Hot Yoga – Too Hot to Handle?

What is Hot Yoga?

Hot Yoga is a form of yoga that is conducted under a very warm and humid environment, similar to how it is in India where Yoga originated.  The heat will increase a person’s flexibility to be able to do the yoga poses that are part of the program.

While originally Hot Yoga was linked to the Yoga Style founded by Bikram Choudhury (also called Bikram Yoga), Hot Yoga may also refer to other forms of yoga done under a hot and humid condition.

Bikram Yoga

Originating from traditional hatha yoga techniques, Bikram Yoga was founded by Bikram Choudhury and brought to the United States in the early 1970s.

A Bikram Yoga Class is conducted in a room with a temperature of 40 °C (104 °F) and with a humidity of 40%.

A beginner session will last for 1 1/2 hours, and involves 2 breathing exercises and 26 poses or postures.

All Bikram classes are taught only by teachers who are Bikram-certified, and only after they themselves have completed a 9-week training course. While a Bikram teacher will follow a certain standard, each may have their own unique teaching style.

The 26 Asanas or Postures of Bikram Yoga:

  1. Prāṇāyāma – Standing Deep Breathing
  2. Ardhacandrāsana with Pādahastāsana – Half Moon Pose with Hands to Feet Pose
  3. Utkaṭāsana – Awkward Pose
  4. Garuḍāsana – Eagle Pose
  5. Daṇḍāyamana Jānuśīrṣāsana – Standing Head to Knee Pose
  6. Daṇḍāyamana Dhanurāsana – Standing Bow Pose
  7. Tulādaṇḍāsana – Balancing Stick Pose
  8. Daṇḍāyamana VibhaktapādaPaścimottānāsana – Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
  9. Trikoṇāsana – Triangle Pose
  10. Daṇḍāyamana VibhaktapādaJānuśīrṣāsana – Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose
  11. Tāḍāsana – Tree Pose
  12. Pādāṅguṣṭhāsana – Toe Stand Pose
  13. Śavāsana – Corpse Pose
  14. Pavanamuktāsana – Wind Removing Pose
  15. Pādahastāsana – Situp
  16. Bhujaṅgāsana – Cobra pose
  17. Śalabhāsana – Locust Pose
  18. Pūrṇaśalabhāsana – Full Locust Pose
  19. Dhanurāsana – Bow Pose
  20. Suptavajrāsana – Fixed Firm Pose
  21. Ardhakūrmāsana – Half Tortoise Pose
  22. Uṣṭrāsana – Camel Pose
  23. Śasāṁgāsanā – Rabbit Pose
  24. Jānuśīrṣāsana with Paścimottānāsana – Head to Knee Pose with Back Stretching Pose
  25. Ardhamatsyendrāsana – Spine Twisting Pose
  26. Kapālabhāti – Blowing in Firm Pose

If you would like to know more about Bikram Yoga and would even like to practice it, we highly recommend that you check this book – Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class. It is a very comprehensive guide on Bikram Yoga for the beginner (and even advanced) student, and contains tons of photos that help make Yoga very easy to understand and fun to do.

If you want to read more on the teachings of Bikram Choudhury, you should also check this book – Bikram Yoga: The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way to Radiant Health and Personal Fulfillment. Based on Bikram’s signature program of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, this book will help you combat a variety of afflictions—from stress and insomnia to arthritis and back pain—and maintain exceptional health for years to come.

If you are already seriously considering to attend a Hot Yoga class or session, make sure that you come prepared by bringing an appropriate Hot Yoga Towel.


To be continued … Forrest Yoga

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