If you didn't already know, hot yoga and Bikram yoga are two very different practices.
The major differences between Bikram yoga and hot yoga:
Bikram yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury. Since opening his Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, CA in 1974, Bikram's style of yoga has grown in popularity and spread all over the West. Yoga studios that advertise this style of yoga must follow Bikram's exact methodology and use certified Bikram yoga instructors.
Every Bikram yoga class is exactly the same - no surprises, ever! Class is always comprised of 26 poses that are performed twice along with two specialized breathing exercises over 90 minutes. The heat of the room is always 105 degrees and the humidity of the studio is set at 40%. No music is played during a Bikram class and teacher’s encourage you to take water breaks at designated times. If you like to know what is coming next, you may enjoy Bikram for this reason. By repeating the same poses, you are also better able to see your progression in strength, flexibility, endurance and balance in each successive class.
Many yoga studios promote hot yoga, which is a general term for any heated yoga class. Practitioners of this style still experience toxin release benefits, but may not be aware of Bikram's philosophy or exact practice. Hot yoga classes may follow any sequence and unlike Bikram yoga classes do not always include the same set of postures. Hot yoga can be comprised of many different poses that vary by class and studio. Unlike Bikram classes, the temperature of hot yoga classes ranges from 80-105 degrees, and the humidity of the room also varies. Hot yoga classes can be anywhere from 60-90 minutes in length. Most hot yoga classes also play music, which can be distracting for some yogis but more enjoyable for others.
Although very different, both Bikram yoga and hot yoga offer similar benefits. The crazy amount of sweating you do in both scorching Bikram and hot yoga classes is believed to be extremely detoxifying and helps to relieve stress.