The Yoga

What is Original Hot Yoga?

Original Hot Yoga, or Bikram method yoga, is a structured sequence of 26 postures (asanas) and 2 breathing exercises (aka “26&2”).  The yoga is ideally practiced at a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit/40 degrees Celcius and 40% relative humidity.  The environment and series of postures was designed to scientifically and systematically warm and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons in the correct order.  The end result is a full body workout that energizes your body, improves circulation, and calms your mind. 

Is this the same as Hatha Yoga?

Yes!  Original Hot Yoga is a type of Hatha Yoga which comes from Bishnu Charan Ghosh. Ghosh lineage yoga is characterized by the use of simple therapeutic exercises which mobilize and strengthen every part of the body, as well as breathing exercises to lessen anxiety and stress.  This yoga is also characterized by the use of stillness during and immediately following yoga poses, which differentiates them from flow methods that link stationary postures with fluid movements like Sun Salutations. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The series is also known as “Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class” and, true to the name, is designed for beginners.  Everyone and anyone can do this yoga!  The beauty of the yoga is that it meets you, wherever you are physically or mentally. 

See above 🙂 You do not need to be flexible to do the yoga and experience its benefits.  In fact, you will gain flexibility, by strengthening your body and spine in all directions.

The heat and humidity helps you safely stretch more deeply, elevates your heart rate which allows for more of a cardiovascular workout, and improves circulation and the functioning of your immune system.  Practicing in the heat requires focus and attention, similar to meditating, which is why the practice is also referred to as a moving meditation.   

Not at all!  While we do the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, in the same sequence, your practice is never the same. Your body and mind are different every day, so is your yoga. 

The standard 90 minute class is the optimal amount of time to effectively warm up, practice each pose twice (except spinal twist) twice at the optimum duration, and have time for rest (savasanas).  Look at it this way.  You get a full-body workout -balance, strength, flexibility, and some cardio – as well as meditation – in 90 minutes. And you don’t have to travel to the gym, a yoga studio, and a meditation center.

There are a variety of ways to “turn up the heat” and effectively practice at home. You can wear warm clothing, add a space heater and humidifier to your practice space, or even practice outside if it is warm enough. However, every student and situation is different and we’re happy to talk with you one-on-one over the phone or email to figure out the best solution for you.  

I’ve decided to give it a try — what do I need to know now?
(For first time students)

Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, or the night before if you are taking a morning class, to ensure you’re properly hydrated.

Don’t eat too much:  Eat your last full meal 3 hours before class.  If do you need to eat closer to class, aim for light foods that are easily digestible.

Wear non-restrictive clothing that you can easily move in.  Moisture-wicking fabrics are good, cotton not so much.  The less/lighter clothing is better in the hot room, but obviously wear what you are comfortable in.  If you are practicing at home, you may want to wear warmer clothing to allow your body to heat up.

Please do not wear any perfume or fragrances.

Make sure to have a yoga mat (large bath or beach towel) and towel to cover your yoga mat and beverage container with water or sports drink if you prefer that.  You may want to have an extra towel for after class, especially if you plan on showering.