Bikram Yoga Poses 10 through 18:

10. Standing Separate-Leg Head-to-Knee Pose: Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana

Purposes and Benefits:

– Compresses belly and throat to flush out and stimulate abdominal organ
– Alleviates diabetic disorders
– Balances levels of blood suga
– Aids immune system and metabolic functions by stimulating thyroid
– Helps regulate pancreas and revitalizes kidneys
– Works digestive, endocrine, and reproductive systems
– Enhances flexibility of calves, hamstrings, sciatic nerves, and spine
– Strengthens abdominal muscles and legs (particularly calves and quadriceps)
– Slims belly, buttocks, hips, and waistline
– Invigorates and stretches shoulders (especially deltoids and trapezius)


How to Do:

More detailed instructions & Video here.

standing separate leg head to knee pose

  • Remember to breathe throughout pose
  • Bring feet together and raise arms above head
  • Form steeple grip with hands and move right leg 4 feet toward right
  • Turn right foot out 90 degrees and do same with torso, hips, arms, and head
  • Rotate left foot in about 45 degrees to keep hips squared forward
  • Tuck chin into chest and maintain straightened arms and legs
  • Round down from hips until forehead touches right knee
  • If hamstrings or spine is tight, bend right leg until forehead touches knee
  • Keep arms and left leg straight, and if you need balance, separate hands on floor
  • Engage abdominal muscles, round spine by lifting belly, and straighten right leg
  • Work toward these 3 goals: Keep forehead on right knee; Straighten legs; Bring hands together into prayer position
  • Align hips by twisting them rightward to square hips to floor
  • Keep eyes open and ensure chin is tucked tightly into chest
  • End pose by doing these: Keep arms straight and next to ears; Engage abdominal muscles; Round up slowly
  • Repeat on left side by turning once to face forward and then turning again to face left leg

Tree Pose11. Tree Pose: Tadasana
Purposes and Benefits:

  • Prepares body for Locust pose (#17) when combined with Toe Stand pose (#12)
  • Relieves lower-back pain
  • Releases tension in belly
  • Prevents hernia
  • Stretches spine and adductors along inner thigh
  • Improves balance and posture
  • Increases flexibility of ankles, knees, and hip joints
  • Enhances mobility of knees and hip
  • Helps correct posture
  • Invigorates Internal oblique muscles and leg muscles–particularly calves and quadriceps

How to Do:

  • Choose a point for visual focus
  • Concentrate and relax by deepening breath
  • Balance on left leg
  • Use right hand to hold right foot up in front of left upper thigh
  • Keep sole of right foot facing toward ceiling
  • Tighten buttocks, straighten spine, and ensure the following:
  • Tailbone is lengthening down
  • Ribs are drawn in
  • Shoulders are moving back rather than rounding forward
  • Open right hip and work right knee down and back until knees are in 1 line
  • If right foot remains above left thigh, bring hands into prayer in front of chest
  • Prevent right foot from slipping by pushing hips forward and bringing right knee back
  • Hold pose for 10 seconds


toe stand12. Toe Stand Pose: Padangustasana

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Aids in curing gout and rheumatism
  • Helps relieve arthritis in hips and in all leg joints
  • Strengthens joints, stomach muscle, biceps, triceps, and shoulders
  • Invigorates ankles, feet, and knees–especially effective for curing gout and rheumatism
  • Builds balance, concentration, core strength, focus, and patience
  • Prepares body for relaxation and stillness of next pose

How to Do:

  • Remember to breathe
  • Begin in Tree pose and then hinge forward from hips while keeping standing leg straight
  • Distribute weight evenly through thighs, calves, and all areas of standing foot before descending
  • Reach for floor and transfer body weight to hands so that knees are protected as standing leg starts to bend
  • Keep standing leg locked, bend down to ground, and focus on a point on floor in front of you
  • Once you’re sitting on heel, walk hands back by hips, lift chest, and straighten spine
  • If foot of folded leg slips, hold foot with opposite hand
  • Maintain balance by visually focusing on floor about 2 feet away and by using core strength to straighten spine
  • Lengthen spine by pretending to touch top of head to ceiling
  • Bring hands into prayer
  • Breathe, stay in balance, and gradually lift gaze to meet your eyes in mirror
  • Engage abdominal muscles and inhale deeply through nose
  • Finish pose by doing these:
  • Walk hands forward
  • Push away from floor
  • Straighten standing leg while keeping its knee aligned forward
  • Once you’re standing, lower folded leg


