Best Bikram Yoga Poses: Work Your Arms!


Woman flexing her arms

While we love the mental, emotional and spiritual growth that can result from a regular Bikram Yoga practice, we have to admit: the physical benefits are pretty great, too! If there’s a certain “trouble spot” on your body that you want to target, chances are there’s a pose to help you do just that! You can sculpt, strengthen and tone your arms, for instance, by focusing on the following elements during class:

Heat Helps

Just being in the hot room and doing each posture to the best of your ability will help elongate and tone every part of your body, including your arms. The added cardiovascular component that comes courtesy of the heat will supercharge your workout, helping to burn calories and trim away fat and revealing the natural musculature of your arms over time.

Arm Anatomy Drawing

Teacher Tricks

If you’re interested in toning your arms, come to class early and ask the teacher for some tips. Possessing a deep understanding of the series, BYV instructors are more than happy to provide assistance and advice before and after class (just tell ’em we sent you)!

Amazing Arms

While many of the postures in the Bikram Yoga series require the use of your arms in some capacity (meaning you’ll be strengthening and firming throughout the class), there are certain poses that put special emphasis on various parts of your arms:

Nothing Loose, Nothing Hanging

According to Bikram (and Oprah!), one of the hardest places to firm up on the human body is the arms. Prove them wrong by setting an intention before class to give your arms a great workout. Then, as you go through the postures, focus on keeping your arms as tight and engaged as possible while using them – to the best of your ability – as the dialogue dictates. You’ll be amazed by the transformation that can occur using just your body and willpower – no weights or workout equipment required!

Lisa’s Advice: “You have to be active in creating some resistance to engage the arm muscles. In Wind Removing Pose, for example, as you you’re your knee or knees to your shoulder or chest, you must actively press those knees away from you in order to engage your arm muscles. That goes for all the postures and whatever muscles you are engaging: pull in and push away.”

Let us know what your fave arm-perfecting postures (plus other exercises that target the arms outside the yoga room) are by leaving a comment below!

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  4. Stefan says:

    I have been thinking about starting to use dumbbells and stuff to build stronger and bigger arms and chest (may be good for my skateboarding: and snowboarding). But, even though Bikram used to be a bodybuilder he writes that one should stay away from babless and dumbbells…

    I am already tightening my arms from tip of fingers to shoulder, but how to engage the chest muscles?

    Today I will focus on the “pull in and push away” and see if I can engage the chest muscles more.

    I am kind of thin… and want to “bulk up” a little. I hope Bikram Yoga can help me.

  5. Andrew Bala says:

    I love these articles you guys post.

    Wow, so standing head to knee really works and tones the arms and is all about locking the knee eh? -Sounds like it really is working your whole body/core from the inside to the bones!

    • Andrew Bala says:

      …Sorry I didn’t mean to use a gender-specific pronoun, and also seem to have misquoted the dialogue. -Really do love the articles though!

  6. TD says:

    How could you forget the mother of all brutal arm torture…Half Moon!!!

    • Hollygoheavy says:

      I’ve just finished my first 60 day challenge, and managed to do 56 classes in 60 days…and I STILL can’t keep my arms up the whole time in half moon most days. OUCH! (Almost there, tho!)

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