This energizing breathing exercise can fill your lungs with up to six times more oxygen than a regular breath. Improves and strengthens every muscle in the central part of the body, especially the back and abdomen. Helps to alleviate lower back pain, bronchial distress, scoliotic deformities, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder. Relieves back pain, bronchial distress, scoliotic deformities, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder. As you bend backwards you compress the posterior part of your spinal column, pushing your disks away from the spinal nerves and decompress the front of the vertebrae.
Those concerned and intimidated by back-bending should rest assured that the controlled environment and proper progression of the Bikram Yoga series allows for back-bends to be preformed safely.
Unlike traditional “touch-your-toes” hamstring-stretch taught in PE class, hands-to-feet pose the whole body. This strength posture depends on the precise alignment of the feet to deliver the benefits. Prevents wear and tear of knee cartilage though strengthening of soft tissues around the knee.
Helps to decrease varicose veins by exercising the long vein (great saphenous vein) running from the leg to the heart.
Creates natural irrigation of the circulatory system – transfers blood flow from one side of the body to the other. Burns fat (up to 300 calories during the posture according to Rajishree Choudhury.) Slims waistline and eliminates deposits fat on the body. After the intense cardio workout of the balancing postures, this pose helps to calm the nervous system, release the lower back and flush the brain.
Helps with: constipation, colitis, low blood pressure, appendicitis, spondylitis, menstrual disorders.
The focus in standing separate forehead-to-knee is to create maximum compression in the front side of the body.
After the body has been stimulated by preforming the standing series, a two minute savasana is preformed to heal the body. Locust pose helps to re-align the elbow, a joint that is naturally built to straighten but rarely does. Stimulation of the thymus gland helps to regulate the cycle of eating, making bow good for eating disorders. After the strengthening benefits of cobra, locust and full locust, bow pose opens the entire spine in a deep back bend. Helps to increase circulation to facial muscles, helping to prevent and erase the signs of aging. Half tortoise increases circulation to the brain stimulating the pineal and pituitary gland helping to regulate serotonin and melatonin. Helps with genito-urinary disorders of the kidneys, urinary bladder, ovaries, testes and prostate. Helps gastro-intestinal disorders: constipation, colitis, dyspepsia, liver and gall bladder problems. Stimulates and tones the digestive organs, increases peristalsis, relieves constipation and other digestive problems.
Forehead-to-knee once again compresses the front side of the body deeply massaging the pancreas, helping to regulate blood sugar.
The final forward stretch helps to extend the legs and stretch the spine in a 360 degree angle. Improves elasticity, flexibility, circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, vessels and tissues. After compressing, decompressing, twisting and bending the spine in four directions, the final spine twist is the last detoxification for the vertebral column.
Kapalbhati breathing is the most effective yogic breathing exercise for detoxifying the lower lungs, where many toxins accumulate.
It also just happens to be one of the few postures that has been studied, albeit only slightly, by modern science.
Since oxygen is a major source of energy for the body, it is not usual to feel dizzy in the standing deep breathing. When stagnant air is pushed from the bottom of the lungs it causes a release of cellular and metabolic waste from the respiratory system.

