Hot yoga refers to any type of yoga that's performed inside a heated room of about 100 degrees. The pioneer of hot yoga is Bikram Choudhury, an Indian yoga guru who in the 1970s created a series of 26 yoga poses done in a heated room of 105 degrees in temperature and 40 percent in humidity. This is called the Bikram yoga. Another one that's emerging in popularity is Moksha yoga from Ted Grand and Jessica Robertson from Toronto. These two yoga teachers created Moksha in 2004.
So how does the young Moksha yoga compare to the much older Bikram and other types of yoga? Keep on reading to find out how.
The first and most significant difference is the number of poses. Bikram only has 26 poses while Moksha has 40. Some of the poses in Moksha seem similar to each other. But there's more variation depending on the instructor, unlike with Bikram, which has fixed poses. In Moksha, there are more options like silent practices, Vinyasa or flows and Ashtanga, among others.
As for the class atmosphere, Moksha seems more flexible and free. Even the time duration is not fixed. It can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. In Bikram, the length of class is always the same at 90 minutes. Plus, it's more rigid as it requires fixed postures with no variation from the instructor. Moksha instructors are also softer and more gentle when assisting their students. Many say that Moksha is less intimidating and demanding the Bikram and other types of hot yoga.
When it comes to benefits, all types of yoga can do so much for one's health. Moksha and other forms of hot yoga strengthen and tone the muscles, improve physical and psychological wellbeing, enhance flexibility, increase mental clarity, detoxify through sweat, burn calories, and alleviate stress, muscular pain, insomnia, asthma, and arthritis. On top of all these, yoga boosts your mood and gives you a sense of happiness and fulfillment since exercise effectively releases happy hormones from the brain.
So which type of hot yoga do you prefer? Those who are strict and serious about their exercise regimen mostly prefer Bikram yoga. They prefer the fixed and never-changing routine and they are more challenged with its demanding nature. On the other hand, those who are beginners usually choose Moksha for being laidback and easy-going. They love the flexibility and the not-so-serious quality of the workout.
If you're thinking about engaging in hot yoga, it's better to give all types a try so that you can decide for yourself, which one suit you best. Try hot yoga and immerse yourself in the vast array of benefits of this form of exercise.