Bikram yoga is practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The same 26 yoga postures are practiced in each Bikram session. A benefit to practicing the same poses over and over is that you're able to measure your progress.
This introduction demonstrates two of the 26 Bikram postures, moving from tree pose into toe stand. Take your time to feel comfortable at each step before you move on to the next one.
- Shift your weight over your left leg.
- Raise your right leg into a half-lotus position on the hip, with your foot crossed in front of the pelvic crease.
- Bring palms together and hold them in front of your heart.
- If you feel comfortable in tree pose, slowly start lowering your upper body down toward the mat, eventually touching fingertips to the floor.
- Bend into your left leg to lower the rest of your body on the mat. As you lower down, shift your left leg so that you're balancing on the ball of your foot, rather than maintaining contact with the floor through the whole foot.
- Take a few breaths and find your point of focus.
- When you're ready, lift your spine and bring palms back to their position in front of the heart, all while maintaining balance on the ball of your left foot.
- Continue to focus and breathe.
- When you're ready, bring your hands to the mat, straighten your left knee, and raise your body back up to tree pose.
- Lower your right leg.
Practicing Bikram yoga in a heated room is controversial in the yoga community. Some say that it isn't a natural way to practice and might be unhealthy. Others believe that the heat offers a helpful way to detox the body, and also allows the body a greater range of motion.