What is the difference between Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga?
Bikram Yoga is the Original Hot Yoga!
From the early 1970s until approximately 2010, Bikram Yoga – also known as the 26 & 2 – was equivalent to “hot yoga”. Its unparallelled benefits and worldwide popularity inspired many to try to imitate it.
So….since the early 2010s, many other “hot yoga” and heated fitness trends have proliferated, especially in North America. However, it is not the heat that makes this yoga work. The sequence, principles, and practice methods create the transformative benefits of the “90-minute miracle”.
Bikram Yoga remains the original and time-tested therapeutic heated hatha yoga. It is associated with scientifically proven health benefits and is truly accessible to all ages and bodies.
Traditional, Therapeutic Yoga Methods
It will not take long for you to experience the difference between the Bikram Yoga method at BYCA and the various types of hot yoga. This is a rough comparison – as “hot yoga” can be one of many dozens of things – but we hope it will give you some idea of the differences.
|Bikram Yoga and Ghosh lineage||Hot Yoga|
|Repeated Beginner Sequence (26 postures and 2 breathing exercises) for first several years||Various sequences depending on the teacher|
|Comprehensive treatment of every muscle group, joint, and major system in the body||Varying sequences may or may not cover each muscle and system|
|Method accessible to ages 70+, men/women||Often mostly accessible to flexible young women|
|No inversions for beginners; no downward dog; no getting up and down from standing to floor||Depending on teacher, downward dog and inversions may be present|
|Stillness during and after every posture||Movement and stillness depends on teacher; stillness becoming less common|
|Specific Tourniquet Effect in every posture for specific health benefits||Tourniquet effect might take place in some postures|
|Emphasizes SPINE strength, mobility, and circulation||Commonly emphasizes hip mobility and arm/shoulders; less focus on spine|
|Possible to do while injured or partially immobilized, even with cast, broken bones, etc.||Often requires ability to walk, stand, or put weight on wrists and shoulders|
|Emphasis on mental aspects and mastery of basics and breathing||Often emphasis on “interesting” or new postures, fitness trends such as barre, pole, etc.
|Consistent since 1972; Ghosh lineage dates to 1930s||Varying histories and many new trends|
|Goal: therapeutic benefits and concentration||Goal: various|
|Detailed instruction of form throughout, moment by moment||Varying amounts of instruction|
|No soundtrack||Music is likely|
|Emphasis on moving together with the words||Common emphasis on doing “whatever feels right”|
|Interventional research on the specific sequence and method demonstrates tangible benefits to several internal systems||Variety makes research difficult, and claims cannot be translated to other versions|
|Emphasis on self-realization and awareness|