulders, and back muscles.

Head-to-Knee with Stretching

Janushirasana with Paschimotthanasana

Stimulates the immune and lymphatic systems. Helps balance blood sugar levels.

Spine Twisting

Ardha-Matsyendrasana

Increases circulation and nutrition to the spinal nerves, veins, and tissues

Blowing in Firm

Kapalbhati (Breathing Exercise)

Good for internal organs, digestive system, and abdominal muscles. Learn more about the postures, benefits, and technique over on our blog.

Our Yoga Lineage

Our particular style of yoga was developed from the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, a spiritual leader who dedicated his life to spreading the teachings of Kriya Yoga as a practical and scientific path to Self-Realization. Hatha yoga postures were a part of this system. In the 1920’s he came to the US to make Kriya Yoga available to the West, and in time created the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). He is also the author of the famous “Autobiography of a Yogi” – a seminal text that is said to be the only book Steve Jobs had on his personal iPad!

Yogananda’s brother, Bishnu Ghosh then formed a therapeutic yoga school in Kolkata, India, offering a prescription of Hatha Yoga postures for an individual’s specific ailments. He also combined weightlifting and bodybuilding with Hatha yoga practice to promote physical and mental wellness.

In the late 1960s, after studying with Bishnu Ghosh for years, Bikram Choudhury distilled this particularly powerful sequence from the broader teachings of yoga and his personal, practical exploration of the health of the human body and mind. With Bikram Yoga, his vision was to maximize the therapeutic benefits for beginners and beyond, to make this yoga accessible as a healing tool for people all over the world.

And we know from our own practice it works. Even now, the journey of yoga, the lineage continues – one person, one yoga practice at a time. From Paramahansa, to Bishnu, to Bikram, to each BYSJ Teacher, and to every person practicing on their mat.

The Lineage of Bikram Yoga