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