4 Bikram Yoga Breathing Techniques


Bikram yoga is a system of yoga integrated from Hatha Yoga by Bikram Choudhury. The beginning classes take a maximum of 90 minutes consisting of 26 postures, which includes two breathing exercises. Many individuals call this type of Yoga hot yoga since the room temperature is constantly at 40 0C with 40% humidity. Here are the breathing techniques in Bikram yoga.

1. Normal Breathing

This is possible with many poses of Bikram yoga. Before you go into any pose, ensure you breathe in and fill your lungs to full capacity. Exhale the air from your lungs when you achieve the intended posture. As you hold the pose, continue to inhale and exhale normally while holding the posture.

2. Pranayama

This technique translates to standing deep breathing. It associates with a pose that initiates control of breath, which then creates a bridge between the mind and the physical body. The main purpose of this breathing technique is to encourage the equilibrium between the physical body and the mind as well as preparing the body for the practice of yoga by increasing the heart rate and consequently the blood flow.

Pranayama breathing technique in Bikram yoga helps to expand the lungs to their full capacity, promote mental relaxation, and increase detoxification of the body as well as organs. Practicing Pranayama breathing technique will also help with sleep disorders, anxiety, and irritability among other psychological problems.

3. 80/20 Technique

This breathing technique applied with particular poses of Bikram yoga including the Half Moon and a majority of the back-bending postures. As it suggests, breathe into your full lung capacity as you move into a position. Exhale only 20% of the air in your lungs while retaining 80%. When fully expanded, the lungs can hold up to 1.5 gallons of air.

The 80/20 breathing technique is an excellent chest work out working exceptionally well with any posture that encourages the natural thrusting out of the chest.

4. Kapalabhati

This breathing technique is necessary at the end of every Bikram yoga class. You sit in a kneeling position with your back straight in a relaxed mood. Place your hands on your knees with straightened elbows. Relax your stomach and exhale quickly and forcefully with your abdominal wall. Kapalabhati encourages you to focus on the exhaling process and not the inhale. Repeat this for two sets of 60 breaths.

The above breathing techniques will help in relieving stress as well as toxins in your practice of Bikram yoga. The heat in the room will greatly assist in the expulsions of toxins and increase your heart rate as you dutifully do the breathing techniques.

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