While both Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga take place in heated studios, that’s almost the end of their similarities. Many people use the two yoga terms interchangeably, but in fact, these are two very different practices. The difference is in how you describe and define the practice. Both Bikram and Hot Yoga incorporate physical techniques into their practice. While Hot Yoga is traditionally seen as the more progressive, Hot Yoga is often faster and more intense in the time it takes to reach the end of each poses. In this article, you will discover the similarities and differences between Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga, and also where to begin if you’re considering either.
Hot Yoga can apply to any type of yoga class conducted in a heated room. Generally, heated yoga studios are kept between 95 and 105 degrees, and the series of poses can differ quite a lot depending on the studio, the instructor, the class composition, and the day. Hot Yoga classes are usually an hour-long, although some studios offer longer 75 minute or 90-minute classes. Make sure you check your studio’s schedule to find the course that’s the right length for you. Classes may incorporate music to help inspire you and keep your energy flowing.
Bikram Yoga, on the other hand, is a very specific and fixed-pose practice developed by Bikram Choudhury in the early 70s. This set of 26 poses is practiced in the same order the same way every time, with teachers following a prescribed script. There is no music, and the room is kept at 104 degrees with at least 40% humidity for the full 90-minute class. Studios are carpeted, with mirrors on most walls. Bikram Yoga is only practiced in studios certified by the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, and all Bikram studios follow very particular studio and teaching standards to maintain their Bikram certification.
Hot Yoga and Power Yoga Classes
At many yoga studios they will offer two heated yoga classes in their schedules, Hot Yoga and Power Yoga. Some Hot Yoga classes are highly structured with a consistent pose sequence, while others can vary. Many Hot Yoga classes are taught in a vinyasa or flow style, with linked poses that flow with the breath. They will include creatively sequenced poses to keep you moving and sweating as the sequence will vary from class to class.
Taking a yoga class in a heated room can be an adjustment at first since you will find yourself sweating a lot more than in a non-heated class. As such, make sure you are prepared for class with plenty of water, close-fitting clothing that wicks your sweat, a towel for your mat and one for wiping your sweat. Hydrate well before your first class, and do not eat in the two hours before class begins. Once students have adjusted to the heat, however, many find that they enjoy the detoxifying feeling of sweating it all out. Students who feel particularly stiff may also find they enjoy the warmth.
Why not give it a try? Whether you live in New York, San Diego, Chicago, St. Louis, Columbus, Milwaukee, or Atlanta you will be able to try a heated yoga class at most Yoga studios and discover which version of Hot Yoga is right for you. You can call your local yoga studio to talk to a certified instructors to help you find out your ideal yoga class for a mind and body that is stronger, braver, and calmer. A trained yoga instructor can walk you through choosing the yoga class that will be the most comfortable and beneficial for you. You’ll learn about the different types of Hot Yoga, and learn which ones have different benefits for your mind and body.