Which one is better: Bikram vs Hot yoga? There are a lot of differences between them. While both are usually practiced in the heat, they observe different styles and purposes.
I encourage you to try out both and see what you prefer. Let us go through the key differences between them. They give you an idea of what to expect before heading to the class.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram yoga is a very popular type of yoga. It is a yoga style derived from Hot yoga. Bikram Choudhury is the founder of Bikram yoga. He assembled 26 different yoga poses and 2 breathing exercises.
Moreover, Bikram yoga is easy to find. The sequence is trademarked and you practice the same 90 minutes in every studio. Usually in a heated room, this yoga form warms muscles effectively.
Practicing Bikram yoga is a great way to get a good cardiovascular workout. It also increases strength, flexibility and endurance. Expect to get a toned body practicing Bikram yoga often.
The sequence is very predictable. And the routine appeals to many people. Being very consistent and rigorous, Bikram yoga allows newcomers to progress and perform the same poses better every time.
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is a general type of yoga. The postures and exercises vary a lot between different studios, teachers and classes. Each session usually makes changes to keep the practice fresh and stimulating.
This is an intense style of yoga. It regroups any form of yoga practiced in hot and humid conditions. All types of yoga that use heat to increase sweating and flexibility can be labeled Hot yoga.
Being able to get deeper into each pose is one big advantage over unheated classes. The practice takes place in a heated room in the west. It aims to emulate the climate conditions of India.
What Are The Differences: Bikram Vs Hot Yoga?
Let’s compare Bikram vs Hot yoga.
There are key differences to consider when comparing Bikram vs Hot yoga.
A Bikram yoga class has always a set time of 90 minutes. Hot yoga is more flexible and the duration can vary a lot. It usually does not last more than 60 minutes.
Temperature is higher in a Bikram studio and always the same. 40 degrees Celsius. The temperatures also vary in Hot yoga classes. It is typically lower between 35 to 38 degrees Celcius.
You always practice the same poses (26 asanas) and breathing techniques (2 pranayamas) in Bikram yoga. Hot yoga has different teaching styles depending on the instructor experience.
Bikram yoga is very strict and rigorous. It comes from one yoga school. Hot yoga is more general. This form of yoga adopts different styles Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha or any other depending on the teacher.
The different room setup between Bikram and Hot yoga.
Bikram yoga studios must be licensed to teach Bikram yoga classes. Students expect the same sequence and teaching style every time from one studio to another.
On the other hand, Hot yoga is a lot more open. You find different room setup, music, lighting, floors, and class structure. This appeals to students who prefer surprises and changes.
A Bikram yoga room is full of mirrors. Whereas mirrors are hardly ever recommended in a Hot yoga class. They go against the yoga philosophy of self-awareness and internal discovery.
Discipline is required during a Bikram yoga class. There are no laughs or discussions allowed. A certain behavior is expected and interactions between students is prohibited.
You find different teaching styles in Hot yoga. The rules of Bikram yoga do not apply. Hot yoga teachers are free to take the practice where it makes sense, bringing their own style.
You definitely learn more postures practicing Hot yoga. It keeps your body challenged. This is an effective way to balance your yoga practice. Hot yoga classes are usually influenced by more than one style.
What To Choose: Bikram Vs Hot Yoga For Weight Loss.
Avoid the heat if you are pregnant, under age or suffer from heart disorders. Practicing with low or high blood pressure is not recommended. If you feel dizzy or lack sleep, do not attend your yoga session.
When practiced correctly with a few considerations, both yoga types improve heart health and reduce the risk of diabetes. Improved circulation and stable sugar levels are common among practitioners.
If you practice regularly, expect to lose weight effectively. Both forms of yoga are truly amazing. They toned your body, build strong muscles and joints, increase flexibility and stamina.
The heat does not necessarily make you burn more calories than an unheated class. But sweating increases your heart rate and provides a good cardiovascular workout.
Both yoga types are effective to lose weight. More importantly, choose an activity that you enjoy regularly. It all comes down to personal preferences. Stick with what you enjoy and get lasting results.
Take this in consideration when comparing Bikram vs Hot yoga. Bikram yoga focuses on intense activity of the body under severe conditions. Hot yoga is a lot more flexible.
Depending on which style you prefer, you can lead a successful weight loss journey with both of them. Hot yoga adheres more to the principles of yoga. You could always try out both and see for yourself.
Now you know what to expect beforehand. Many people love yoga because of the way it makes them feel. You should enjoy every moment of it. Leave class feeling better than when you arrived.
If that is not the case, maybe it is not the right type of yoga for you. Keep looking and do not be discouraged after a few attempts. Your body will thank you.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.