corpse pose13. Corpse Pose: Savasana

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Focuses on breathing
  • Maximizes release of tension by completely relaxing entire body
  • Optimizes circulation of freshly oxygenated blood to all areas of body
  • Slows heart rate and reduces blood pressure
  • Lessens fatigue and headache
  • Calms mind, reduces insomnia, and improves sleep
  • Cures fatigue and jet lag
  • Improves absorption of nutrients
  • Balances blood pressure, brain waves, and respiratory rate
  • Strengthens immune system

How to Do:

  • Lie back on floor, touch heels together, and let feet fall sideways
  • Relax arms by letting them gently fall to both sides with palms facing up
  • Keep eyes open and gaze softly at a spot on ceiling
  • Ensure that fingers and toes are relaxed and release any restrictions in throat
  • Pull shoulders down and back flatly against floor
  • Find a place on floor where body feels completely at ease
  • Breathe slowly and deeply, encouraging more tension to leave body with each exhale
  • Focus on breathing, especially if mind wanders

wind removing pose14. Wind-Removing Pose: Pavanamuktasana

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Cures and prevents flatulence
  • Enhances body’s nutrient absorption by massaging ascending, descending, and transverse colon
  • Regulates and normalizes levels of hydrochloric acid in stomach
  • Alleviates most chronic abdominal discomforts
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Boosts functions of immune system and metabolism by compressing thyroid gland
  • Stretches shoulders and entire back side of spine
  • Improves flexibility of hip joints
  • Firms and tones muscles of thighs, hips, and abdominal wall
  • Strengthens biceps and hand muscles

How to Do:

  • Fully interlace all 10 fingers and take hold of right leg 2 inches below knee
  • Draw right knee out and down toward chest
  • Pull right knee to right shoulder
  • Keep elbows in close to body and relax shoulders flatly on floor
  • Tuck chin into chest and keep left leg firmly on floor; if left calf muscle lifts, flex foot
  • Hold pose for 10 seconds and remember to breathe
  • While holding pose, allow pose to work into right hip
  • Lower right leg
  • Repeat above steps using left leg and then relax into left hip
  • Raise knees toward chest and grab onto opposite elbows, hooking arms just under knees
  • If grabbing elbows isn’t possible, grab forearms, wrists or fingers
  • When pulling in knees, look down through diamond shape created between arms and legs
  • Work toward getting every vertebra of spine on floor by doing these: Tuck chin to chest to lengthen neck; Flatten shoulders against ground to extend upper spine; Push hips and tailbone down to work lower spine
  • Remember to breathe and hold pose for 20 seconds
  • Lower both legs slowly

situp bikram yoga15. Bikram Yoga Sit-Up Pose

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Realigns spine and enhances its flexibility
  • Increases flexibility of hamstrings
  • Massages abdominal organs
  • Strengthens and tightens abdominal muscles
  • Tones torso
  • Energizes body to prepare it for next pose

How to Do:

  • Start from Corpse pose (#13)
  • Flex toes up toward ceiling
  • Bring both arms overhead and cross thumbs
  • Inhale as you sit up and exhale as you start diving forward to reach for toes
  • Work toward keeping legs on floor
  • Grab toes and lay body flat on legs to stretch back of body
  • If hamstrings and lower back are too tight, bend knees slightly to grab toes and touch forehead to knees
  • Stay motivated even if you think you have no abdominal strength; building strength takes time

cobra pose16. Cobra Pose: Bhujangasana

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Targets lower back
  • Prevents lower back pain
  • Helps to cure lumbago, rheumatism, and spinal arthritis
  • Relieves menstrual problems, such as backaches, cramps, and irregularity
  • Cures loss of appetite
  • Aids in correcting posture
  • Enhances functioning of liver and spleen
  • Boosts concentration
  • Increases spinal flexibility and strength
  • Invigorates deltoids, trapezius, and triceps
  • Massages and tones back muscles

(NOTE: This pose requires 80-20 breathing, whose “How-to-Do” is described first. The “How-to-Do” for the pose is explained immediately after.)

