How to Do Bikram Yoga at Home

Bikram Yoga is a popular style of yoga that is sure to make you sweat. Practiced in a room heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 percent humidity, this yoga style will likely leave you soaked by the final

The Bikram Yoga practice sequence is a 90-minute class comprised of two breathing exercises ("pranayama") and 24 poses ("asanas"), each performed twice. The pranayama and asanas are always practiced in the same exact order. The class begins with pranayama_, followed by 12 standing poses, 12 floor poses, and a final _pranayama. The instructor stands at the front of the room, calling out precise instructions for each pose. The standing sequence includes five balancing poses, which builds focus and concentration. The floor sequence includes backbends, forward bends, and twists. The order of asanas and pranayama is as follows:

. Bikram Yoga was founded by the guru Bikram Choudhury in 1974. It’s comprised of 26 postures practiced in systematic sequence. The aim of the practice is to gain focus and discipline, while detoxifying the body and gaining strength and flexibility.

You'll also experience deeper focus than in a crowded class. At home on your own, there are no distractions to keep you from your yoga, so your monkey mind will quiet down.That's perhaps the greatest benefit of experiencing Bikram yoga in a quiet, peaceful place: the meditation that follows.

Adequate space

(large enough for your mat plus a little extra space around the edges; make sure you can extend your arms at full reach in all directions).

A

heat source

(space heaters seem to be the trend), plus a

thermometer

to measure the temperature and keep it regulated.

A

humidity

source (optional - some people go without this at home; also keep in mind that certain heaters offer better humidity than others).

Yoga

mat and towel

, plus some yoga wear you're willing to sweat in. I recommend

,

, and

.

A

mirror

(preferably full-length) so you can monitor your alignment in each posture.

Studio experience

with the postures for a basic understanding of Bikram yoga.

Warning: if you don't know the series, don't practice it at home!

At least until you've had some practice in a studio under the guidance of a certified teacher.

The

(sold on

).

I also highly recommend you check out the book

to increase your knowledge of each posture.

Fans

can help circulate air inside the room, so heat isn't concentrated in one spot.

Hydrate

! As when you practice in a studio, be sure to drink lots of water before your Bikram class. Drink 16-32 ounces at least 2 hours prior to practicing, and double that after you shower.

Remember to

be safe

. Keep water in the room in case you feel overheated. Especially if you're fairly new to Bikram, include emergency props in your home space as well: a cushion or chair to elevate your legs after laying down, and a washcloth so you can wipe down your mat and keep it from being a slipping hazard. Sit down if you feel lightheaded, dizzy or faint -- you are your own teacher at home, so don't risk injury.

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