26 Bikram Yoga Poses (and the Purpose of Each)

Bikram yoga postures

Yogi Bikram Choudhury developed Bikram Yoga poses in 1974. His philosophy was to marry movement, breath, and extreme heat to purge the body of toxins, cleanse the mind, and bring the being closer to the spirit.

Sequence of Poses

Here are the 26 Bikram Yoga poses in practice order. The session is divided into to segments, standing and sitting, and each session begins with pranayama, which prepares the body for exercise by pushing stale air out of the lungs and filling them with fresh breath

Standing Poses

  1. Ardha-Chandrasana - Strengthens the core and stimulates vital organs
  2. Pada-Hastasana - Stretches the spine and lower muscles and increases circulation
  3. Utkatasana - Strengthens the lower body
  4. Garurasana - Stimulates the reproductive system and firms the lower body
  5. Dandayamana-Janushirasana - Improves balance and concentration
  6. Dandayamana-Dhanurasana - Increases concentrated blood flow and hones determination
  7. Tuladandasana - A full-body balancing pose that focuses intent and strengthens the trunk of the body
  8. Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana - A wide-legged stance that relieves sciatica
  9. Trikanasana - A full-body rejuvenation pose
  10. Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana - A forward bend that tones the core and upper thighs
  11. Tadasana - Works the internal obliques
  12. Padangustasana - Another mental-physical balancing pose

Sitting Poses

  1. Savasana - Relaxation pose
  2. Pavanamuktasana - Reduces internal discomfort and improves hip flexibility
  3. Bhujangasana - Builds flexibility in the spine
  4. Salabhasana - Increase back strength and flexibility
  5. Poorna-Salabhasana - Tightens the core and arms
  6. Dhanurasana - Improves internal organ function and opens the chest
  7. Supta-Vajrasana - Tones muscles and reduces leg problems
  8. Ardha-Kurmasana - A relaxation pose that increases stimulates circulation to lungs and brain
  9. Ustrasana - Relieves back pain and expands the chest, throat, and thyroid
  10. Sasangasana - Greatly expands the spine
  11. Janushirasana - Balances blood sugar levels and improves digestion
  12. Paschimotthanasana - Stretches the back and arms and lower spine
  13. Ardha-Matsyendrasana - Full twist of the spine
  14. Kapalbhati in Vajrasana - A breathing pose that purges toxins and increases circulation

Dallas Bikram Yoga's website features a very helpful posture guideline with detailed explanations and pictures for each Bikram Yoga pose in the sequence.

Additional Resources

Bikram Yoga multimedia tools aren't common. The authorized version is simply Bikram's Beginning Yoga. This is a CD, not a DVD, narrated by Choudhury. It features the complete 90-minute routine of the standing and sitting series. This 2-disc CD set also comes with an instructional book that includes Choudhury's philosophy.

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26 Bikram Yoga Poses (and the Purpose of Each)