There is a Bikram yoga studio literally minutes from my house so I emailed them first and never heard back from anyone. I was disappointed, and even more so after reading some of that studios reviews. The feedback I read was disheartening. For example, the Bikram studio has carpet and it smells bad. One lady said her instructor embarrassed her. I was not encouraged to pursue Bikram yoga (at least not there) so I started to look into Hot yoga more. The reviews were great. No carpeted floors. Clean studios, friendly staff. Woo Hoo!!! I decided to take some classes at a new Hot Yoga studio in Newport Beach, CA. Before I did I went to talk to the staff and they were so great and welcoming.
Your probably wondering what is the difference between Bikram yoga and Hot yoga?
Hot yoga is a version of Hatha yoga or “Power Yoga” which is a vigorous form of yoga performed in a studio that is heated to 95-105 F (40-80 C) and has a humidity of 40 to 80 percent. The teacher is free to place their own spin on each class. Like many Flow Yoga classes, Hot Yoga is a fusion or combination of many different styles of yoga that is typically unique to each specific teacher and different from class to class. Class times may range from 60 to 90 minutes.
Bikram yoga was created in 1974 by Bikram Choudhury. Each class is 90 minutes in length and is comprised of a series of 26 postures (asana) and 2 breathing exercises. The postures require lengthy, forceful and well-controlled contractions of all major muscle groups. The demanding nature of the poses and the heat are designed to raise your heart rate and tire your muscles. The room is 105 degrees at 40% humidity. Bikram yoga seeks to replicate yogic conditions in India which are believed to purify and detox the body, aka “sweating out the toxins”. Bikram Yoga is the exact same 26 postures done in the exact same order with the exact same dialog every time – it never changes – it never varies.
I went to take my Hot yoga class. I was given a mat and towel to use my first visit, then you can rent them for a small fee or bring your own, My instructor advise me to lay in the room for about 5-10 minutes before class to get acclimated to the heat. As I laid there, I thought wow, this is cozy. Then the class started. Some poses I knew, some I just tried to do the best I can. I was sweating like a beast. We all were. One pose that stands out to me is called a dead pigeon. The whole 60 minutes was challenging and fun. We did yoga poses, ab work, and stretching, as the end of class as we lay there calming our mind, the instructor came around and anointed us with oil with a brief healing touch. I felt great. The next day I was sore. I was also happy that I got such a great workout. I will be back for more Hot yoga! I suggest you give it a try.
Hot Yoga brings out your best by helping you create a healthy body, clear mind and joyful spirit. Yoga eliminates the debilitating factors, which prevent you from living your happiest life and reaching your full potential. The studio I went to is called, Radiant Hot Yoga, Newport Beach CA. They do a combination of traditional hot yoga with vinyasa power flow. Hot yoga is a set of static postures, while vinyasa is movement connected to breath. The classes there are a balanced blend of static postures and dynamic flow, refined to create a sense of inner peace and harmony, while simultaneously building strength and flexibility. I really enjoyed it.
The benefits of Hot Yoga:
- Cleanse the mind and body;
- Release toxins and impurities;
- Improve flexibility, range of motion and balance;
- Burn 700-1000 calories contributing to weight loss;
- Develop muscle tone and build strength;
- Boost the immune system;
- Relieve stress and anxiety;
- Reduces the symptoms of certain chronic illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, depression, arthritis and circulatory problems
Make sure if you take a class to be hydrated. Do not eat 2-3 hours before class and stay hydrated all day after. You will have the best nights sleep too! One more thing to keep in mind; Because of its intensity and potential to cause heat-related illness, hot yoga isn’t for everyone. Be sure you check with your doctor before trying hot yoga if you have any health concerns. If you have heart disease, problems with dehydration or heat intolerance, or have had heat-related illness (such as heatstroke) in the past, it is probably best to skip hot yoga. Pregnant women should also pass on this type of yoga.
If you have no health concerns and you want to try a hot yoga class, like I mentioned before, be sure to drink plenty of water, and stop if you feel dizzy, lightheaded or sick in any way.
Resources: Bella Prana Yoga & Meditation, Radiant Hot Yoga, and Bent Out Of Shape.ca