What is Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga? Types and Benefits of Hot Yoga
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is a type of yoga which is done in a heated room, generally at a temperature of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Yoga comprises of different poses/postures with measured breathing; and a vigorous session of yoga in a heated room results in lot of sweating and warming of the body. This added heat also helps in increasing the flexibility of the individual. Hot yoga is done to reproduce the heat and humidity of India, where yoga has its roots.
Types of Hot Yoga
- Bikram Yoga was founded by Bikram Choudhury and in 1974, Bikram Choudhury started the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, California, to teach hot yoga to the westerners.
- Forrest Yoga is a combination of yoga asana and Native American spirituality resulting in a "yoga sweat lodge" in a room which is heated.
- Power Yoga is a derivative of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and sometimes uses heat.
- TriBalance Yoga is another type of hot yoga which is done in a slightly warmer and less humid environment than Bikram Yoga.
- Moksha Yoga is another type of hot yoga which was developed by Jessica Robertson, Ted Grand, and Natalia Brajak in 2004 in Canada. Moksha Yoga is done in a room which is heated to approximately 100 degrees and comprises of a series of 40 asanas.
Who founded Hot Yoga (Bikram Yoga)?
Hot yoga was founded by Master Bikram Choudhury who was born in Calcutta, India, in 1946. In 1974, Bikram Choudhury started the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, California, to teach hot yoga and to increase its awareness in the West. Hot yoga today has become one of the most practiced styles of yoga in the West. Bikram Choudhury's method comprises of a series of 26 postures, including 2 pranayam exercises. All these are done twice in a single 90-minute class.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga is a hot yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury. It is a 90-minute session comprising of 26 postures. These postures require forceful, extended and controlled contractions of all the major muscle groups. These challenging factors of difficult poses with the heat are done to increase your heart rate and tire the muscles. Due to the Bikram yoga's intense nature, it can cause heat-related disorders in some people. So, please check with your doctor before trying this yoga.
All the 26 poses can be challenging for a person and each pose targets a specific region of the body resulting in tremendous health benefits. Bikram yoga classes are designed for beginners, as well as for advanced students who regularly practice this hot yoga. The heated room/ environment help in deeper absorption by the muscles to relieve muscle stiffness and resistance without the risk of injury. Every posture is a copyrighted series of postures and is in a precise order to prepare your body for the next posture leading to powerful healing results.
A single class of Bikram Yoga helps in working out your every muscle, tendon, ligament, joint, internal organs along with increased circulation of oxygenated blood to all over your body. These postures work together in order to bring your body back on track and helping in maintaining its balance. Bikram Yoga gently stretches and massages the spine, muscles, joints and tendons, thereby helps in increasing strength, improving balance and flexibility, increasing lung capacity and increased vitality. Regularly practicing Bikram Yoga helps in strengthening your bones and lubricating your joints. People who regularly practice Bikram yoga vastly benefit through by healing of injuries and other illnesses along with weight loss and most importantly it gives an inner sense of calm and peace.
Benefits of Hot Yoga
- Detoxification of the body due to heat and sweating.
- Makes the body more flexible.
- Improves the body's posture and alignment.
- Helps with weight loss.
- Improves your balance, stamina and muscle tone.
- Increases your concentration.
- Improves breathing and circulation.
- Helps in alleviating back pain.
Caution: If you are suffering from heart disease, heat intolerance or had a heatstroke in the past, then it is better to avoid hot yoga. Pregnant women should also avoid this type of yoga. Be sure to drink lots of water when doing hot yoga and stop immediately if you are feeling unwell, such as tired or dizzy.
Note: All Bikram Yogas are hot yogas, but not all hot yogas are Bikram Yogas.