4 Types of Breathing in Bikram Yoga – Part 2

To find out what the four types of breathing are, and Bikram’s explanation of “Normal Breathing” and “80/20 Breathing”, please read 4 Types of Breathing in Bikram Yoga – Part 1.

Another quote from Bikram; this time a rather confusing explanation in the “Getting Started” section of “Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class, (1st book). However, it does have some good advice for beginners.

Each posture has a particular way that constitutes correct breathing for that posture. I call that the normal breathing for the posture.

First, there is 80-20 breathing, you take in a full breath. Go to the posture and continuously let out 20 percent of the air through your nose with your mouth closed. In postures that require 80-20 breathing, you will need oxygen in the lungs to do the posture, so you will be able to maintain proper strength while performing the posture.

Second, there is exhalation of the breath. In exhale breathing, you take in a full breath and exhale the breath completely when you achieve the posture. While you are doing the posture you should continue exhaling.

With either breathing technique, you should not strain. In the beginning, your lung capacity will not be large enough for you to sustain yourself with the above breathing methods. To prevent straining your lungs, take another breath as needed and continue with the breathing method. As you lung capacity improves and you improve doing your Yoga postures, you will find that following these breathing methods becomes as natural as doing the Yoga postures themselves.

The Short List – Part 2

Standing Head to Knee Pose
Technique: Ambiguous. Normal Breathing or 80/20 Breathing.

Standing Bow Pulling Pose
Technique: Ambiguous. Normal Breathing or 80/20 Breathing.

Balancing Stick Pose
Technique: Ambiguous. Normal Breathing or 80/20 Breathing.

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
Technique: Normal Breathing

Note: When I have stated the technique to be “Ambiguous”, this means there conflicting information across sources. See Teacher Reference, below.

The Teacher Reference – Part 2

Standing Head to Knee Pose

“80-20 breathing when holding the leg.” and “Exhale breath and stay there ten counts.” – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (1st Book) Pg 46 and 48

Breathing is not mentioned so Bikram’s rule applies: (If no technique is specified, use Normal Breathing.) – Bikram Yoga (2nd Book) Pg 93

“Inhale Breathing: Slowly, gently right leg lift up…” and “Take a deep breath, Continuously kick your right leg…” In dialogue for left side: “Inhale, slowly, gently, left leg lift up…” and “Deep breath, kick you left Heel forward…” – Standing Head to Knee Pose, Teacher’s Dialogue

Standing Bow Pulling Pose

“Stay there like a statue for ten seconds, 80-20 breathing.” – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (1st Book) Pg 55

Breathing is not mentioned so Bikram’s rule applies: (If no technique is specified, use Normal Breathing.) – Bikram Yoga (2nd Book) Pg 93

“Inhale Breathing, Charge your body forward towards the mirror…” – Standing Bow Pulling Pose, Teacher’s Dialogue

Balancing Stick Pose

“Focus one point on the floor in front of you. Inhale breathing.”  and “Breathe 80-20 and stay like a statue for ten honest counts.” – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (1st Book) Pg 63 and 64

Breathing is not mentioned so Bikram’s rule applies: (If no technique is specified, use Normal Breathing.) – Bikram Yoga (2nd Book) Pg 93

“Inhale Breathing, right leg step forward, a Big step.” and “Inhale breathing come up, arms and head together.” – Balancing Stick Pose, Teacher’s Dialogue

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose

“Exhale breathing.” and “Stay ten seconds, eyes open, exhale breathing, and taking notes on the interior decoration” – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (1st Book)  Pg 72 and 73

Breathing is not mentioned so Bikram’s rule applies: (If no technique is specified, use Normal Breathing.) – Bikram Yoga (2nd Book) Pg 93

“Inhale Breathing, slowly come up.” – Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose, Teacher’s Dialogue

Stay Tuned for Part 3

That’s it for Part 2. I’ll have the following asanas up next week in Part 3: Triangle Pose, Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, Tree Pose and Toe Stand Pose.

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