By maintaining the form of the pose and keeping your hips and shoulders in alignment, your body receives many benefits. As the knee locks, the contraction of the thigh creates a “suspension” of the knee joint, pulling bone away from bone. The pose moves blood flow from one side of the body, dumping it into the other and creating a profound circulatory flush. Proper execution of the pose means that the arms and legs are positioned above the heart (except the standing leg.) This helps to flush the heart and arteries, particularity the horse-shoe artery. The purpose of standing separate leg stretching is to create a 360 degree stretching in the body. This pose is often called the six pack posture because of the way that it strengthens the abs when done correctly. Both are huge hip and knee opening postures but mainly focus on creating the strength and alignment to maintain good posture and balance. Savasana is one of the most important parts of a hatha-yoga practice and it is often said that this is where the “magic” happens in the Bikram Yoga series. The order in which the pose is preformed helps to stimulate the bowels, cures constipation and improves nutrient absorption.
A quick stretch to the hamstrings, it helps to prepare and open the lower back and legs for the final stretching pose at the end of class. Cobra creates an intense massage of the abdomen which helps digestive function and prevents and helps to cure digestive ailments. As you lie down on top the elbow, compression blocks blood flow to the wrists and elbows in the pose. Highly therapeutic for the spine, this pose is also beneficial for the digestive system and reproductive systems which get massaged during the posture. This posture evenly stretches all of the major ligaments in the knees and ankles in an anatomically correct position. The posture is like doing a seated standing head-to-knee and is a good opportunity to practice perfecting the form without worrying about balance. It is a pose that is incredibly effective for releasing tension from the hamstrings and the lower back.
A good massage for the abdominal organs, the primary focus is to twist and, like a wet rag, release all the toxins from the spine. Through compression of the throat, the velocity of air entering the lungs is increased to shoot air into the lower lobes of the lungs. First the body burns fat from the thighs, waist and buttocks while the muscles of the central body are strengthened. As you pull with your arms to increase flexibility, your spine, hips and legs are stretched in what Bikram calls a “360 degree stretching angle.” Completion of this pose after half-moon and backward-bending, means that the spine has been stretched in four directions, the circulatory and nervous systems have been invigorated to prepare the body for class. By maintaining the pose, the soft tissues surrounding the knee are strengthened helping to protect the cartilage of the knee. Standing bow is a hugely expressive pose, helping to open the shoulders, hips, spine releasing emotion and stress from the tissues. This makes the posture therapeutic for heart-conditions and effective for preventing heart disease and heart attack. It is easy to focus on stretching of the legs in this pose, but it is important to work the arms and bring the stretch into the spine. The endocrine system benefits the most from this posture getting a thorough compression that helps to boost the metabolism and immune system. More importantly the double-exhale helps to release toxins from the lungs helping to energize the body in between the poses. The pelvic floor is activated in this posture helping with menstrual problems, fertility and the function of reproductive organs.
When the legs lift, the upper back is engaged to strengthen the muscles of the back and shoulders. Rabbit helps to open the inter-vertebral disks, helping to maintain their spongy nature and absorb shock in spine from daily movement.
The kidneys are also extended in this posture helping with the function of the renal system.
Finally it helps to calm the nervous system and cool down the body’s core temperature to help prepare for cooler temperatures outside the hot room. Our heart and throat chakras house our confidence, love and our expression.Internally, the Cobra compresses the kidneys, adrenal glands and pancreas in the mid-back.

With the head tilted back, the upper spine opens helping to prepare the neck for backward bending. The muscles of the upper body are also profoundly strengthened by the back-bending and positioning of the arms helping with toning. When the arms and legs release this blood flow flushes the joints helping to relieve joint problems and maintaining synovial fluid.
As you bend over, the proximity of the heart to the floor, puts pressure on the muscle, exercising the heart through elevating the heart rate.
As in standing head to knee, the position of the chest increases pressure on the heart helping to stimulate and exercise the cardiovascular system. Finally, because of the amount of muscles mass used in execution of the pose, balancing stick is one of the biggest calorie burners in the Bikram Yoga series. The pose cannot be executed without constant attention to form and continuos adjustment to the position of your body.
It is important to always remember that the posture is about touching the forehead to the knee to get the benefits of the posture, and not about stretching the hamstrings. When the body is still the circulatory system is unobstructed and delivers oxygen, nutrients and white blood-cells to where it is needed. Finally it helps to balance out hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach helping with indigestion and heartburn. When the pose is released pressurized blood flow flushes the elbows and wrists getting rid of calcium deposits, arthritic starts and scar tissue. While in the posture, compression of the circulatory system decreases blood flow to these joints and then flushes them to eliminate scar-tissue, arthritic starts and calcium deposits in the joints.
This is because in the pose, so much oxygen and nutrients are carried to the brain that the only way to get the same benefit is to sleep for eight hours.
It helps to stretch the spine so effectively that with a regular practice many people report growing up to one inch. It compresses the back-side of the lungs while stretching their front, same for the intestines.Scientifically, the Cobra has been shown to decrease Cortisol levels. Because this breath is up to six times deeper than a regular breath, it increases lung capacity while giving you quick energy.
Overall, the body is energized and the circulatory and nervous systems are stimulated, invigorating the body for class. Finally the deep stretching stimulates glands and organs to help give you quick energy while maintaining the health of many body systems. The completion of all four stages of the pose profoundly strengthens the body and mind, improving confidence, focus, patience and determination.
Maintaining triangle pose helps to bring a harmony to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
These materials are the building blocks of healing, which creates the therapeutic benefit of this pose. Locust is also beneficial for carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow and effectively maintains the dexterity of your hands.
The stretch in rabbit is created by the pull on the heels, so it is important to always keep a tight grip in order to create enough force to stretch the spine.
Eagle pose particularity stimulates the reproductive system making this a great pose for sexual vitality and fertility.
The pressure of the pelvis and reproductive organs into the ground stimulates its production. The strength required from the back muscles was terribly uncomfortable, and the distress caused by the front-side stretch was intolerable.
I hated it so much that when we got to it in class, I would pretend to be tired and just lay resting until it had safely passed. The psychological stress was far more taxing than the physical effort, but I tried to remove as much fear and discomfort from the posture as possible. I experimented with lifting my chin, which was a great way to remind myself how tight and close to panic I really was.About a year after I began to face the Cobra head on, I realized that I had come to love the entire Cobra series. I had overcome a lot of systemic fear in my body, so my backbends were deeper and my confidence was generally higher.

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