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 Pose 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

Garusana

Improving flexibility in the largest joints in the body – scapulae, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles
Flushing and activating the lymphatic system

Standing Head-to-Knee

Dandayamana-Janurshirasana

Develops concentration, determination, and patience
Great for 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

Tree

Tadasana

Creates 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 back pain, especially in the lower back
Improves function of intestines, liver, kidney, and spleen

Locust

Salabhasana

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

(Breathing Exercise) Kapalbhati

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 Parahamansa, to Bishnu, to Bikram, to each BYSJ Teacher, and to every person practicing on their mat.

The Lineage of Bikram Yoga