Bikram yoga, founded in the 1970s by Bikram Choudhury in the Hatha tradition, is generally considered the original hot yoga. The rooms are set at 40 % humidity and in between 95 -105 degrees Fahrenheit. He opened a yoga studio in San Francisco in the ‘1970s, made his name famous with the exercise, and gathered followers from Lady Gaga to George Clooney. Choudhury has been embroiled in scandal since allegedly raping a student, and then in turn allegedly harassing his former attorney for trying to look into it (the attorney was awarded $7 million; Bikram has since decamped to Acapulco, Mexico—where he still teaches, according to HuffPost). This turn, for yoga to become an exclusive activity, goes hand in hand with the cultural appropriation of the 2,500-year-old spiritual practice, as a yoga teacher and researcher Rina Deshpande explains in Self.

Hot Yoga

The other styles of Bikram yoga (hot yoga) tend to be less structured and may vary in room temperature and humidity. These styles include:

  • Moksha, or Modo, yoga – similar poses and room conditions to Bikram with emphasis on environmental consciousness; although, poses vary by teacher, even as the sequence remains the same for each class.
  • Baptiste Power Vinyasa yogablends Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram and other styles of yoga with room temperature at about 90 degrees.
  • Hot Yin yoga is a Hatha-based practice with fewer poses held for longer (usually three to five minutes) in order to release deeper fascia and other tissues.

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  • Increasing flexibility:– Proponents of hot yoga believe that the heat can help them warm up faster and stretch further. For example, one study trusted Source revealed that people who participated in hot yoga experienced substantially increased lower back, hamstring, and shoulder flexibility. The study was small, so more research is necessary to determine if a warmer temperature aids stretching and flexibility.
  • Burning more calories:- Calorie expenditure varies widely between different people because of their age, weight, and overall fitness, so the range was 179–478 calories per session.
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  • Increases bone density:- Another small study, this time looking at nine female Bikram yoga instructors, found that their bone density increased over the course of 5 years. The instructors taught in addition to attending at least three classes per week. In fact, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, any weight-bearing exercise routine can help improve bone density if a person does it consistently.
  • Boosting cardiovascular health:- According to one small study of 19 healthy, experienced participants, a single session of Bikram yoga can produce a moderate metabolic response, increase heart rate, and elevate core temperature. However, since the routine is very specific in Bikram yoga, a person may not experience the same results in another, less vigorous hot yoga session. The researchers also note that the metabolic effects were equal to those of walking at 3.5 miles per hour.
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  • Reducing stress:- One studyTrusted Source looked at the effects of a 16 week Bikram yoga regimen on physically inactive adults with stress. The group that did yoga reported a significant decrease in their stress levels at the end of the study.
  • Possibly improving glucose tolerance:- The authors of a 2013 studyTrusted Source looked at glucose tolerance levels in 14 young, lean adults and 15 older adults with obesity. Both groups completed an 8 week Bikram yoga program.
  • Eases depression:- It may also be a helpful therapy for reducing the symptoms of depression. Additionally, a 2017 review trusted Source of 23 different studies that focused on yoga as a treatment for depression concluded that yoga is an effective way to reduce depressive symptoms.
  • Reduces blood glucose levels:- A 2013 studyTrusted Source found that a short-term Bikram yoga program improved glucose tolerance in older adults with obesity, but it had less of an effect on young, lean adults.

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Bikram Yoga for beginners

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