Before starting to practice the 5 best Bikram yoga poses for at-home workouts, a deeper understanding of Bikram yoga is necessary. Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, utilizes heat to open up the body. The session is intended to be practiced with all 26 poses done in order, but there are five main sections of the workout. These include, in order, standing poses, dead body pose, floor poses, sitting up poses, and blowing in firm pose. Practicing these five Bikram yoga poses will give you a general idea of the entire 26 pose workout.
The first twelve Bikram yoga poses are standing poses. The half moon pose is a good one to stretch the body for the rest of the workout. Standing straight and tall with your hands together stretched over your head, tilt your body to one side. Go slow and take caution to not go too far. The subtleties of the stretch are what is important. Do each side. This pose will strengthen every muscle in the core, particularly the abdominal muscles. It also increases flexibility to the spine and promotes kidney function. In Bikram yoga, each pose is meant to be done twice before moving to the next.
After the series of standing poses, you will do the dead body pose, or corpse pose. The point of this pose is to relax, letting go of every muscle in your body. This will give you a sense of peace. While lying on your back, allow your palms to turn upward. Your feet will also turn outward, as your thigh muscles relax. Your breath will become quieter and softer as your entire body relaxes. Let your mind clear itself of thought. Stay here for two minutes.
Bikram poses 14 to 23 are floor poses. The wind removing pose is the first to follow the dead body pose. Lying on your back, bring one knee up to the chest and wrap your arms around your leg. Hold, and repeat for the other side. This position will improve your colon and digestion system, as well as strengthen your arms, abdomen, and thighs. It will also increase hip flexibility. Another important floor pose is the cobra pose, which is great for the spine.
Poses 24 and 25 are performed sitting up and consist of the spine twisting pose and the head to knee pose. The spine twisting pose is the only pose to twist the entire spine from top to bottom. Sit cross legged, bring the right leg over the opposite knee. Take the left elbow and place it on the knee, gently twisting towards the right. Always take caution not to overdo a twist. Repeat for the other side. This move improves circulation throughout the spine and relieves pain associated with the back, including lower back pain.
This is the last pose of Bikram yoga and is all about breathing and the breath. Kneel and sit on your heels. Sit up straight with your hands resting on your legs. Allow the breath to fall in naturally and emphasize the exhale, blowing out the nostrils. This exercise will keep your heart healthy and improve digestion. Concentrating on the breath is a key component to a successful yoga session.