Bikram Yoga – Your Guide to 26 Postures, Benefits & Risks

You might have heard of Bikram yoga before, either at a class or even in pop culture references. In this article, we’ll go over and cover all the benefits and risk of Bikram Yoga.

The Bikram Yoga system was founded by Bikram Choudhury who also happens to be the founder of the “The Yoga College” in India. Choudhury has played major roles in the development of Yoga including devising the 26 postures sequences. The Bikram Yoga system produced by Choudhury comes from traditional Hatha yoga techniques he developed in the early 1970s.

Often, all Bikram Yoga beginning-series classes tend to run for 90-minutes; they entail a series of 26 postures as well as two breathing exercises. Apparently, Bikram Yoga is quite unique and different from other types of Yoga; it’s practised in a heated room of 35-42 degree Celsius with a room-humidity of 40%. The hot room obviously causes sweating, and the hope is that the heat will loosen your muscles and joints, and the sweat will cleanse your body.

You will definitely enjoy your Bikram Yoga since all official Bikram classes are always taught by certified-Bikram teachers so you will be guided by a professional. For any person to be declared a Bikram Yoga teacher, they have to complete the 9-weeks of training that was endorsed by Choudhury. Through this training the teachers are taught a standardized-dialogue in which they use to run the class though are encouraged to also develop their own teaching skills as they continue to teach to enable them to develop varying deliveries as well as distinct teaching styles.

Let’s look at a quick introductory video to Bikram Yoga:


The famous 26 postures of Bikram Yoga

The 26 postures of Bikram Yoga systematically works on every part of your body to provide all the veins, internal organs, as well as all the muscles everything that they need in order to maintain optimum health as well as maximum function.

In addition, by doing the sequence of asanas in a heated-room keeps your muscles loose and flexible so that in-turn encourages you to sweat-out impurities during class.

Lastly, Bikram yoga can often be referred to as hot yoga. However, it’s important to note that not all Hot Yoga classes follow the Bikram sequence. Many regular yoga classes will run in a hot room for the health benefits it provides.


The Risks of Bikram Yoga

According to 2013 review of adverse effects that resulted from Yoga, it was found that Bikram and Pranayama yoga was the most commonly used styles and it was also found that people experienced injuries primarily when instructors who happened to practice intensely over a long period of time and most when using advanced positions such as handstands.

In references to Bikram Yoga – most of the adverse events result from the heat as well as including low salt levels that are caused by sweating and excessive water-drinking.

Bikram Yoga enables you to build strength, improve in both physical as well as mental health and alleviate chronic pains or even injuries. However, this type of yoga can be an intense and somehow controversial method since on instances dizziness and weakness during and after classes have been reported.

Based on doctors advice; people who suffer from heart-diseases or rather other existing health-conditions and pregnant women should not engage in Bikram Yoga since this type of yoga style is not suitable for everyone.

Therefore, if you’re thinking of trying Bikram as a newbie or for the first-time or rather you have already started attending classes regularly, it is necessary to be aware of both the risk and benefits involved.

If you do decide to undertake Bikram Yoga, make sure that you’re well-hydrated and you only go at a pace that is comfortable and safe for your skill level.


How does Bikram Yoga work

For you to understand how Bikram Yoga works it’s important to first understand how it affects various parts of the body and the benefits involved during the whole process.

Understanding how it affects blood flow

Since, we use blood to transport various things through our bodies such as oxygen, medicine, and water; it is essential to ensure that our veins and arteries (tubes that transport blood) are always clean as well as healthy.

Through the exercises involved in this style of yoga, you’ll be able to burn excess fats accumulated in these tubes that tend to limit the pressure and free-flow of blood through your body system.

In addition, making these tubes e wider and in-turn enhances fast and free blood flow through your veins and artery thus making them work better, making you healthier as a result.

Understanding Bikram Yoga with the Tourniquet effect

Tourniquet effects entail what happens to a garden hose when it’s pinched. often, there
are two effects involves that include; pressure mounts behind the blockage or pinches and when the blockage or rather pinch is released, water-rushes through with added pressure and this is how various postures in the Bikram-Yoga series work. They work in this principal
in-order to cleanse your arteries and veins.

This Yoga style entails systematically manipulating blood pressure into certain targeted areas around your body; optimal circulation is restored thus not exclusively to your vital organs but rather to the endocrine as well as lymphatic-systems; therefore, proper blood circulation to these systems are imperative to their functioning optimally.

Understanding the effect of heat; Sweating and detoxification

Bikram Yoga is often practised in heated-room of 105 degrees Celsius with a humidity rate of 40%. the main aim is to enable your body muscles to stretch easily without straining or tearing.

In addition, the heat changes your blood velocity thus making it run thinner as well as become more efficient in transporting blood while enhances the effect of Tourniquet.

The most amazing benefits caused by heat is that, due to the heating effect, your body reacts by sweating in order to regulate temperature and through sweating, you’re able to remove waste by secreting sodium salts, water as well as nitrogenous waste like urea onto your skin surface. Therefore, multiple sweating sessions, is one major efficient method for detoxification.

Understanding how it affects the Nervous system

The nervous system involves billions of sensors as we; as neurons that are spread out through your body system, they are routed starting from your spine and concentrated within the brain in which all the information received are processed.

The nervous systems tell the brain what your eyes see, what your ears hear as well as when your feet touches the ground. Therefore, when it comes to physical movement; the spine is a vital instrument. Hence, any feelings that are sensed by your brain; below the chin and every-instruction that’s given by the brain in order to move any muscle that is below the chin are all electrical signals which respectively run up and down the spine thus the spine is the coordinator of everything.


Benefits of Bikram Yoga

Helps in stress relief

Bikram yoga involves challenging exercise, stretching as well as breathing meditation.

Through this combination, your body will be able to feel the effect of the workout session for various hours afterwards. Basically, in response; the physiological changes experienced that include controlled breathing, regulated hear-beat, reduction of anxiety as well as reduction of stress hormones such as adrenalin after the workout sessions greatly help in stress reduction

Enhances weight loss

Bikram yoga helps in burning calories due to the exercises involved in it. With about 5 sessions of Bikram yoga, you’re likely to lose a pound though it depends on both your weight as well as the intensity of practice.

Other benefits of exercising Bikram Yoga include; improves flexibility due to the exercise involved of stretching muscles in the 26 posses thus in turn your muscles gain greater elasticity as well as a range of motions and lastly, increases strength as a result of regular workout thus as your body thrives to keep up with the exercise involved in the Bikram Yoga in order to sustain the muscle stretching and in turn, your body strength also increases.


You can also read about the other types of Yoga in our main article.

1 thought on “Bikram Yoga – Your Guide to 26 Postures, Benefits & Risks”

Leave a Comment