Exploring the Different Styles of Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is a system of hot yoga, a type of yoga as an exercise, devised by Bikram Choudhury and based on the teachings of B. Ghosh, which became popular in the early 1970s. The classes consist of a fixed sequence of 26 poses, which are practiced in a room with a temperature of 41 °C (105 °F) and a humidity of 40%, with the aim of reproducing the climate of India. The room is equipped with carpets and the walls are covered with mirrors.

The instructor can adjust the students' yoga poses. Bikram Yoga is an intense form of hot yoga that has been around since the 1970s. It is based on the teachings of B. Ghosh and consists of a fixed sequence of 26 poses that are practiced in a room heated to 41°C (105°F) with a humidity of 40%.

This is done to replicate the climate of India, where it was created. The classes are led by an instructor who can adjust the poses to suit each student's needs. Bikram Yoga trains its own teachers, who are taught a standardized dialogue to guide the class but are encouraged to develop their own teaching style. Other styles of hot yoga have emerged since then, such as Anusara, Ashtanga, Moksha, and Baptiste yoga.

Anusara means “flowing with grace” and incorporates some flow characteristics from Vinyasa yoga, such as coordinating poses with breath but at a slower pace. Ashtanga, which means “eight limbs”, is an energetic style sometimes referred to as “energy yoga”. Moksha was designed by Ted Grand and uses the same sequence for each class but doesn't necessarily regulate the poses used from one teacher to another. Baptiste yoga is a mix of several styles including Bikram, Iyengar, and Ashtanga.

When trying to choose a yoga class, explore different styles and also different classes within the same style. Hatha is a general term for all types of physical yoga while Bikram and Vinyasa are more specific styles. Most styles focus on how you feel in a pose rather than how you look but Iyengar deviates from this principle with its emphasis on precision. Hot yoga is mainly rooted in the tradition-based Ashtanga style and doesn't necessarily specify a particular style or school of yoga.

It usually consists of a fluid vinyasa practice in which students are instructed in a series of linked poses. If you haven't yet found the one that best suits you, try many options as classes in certain styles can vary considerably depending on the instructor.

Theresa Duerr
Theresa Duerr

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