How to Do 80-20 Breathing:

  • Begin by taking a full breath as if preparing to head underwater
  • As you inhale, lift ribs while engaging and stretching abdominal muscles
  • Move into pose while exhaling 20% of air through nose with closed mouth
  • Continue to breathe this way: inhale fully and exhale 20% of air while keeping lungs 80% full

How to Do:

  • Lie on belly
  • Put palms flatly on floor directly underneath shoulders, fingertips in line with tops of shoulders
  • Keep legs and feet together and keep them stretched down and back
  • Draw shoulders down and keep elbows in close to ribs
  • For next step, use strength of spine and legs rather than arms (it’s not a push up)
  • Inhale, look up to ceiling, and arch head and torso back until belly button just touches floor.
  • Ensure that arms are “L-shaped” at 90 degrees
  • Maintain slightly raised gaze and avoid supporting body weight with hands
  • To prepare for 80-20 breathing, keep elbows tightly to sides of body and relax face
  • Hold pose for 20 seconds while doing 80-20 breathing
  • Lower chin to floor

Locust-Pose17. Locust Pose: Salabhasana

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Includes all benefits of Cobra pose (#16)
  • Encourages concentration and perseverance
  • Targets upper back
  • Helps cure spinal problems including slipped discs, sciatica, and gout
  • Cures tennis elbow
  • Boosts circulation
  • Increases flexibility and tone in spinal muscles
  • Firms hips, buttocks, and legs
  • Invigorates arm and back muscles
  • Strengthens shoulders, pectorals, elbows, wrists, and spine
  • Builds core strength

(NOTE: This pose has 2 How to Dos: the first explains doing the pose with 1 leg only, and the second explanation involves both legs.)

How to Do (with 1 leg):

  • Lie on belly with chin forward on towel
  • Lift hips, turn arms in, and pin arms underneath body
  • Move arms underneath body by lifting one hip at a time and rolling to one side
  • Keep palms flatly on floor, spread fingers, and point fingers toward knees
  • Relax and keep body firm and steady
  • Without lifting hips, raise right leg straight up to 45-degrees, and keep left leg relaxed on floor
  • Maintain tightened muscles in right leg, point toes, and lock knee
  • Touch hipbones to forearms and ensure right hip is not twisting out
  • Keep stretching right leg back and hold pose for 10 seconds
  • Repeat with left leg

How to do (with both legs):

  • Protect neck by tilting head down, tucking chin in, and keeping mouth on towel
  • Keep arms underneath body
  • Straighten legs, point toes, and lock knees
  • Lift legs up away from floor, breathe through nose, and hold pose for 10 seconds
  • Strive to lift legs and hips away from floor all the way to belly button
  • Use every ounce of strength in legs and abdomen
  • Lower both legs without collapsing
  • Turn to one side

full locust pose18. Full Locust Pose: Poorna Salabhasana

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Improves function of liver and spleen
  • Increases spinal strength and flexibility
  • Firms muscles of thighs, hips, abdomen, and upper arms
  • Strengthens deltoids and trapezius
  • Includes benefits of Standing Bow-Pulling pose (#6) and Cobra pose (#16)

How to Do: 

  • Begin by targeting mid-spine
  • Lay belly down on floor
  • Turn chin in and stretch arms out to sides in line with shoulders
  • Face palms down
  • Keep legs, knees, and feet together
  • Ensure that calves, thighs, and buttocks remain tightened throughout pose
  • Exhale completely, then inhale
  • Lift arms, legs, chest, head, and torso away from floor
  • Keep gaze lifted to direct whole body to lift
  • Remember to breathe; a deep inhale will help you lift
  • Draw arms back so fingers are in line with top of shoulders and face palms toward floor
  • To arch body more: Use back muscles, and maintain straightened arms and legs and keep them engaged. You should also use core strength.
  • Set goal to eventually balance body on abdomen
  • Hold pose for 10 seconds while doing 80-20 breathing


Navigate To Page 3 Below To View The Last 8 Poses