Bikram yoga is a variation of regular yoga which adds the element of heat to the workout. This type of yoga is done in a room that is intensely heated – sometimes up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The added benefit of the intense heat is to encourage profuse sweating to rid the body of toxins, while getting a great physical and mental workout at the same time. The following are a few advanced Bikram yoga techniques for those who are looking to boost their yoga routine.
This pose strengthens the arms, legs and spine, while also improving balance. Begin by placing your forearms on the floor, with the elbows about shoulder-width apart. Bring your hands together and interlock your fingers for added support. Place the top of your head on the floor, cupped by your interlocked hands. Walk your feet toward your head until your hips are over your head. Kick up one leg at a time until you end up in a headstand position. This pose should be held for about 10 to 20 seconds.
This pose promotes shoulder, back and core strength. Begin with your forearms resting on the floor, with elbows and hands shoulder-width apart. Bring your feet to your elbows until your hips are directly above your head. Kick one leg up at a time until your are in a semi-handstand position. Bend your knees so that your feet come toward your head. Lift your head and try to bring it close to your feet, which should be kept together. The final pose will look like you are making a circle with your body.
This pose strengthens the forearms, wrists and core, while improving balance. Begin by placing the palms of your hands flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Bring your knees up and rest them on the back of your upper arms. Slowly move forward to allow your feet to gradually come off the floor. The final position will have you balancing your body with your lower arms and abdomen.
This is quite an advanced pose since it requires you to be flexible enough to do the splits. This pose involves stretching the hamstrings and groin muscles. Begin by putting one leg straight out in front of your body, while slowly sliding the opposite leg behind you until you end up in a splits position. Bring your arms straight up above your head and look up. Slowly bring your arms back as much you can, and hold this pose for about 10 seconds. Repeat this pose by switching the positions of your legs.
This pose will encourage strength in your forearms, wrists and core, while promoting balance and hamstring flexibility. Begin by squatting, then plant the palms of your hands on the floor on the inside of your feet. Bend your elbows outward, and rest the back of your knees or hamstrings on the back of your upper arms. While placing all your weight on your arms, slowly bring your feet off the floor and straighten your legs out. If possible, try to straighten your arms for an even more intense pose.