Hot Yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees. As you can imagine, a vigorous yoga session at this temperature promotes profuse sweating and makes the body very warm, and therefore more flexible
What Is Bikram Yoga?
Living yoga master Bikram Choudhury is a Hot Yoga innovator. His method of Hot Yoga is a set series of 26 yoga poses, including two pranayama exercises, each of which is performed twice in a single 90 minute class.
Choudhury, who was born in Calcutta, India in 1946, founded the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills in 1974.
He and his wife Rajashree were both yoga champions in India. Recently, Choudhury was involved in a lawsuit over his attempt to copyright his series of 26 poses done in a hot room.
At the heart of the controversy is Choudhury’s desire to prevent anyone teaching yoga in a heated room from calling their class “Bikram Yoga.”
He would like to reserve this title only for those teachers who are certified by his Yoga College of India and who stick to his prescribed method exactly (including not only the temperature of the room and order of poses, but also the carpet and mirrors in the room, and his approved text).
The lawsuit was resolved with an out-of-court settlement in which Choudhury agreed not to sue the members of a San Francisco-based collective of Hot Yoga teachers and they agreed not to use the Bikram name. Bikram remains a very controversial figure in the yoga world.
Hot Yoga Tips & Cautions
It is essential to have your own yoga mat and towel when doing Hot Yoga since you will be sweating so much. Students tend to wear very little clothing for the same reason.
Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after class so you don’t get dehydrated. It is not advisable to eat during the two hours before class.
If you want to try Bikram’s method, make sure the Hot Yoga studio you choose has been certified to teach Bikram Yoga.
Hot Yoga is not advised for pregnant women, since it can raise the core body temperature.