Hot yoga is any yoga practiced in a hot room -- usually between 90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Some gyms and yoga studios offer their own interpretation of hot yoga, often incorporating vinyasas or poses linked together with breathing exercises. The benefits reported by enthusiasts and athletes include greater concentration, mobility, endurance and emotional stability.
Hot Power Yoga
Hot power yoga has roots in the tradition-based Ashtanga style. Like other basic yoga classes, "hot power yoga" does not necessarily specify a particular style or school of yoga. Hot power yoga broadly describes classes which use some common principles, including moving from pose to pose in conjunction with inhales and exhales, or vinyasas; heating the room to 90 to 105 degrees and often using advanced poses. You can find power yoga and hot power yoga classes at local yoga studios.
Bikram Hot Yoga
Bikram Choudhury developed his style of yoga in the 1970s and founded Bikram's Yoga College of India. According to its official website, Choudhury pieced together the 26 poses of Bikram to sequentially and systematically create a healing of the mind and body. Bikram students practice in a room set at 105 degrees. Choudhury emphasizes that exercising in this extreme temperature allows students to find more flexibility, sweat out toxins and get a cardiovascular workout. Bikram classes last 90 minutes and use the same poses in the same sequence for each class.
Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga
Baron Baptiste inherited his love of yoga from his parents and later developed his variation of hot yoga called Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, also shortened as Baptiste Yoga or Baptiste Power Yoga. Writer Nora Isaacs describes Baptiste yoga as a blend of several styles, including Bikram, Iyengar and Ashtanga. Classes do not follow a set series of poses or sequences. Baptiste encourages students to follow their intuition during classes. The room temperature for Baptiste's yoga classes is typically set at 90 degrees. Baptiste's primary studios are in Massachusetts. Baptiste holds yoga retreats, which he calls "boot camps."
Moksha Style Hot Yoga
Ted Grand designed the Moksha style of hot yoga. It uses the same basic sequence layout for each class, but does not regulate the specific poses used from teacher to teacher, as Bikram does. Moksha classes are 90 minutes long and the temperature is set at body temperature -- 98.6 degrees. All classes start in relaxation or corpse pose. Instructors design classes so that Moksha students develop strength and flexibility throughout the body. The Moksha yoga website says that its yogis can reduce stress, lose weight and improve energy levels. There are variations between Moksha yoga studios, but they all focus on using green and eco-conscious building materials.
Before You Start Hot Yoga Classes
While hot yoga has many enthusiasts, working out in a hot room has its own hazards. You should monitor your weight before and after classes, replacing each pound of water lost with 20 to 24 ounces of water or sports beverages. Practicing hot yoga can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If you're pregnant or have chronic health conditions, you should consult your doctor before beginning a hot yoga routine.