Unlike bikram classes, the temperature in hot yoga classes ranges from 80 to 105 degrees, and the humidity in the room varies as well. From my experience I have written down my 5 key differences within the practices that make it easy to distinguish if you are in a bikram yoga class or a Hot Yoga class. So what’s the difference between the two? Are you practicing Bikram yoga when you attend a Hot yoga class? Actually, you are not, but you are practicing Hot yoga when you attend a Bikram class. After years of going back and forth with Bikram yoga with the scheduling factor, I tried hot yoga for convenience and hated it.
I spent a month practicing Bikram Yoga before quitting and have been practicing core yoga and Hot Yoga now for about 6 weeks, the more I practice yoga the clearer the error within my statement becomes. Proponents of practicing yoga in a heated room (either Hot yoga or Bikram yoga) believe that the heat generates a deeper stretch, prevents injury, decreases stress and tension and improves blood circulation as well as burning more calories than more traditional styles of practice. The insane amount of sweat made in scorching Bikram and hot yoga classes is believed to be extremely detoxifying and helps relieve stress. Hot yoga classes can follow any sequence and, unlike Bikram yoga classes, do not always include the same set of postures.
FYI, you can also find 60-minute Bikram classes, mirrors in hot yoga are very common, and talking during practice is rarely encouraged in any studio. When I started Hot Yoga the teacher asked me if I had tried Hot Yoga before and my response was “Yes, I have tried Bikram a few times”. Although both Bikram and Hot Yoga are performed in heated rooms, Bikram Yoga is governed by a strict temperature and routine. Although they mix a lot, the only similarity between Bikram yoga and Hot yoga is that both are performed in a heated room.
Also, in hot yoga they often use some of the same postures as Bikram but also include some flow, some core, along with balance and floor. Although there are a few styles of hot yoga classes, Bikram yoga is the original hot yoga and among the best known. That being said, if you have any medical conditions, it is important to talk to your doctor before trying hot yoga or Bikram.