Bikram is considered a traditional style of yoga based on Hatha. It differs in
that it is a very specific sequence of asanas (poses) performed in a room
heated to 105 degrees and taught by Bikram certified instructors. It is an
advanced practice that must be worked up to, so it is not advisable for all
beginning yoga practitioners. Because of the extreme heat, it is also advised
that one check with their doctor to make sure it is safe, especially for those
with cardiac issues or high blood pressure.
Bikram Choudhury created this hot yoga style in the 1970s and even
attempted to copyright his sequence in 2011, going as far as to sue yoga
studios for using his name without his permission. That is when ‘Hot Yoga’
emerged, but it differed in sequence so studio owners could avoid his
frivolous infringement lawsuits.
The 90 minute classes consist of 26 asanas performed in a certain order. The
heated room raises the heart rate and causes excessive sweating. It is
extremely important to start hydrating 24 hours prior, avoid eating for 1-2
hours before class, and to wear form-fitting breathable clothing. Bikram Yoga
can improve lower body strength, range of joint motion, and balance. If you
are up to the challenge and are prepared, you will benefit greatly from this
popular practice.
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