Hot Yoga – How Hot Is It?

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Hot Yoga – How Hot Is It?

Hot yoga, as per its name, refers to yoga exercises performed in very hot, humid weather or temperature. There are 2 main types of hot yoga: Bikram Yoga and TriBalance Hot Yoga. Out of these 2 types, Bikram Yoga forms the main type of hot yoga.

Bikram Yoga as the main type of hot yoga consists of 26 yoga poses, twice in a single 90 minute class and two pranayama exercises. The founder of Bikram yoga was Bikram Choudhury, who was born in Calcutta, India in 1946. Also well known as the yoga champion in India. In 1974, he founded the Yoga college of India in Calcutta, India.

Hot yoga is literally practiced when it is hot. One thing special about Bikram yoga is for the exercise room to be kept moist and warm. Recommended temperature is a minimum 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It is because this protects the muscles so that the practitioner can stretch deeper, improve muscle strength, prevent body overheating, open body pores for detoxification, increase the chances of weight loss and increases the heart rate for a better cardiovascular activity. These exercises are good for body restoring, oxygenating blood to the whole body.

As per Bikram Choudhury, most of us do not fully utilize our lung capacity. By doing Bikram hot yoga, one’s lungs can be stretched in order to withstand holding more oxygen, which allows us to be able to enhance oxygen absorption and improve blood circulation. Huge improvement on blood circulation occurs due to two processes: compression and extension. Both work together in the body upon fresh blood delivered to every organ, muscle and joint.

Keeping Hot Yoga Hot

To keep this form of hot yoga ‘hot’ enough, all Bikram studios must have certified Bikram yoga instructors and using Bikram’s exact methodology. The beginner Bikram’s yoga class covers 26 pose series but not including inversions. In the beginner classes, the yogi will be taught in certain postures to build/support the strength of body. It is important that yogi should always practice the postures in the sequence given as this is chosen to optimize the body impact and increase the capacity performance in the body. The 1st to 12th poses are done in standing posture and the rest are done by sitting up or lying on the floor. Beginners will experience relief of tension in body muscles, though with some pain and stiffness. By the end of the next class, the pain and soreness will have disappeared.

As a new learner, trust and believe that your body is stronger than what you think it is. Ignore negative thoughts and you will be surprised with your body achievements once no longer limited by your mind. After the class, you will find yourself fresher despite some feelings of weakness and exhaustion. Be patient and trust your body in what it needs to do.

The second main form of hot yoga is TriBalance hot yoga. Although integrating some aspects of Bikram yoga, there are some key differences. The key focus of TriBalance hot yoga is more on meditation and unifying mind, body, and spirit.
TriBalance hot yoga classes uses darker, dimmer lights to promote this key aspect of meditation and lower self-consciousness. The routines have more varieties and are not restricted to the 26 poses of Bikram.

Another interesting characteristic is where expecting mothers are discouraged from TriBalance, while they are encouraged to practice Bikram instead. Most TriBalance hot yoga poses are held longer than Bikram to emphasize the Yin and Yang concept, where Yin covers the deep tissues while Yang covers the outer tissues. Done at higher heat (110 degrees F) and lower humidity than Bikram (30% versus 50%), TriBalance focuses more on core and upper body strengthening and hip and back stretching. Thus, this form of hot yoga is particularly effective in treating spinal injuries as well.