How to Improve Bikram Yoga Poses

Bikram yoga provides practitioners with a challenging workout.
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The challenge of completing a 26-pose sequence in a hot studio filled with passionate practitioners regularly draws new students to Bikram yoga — one of the fastest growing types of yoga in America. After getting a taste of Bikram yoga, the desire to perfect an elusive pose often draws students back to the mat week after week. While there may be no such thing as a perfect practice, it is possible to for students to improve their Bikram yoga poses and achieve the results they desire.

How to Improve Bikram Yoga Poses

Step 1

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Drink plenty of water. If you want a clear mind and healthy body to execute precise Bikram yoga poses, then staying hydrated is a necessity.

Ideally, Bikram studios should be kept at around 105 degrees F about 40 percent humidity. A bottle of water can be the difference between a successful practice and one that leaves you feeling ill and drained.

Step 2

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Focus on your alignment. While you're settling into a downward-facing dog pose, take the time to be sure you're performing the pose correctly.

Jennifer Beyt Coffin, the owner of The Glowing Body Studio in Knoxville, Tenn., says focusing on keeping your core muscles in proper alignment is one of the ways you can ensure your poses are always safe and effective.

Step 3

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Take the right breath. The successful Bikram yoga practitioner knows that proper breathing can be key to successfully completing complex poses.

During a Bikram yoga practice, some students practice 80-20 breathing, meaning they continuously let out breath as they hold poses. Others prefer exhalation breathing, meaning practitioners take a full breath and then exhale when they achieve the desired pose.

Step 4

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Explore other types of yoga. Beyt Coffin recommends penciling a different style of yoga, such as Iyengar yoga, into your class schedule. Incorporating the knowledge from a different style of yoga into your practice can help you hone your ability to complete Bikram yoga poses.

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