We’ll go over how these two practices are different.

Hot yoga is any yoga class done in a heated room--that includes Bikram. There are many styles of hot yoga classes, but Bikram is where most of them originated, and is the best known. You should know that while all Bikram yoga is hot yoga, not all hot yoga is Bikram.
Hot Yoga

Hot yoga classes are usually in rooms heated to 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It usually is a vigorous, flowing Vinyasa style of practice where poses are linked together with each other and with the breath. The purpose of the heat and challenging activity is to loosen your muscles and detox the body.

While Bikram features 26 postures and 90-minute classes, hot yoga can have a variety of poses that vary class to class and studio to studio. In hot yoga there is often music during the class with a round of applause at the end of class. Hot yoga classes are usually 60 minutes long and allow students to make noise and interact with one another.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram Choudhury is the founder of the Bikram yoga system. This type of yoga features a series of 26 postures that you perform twice in a single 90-minute class. The series is set, so you’ll always do the same 26 postures in the same order each class. There is correct alignment for each pose, so you’ll always be striving for a more correct version of your practice.

Bikram yoga studios are carpeted with mirrors on the front wall and bright lighting. That’s different than hot yoga--which can have dim lights and be performed on any surface. What’s also different in Bikram studios is that there is no music, clapping or instructor adjustments.


  • You’ll want your own yoga mat when doing hot yoga because you’ll be sweating a lot.
  • You’ll also want mat towels, to soak up some of that sweat.
  • Wear the right yoga clothes. Tight-fitting tops and long pants are best to prevent slipping during class.
  • Drink water before and after your class so you don’t get dehydrated.
  • Don’t eat within two hours before class--you could become nauseous.

Hot yoga isn’t advised for pregnant women because the heat can be too much.