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Bikram Yoga - Benefits and Postures

Written by
Dheeksha R
and medically reviewed by Shakti Mishra

Published on Mar 17, 2023   -  5 min read


Bikram yoga is a form practiced in humid conditions. Read the article below.


Bikram yoga is named after its founder, Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury; it is usually practiced in humid conditions between 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, it is usually called ‘’hot yoga’’ which treats muscle pain.

What Is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga, a type of yoga exercise that became popular during the 1970s. It comprises 26 postures performed in humid conditions of 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius). The floor will be set with carpets and the walls fixed with a mirror.

What Are the Benefits of Bikram Yoga?

Bikram yoga is performed in hot temperatures and consists of 26 postures that need to be performed within 90 minutes, which makes the body stretch, detoxify, relieve stress, tone, and heal chronic pain such as arthritis, joint ache, knee injuries, back problems, etc. The major advantage of Bikram yoga is better processing of sugar which improves glucose tolerance, blood lipid profile which is the blood count of cholesterol and fat in the blood, and bone density.

How Much Water to Drink Before Bikram Yoga?

If a person steps into Bikram yoga well hydrated, they need to take less water during the session. Aim to drink around two liters of water each day. If unable to hit the target, do not try to force the water right outside the yoga class. Too much water too quickly may upset the stomach and cause a nauseating sensation. Sip water when needed but do not force water during the session. If the person feels dehydrated at the start of the session, they should take it easy on the posture.

What to Eat Before Bikram Yoga?

A person should not eat two hours before the session. When a person has a full stomach, it will be extremely uncomfortable to contract and expand the muscles. However, the person should not be hungry, so they may have half a banana 10 minutes before the session starts.

What Are the Risk Factors of Bikram Yoga?

Working out in such extreme conditions is only sometimes safe. The participant's internal temperature neared about 104 degrees Fahrenheit; it is the lowest temperature with a high chance of heat strokes and heat-related illness, says the American Council of Exercise Science (ACE). There is always a difference between pain and discomfort caused during any exercise. All types of exercise cause discomfort but not pain; if a person experiences any pain during Bikram yoga, they should not force a posture, and it is better to back off.

What Are the Postures of Bikram Yoga?

  • Standing Deep Breathing (Pranayama):

Bikram yoga usually starts with a standing position of breathing technique known as Pranayama. Then, a deep inhale and exhale are practiced using the normal lung capacity to supply the body with oxygen, enhance circulation, and improve focus.

  • Half-Moon Posture:

The second one is the half-moon posture, which is a side stretch. In Bikram yoga, the postures' names differ from the standard yoga techniques. This posture strengthens the abdominal muscles and spine and helps to trigger the digestive organs.

  • Awkward Posture:

It is known as Utkatasana or awkward pose, usually called chair pose in normal yoga. It helps to strengthen the lower body as it enhances circulation.

  • Eagle Posture:

This posture challenges the body to balance with Garudasana or the eagle posture. This posture includes all the body's joints and helps strengthen, stretch, and enhance greater mobility.

  • Standing Head-To-Knee Posture:

The head-to-knee posture engages the entire body and is a challenging balance posture. It helps to strengthen and stretch the core, legs, and arms and also helps to improve concentration. Gradually try to attain the posture.

  • Standing Bow-Pulling Posture:

It is also a balancing posture, known as the standing bow-pulling posture. It enhances attention and patients and increases strength and flexibility throughout the body. This is the only Bikram yoga posture that equalizes circulation by flowing blood from one side of the body to another. A similar form called the dancer's posture is performed in other forms of yoga.

  • Balancing Stick Posture:

It is also known as Tuladandasana. It enhances balance, flexibility, stability, determination, and core strength. It also improves circulation to the heart and brain.

  • Standing Separate Leg Stretching Posture:

This posture provides a break from balancing yoga postures. It stretches the legs, spinal muscles, and, most importantly, the sciatic nerve. It enhances the functions of the abdominal organs.

  • Triangle Posture:

The triangle pose, also known as Trikonasana, enhances revitalization, strength, and stretch of the body, mind, hip, core, and legs. This posture, performed in Bikram yoga, differs from normal yoga forms. It is a great stretch for the side of the body.

  • Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Posture:

It is an intense stretch to the legs and opens up the shoulder. It massages the internal organs and boots up metabolism.

  • Tree Posture:

A balancing posture helps strengthen the ankle, hips, and knee joints.

  • Toe Stand:

Toe stand finishes off the standing posture of Bikram yoga. It increases the range of motions of the ankle, knees, and hips. As a result, it improves focus and mental stamina.

  • Corpse Pose:

Corpse posture, usually performed at the end of the session, comes between the standing and the seated postures of Bikram yoga. It helps to relax the body and mind.

  • Wind Removing Posture:

Wind-relieving posture relieves lower back pain through gentle stretches; it also engages the core and enhances hip flexibility.

  • Sit Up:

This posture acts great for centering the mind, energizing the body, and Stretching the legs.

  • Cobra Posture:

It helps prevent back pain, stretches, and strengthens the core.

  • Locust Posture:

This posture engages the entire body and helps to tone the buttocks, hips, and legs. In addition, it is a great backbend that improves strength and flexibility.

  • Full-Locust Posture:

It is developed from the previous posture. It focuses on the mid-body.

  • Bow Posture:

A backbend opens the shoulder and chest. It also enhances the mobility of the spine.

  • Fixed Firm Posture:

It helps to stretch the leg muscles, knee joints, ankles, lower back, and hips.

  • Half-Tortoise Posture:

It is a relaxing posture that relaxes the shoulders and the neck and stretches the hip to a certain extent.

  • Camel Pose:

A complete backbend stretches the spine and engages the core.

  • Rabbit Posture:

It is a great release from backbends and implores the entire body's flexibility.

  • Head-To-Knee Pose and Stretching Pose:

An intense seated posture includes stretching to offer optimal benefits.

  • Spine Twisting Posture:

This posture helps to realign the spine, which is performed on both sides.

  • Blowing in a Firm:

The Bikram yoga ends in kneeling with a breathing exercise. It is the use of Kapalbhati breathing while in Vajrasana.


Bikram yoga is a different form practiced in humid conditions, such as 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, where the floor is covered with mats and walls sealed with mirrors. It usually helps to improve the strength of the muscle. It is usually known as hot yoga, consisting of 26 yoga postures that must be performed in 90 minutes.

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Last reviewed at:
17 Mar 2023  -  5 min read




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