4 Types of Breathing in Bikram Yoga – Part 3

If you’ve just tuned into this topic, Read Bikram’s explanation of “Normal Breathing” and “80/20 Breathing” in Part 1. Also check out Part 2.

Part 3 completes the standing series and has the same format as Part 1 and 2:

  1. A Short List – stating the breathing technique/s used in each pose or part thereof.
  2. A Teacher Reference – stating the line of dialogue or sentence in each book which states the breathing technique.

The Short List – Part 2

Triangle Pose
Technique: Normal Breathing.

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose
Technique: Normal Breathing.

Tree Pose
Technique: Ambiguous. Normal Breathing or 80/20 Breathing.

Toe Stand Pose
Technique: Ambiguous. Normal Breathing or 80/20 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

Triangle Pose

No mention – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (1st Book)

“Breathe! This posture helps create a marriage between the heart and lungs – and breathing deeply and consistently ensures that it’s a happy one” – Bikram Yoga (2nd Book) Pg 140

“Inhale Breathing, bend the right knee and sit down.” and “Inhale Breathing – move your both arms at the same time…” and “Take a deep breath, continuously stretch your left arm up to the ceiling…” and “Inhale breathing; Come up, and stop in the middle.” – Triangle Pose, Teacher’s Dialogue

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

“Keep your eyes open, exhale breathing, and stay there ten counts.” and also “Breathing will be a large help here. Big exhalations! And with each exhalation you will sink deeper into the pose” – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (1st Book) Pg 89

“One thing to remember in all these situations is that breathing deeply will help you get further into any stretch. So inhale and exhale fully, keeping the breath under control, and with each exhale, try to go a little deeper into the pose.” and “Look at your belly button and exhale 100 percent of the air in your lungs.” and “Count to 10 as you breathe, eyes open.” – Bikram Yoga (2nd Book) Pg 142 and 143

“Exhale breathing, and you go down, arms and head together.” and “Exhale breathing, suck your stomach in, throat choked, eyes open, breathing normal.” and “Inhale breathing, very gently come up, arms and head together.” and the left side: “Exhale breathing, suck your stomach in, and you go down.” and “Lock the knee, very quick, a couple of times, exhale breathing, stomach in.” and “Full lungs Inhale, and come up, arms and head together, stop in the middle.” – Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose, Teacher’s Dialogue

Tree Pose

“Put your hands, palms together nicely, in front of your breastbone as if praying, and stay there ten counts, 80/20 breathing.” – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (1st Book) Pg 96

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

“Focus one point, eyes open, breathing normal.” – Tree Pose, Teacher’s Dialogue

Toe Stand Pose

“Then lift your right hand to your chest and stay there for ten honest counts, serene and praying for anything you want to, 80–20 breathing.” – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (1st Book)  Pg 102

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

No mention – Toe Stand Pose, Teacher’s Dialogue

Stay Tuned for Part 4.

That’s it for Part 3. So far it seems there’s no hard and fast rule and if you forget the breathing technique or mess it up, all is not lost. However it does pay to learn and practice the 80/20 technique and get to know which postures benefit from it. Next week in Part 4, we’ll move onto the floor series!

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