There are many people out there who may be unfamiliar with the differences between Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga. These two types of Yoga offer an immensely beneficial practice for your physical and mental wellbeing, but have a few distinct differences, making it important to become familiar with them for the best Yoga experience.
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot Yoga is a type of Yoga that is exactly as the name implies: performed in a heated room (typically between 80 to 100°F and 40-60% humidity). The heat encourages the body to become more flexible, building strength and helping to release toxins through sweating. Hot Yoga typically includes a series of 26 postures that are performed twice, with two breathing exercises.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga was created by a yoga guru by the name of Bikram Choudhury. This type of yoga is also known as “hot yoga” as it takes place in a hot, humid studio, from 100-105°F and 40% humidity. As with hot yoga, the intense heat helps the body to become more flexible. Bikram Yoga consists of a specific sequence of 26 postures, 2 breathing exercises, and lasts for 90 minutes.
Differences between Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga
The major differences between the two types of yoga are:
- The temperature of the room: while both types of yoga are performed in a hot and humid environment, the temperature is slightly higher (100-105°F) in Bikram Yoga classes.
- The sequence: Bikram Yoga must be practiced in the sequence that was created by Bikram Choudhury, which is comprised of 26 postures. Hot Yoga may include the same postures, but do not have to be practiced in the same order.
- The instructor: a qualified Bikram Yoga instructor must be certified by Bikram Choudhury himself.
Who Should Take Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga?
Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga are both suitable for different levels of physical ability, though valid health concerns may restrict some practitioners from taking these classes, so it is important to discuss this with your doctor before beginning any hot yoga classes. Both types of Yoga are physically demanding, as the postures are held for a long period of time and require a lot of strength and flexibility. However, practitioners of all levels will be able to benefit from their sessions.
What to Wear for Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga
The extent to which you sweat in a hot Yoga session depends on individual ability, though you are likely to sweat a lot during the class. Therefore, it is important to wear breathable clothing that is comfortable and workout-appropriate. You should strive for form-fitting, moisture-wicking attire, as loose-fitted clothes can be both distracting and dangerous. Additionally, Yoga gloves and socks can provide increased grip while practice the poses, that otherwise would be slippery due to sweat.
Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga offer unique yet similar experiences, allowing practitioners to improve their physical wellbeing while obtaining mental clarity. Though the two types of Yoga vary in temperature, posture sequencing, and instructors, they provide a satisfying workout suitable for differing levels of physical fitness. When attending a hot Yoga class, it is important to wear form-fitting, moisture-wicking clothes, as well as Yoga-specific gloves and socks to improve grip and safety.