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By: Charry Morris: Certified Yoga Instructor
Designer of the Yoga Weight Loss System

Any yoga done in a heated room is considered “hot” yoga. Bikram yoga is yoga done in a room which is intentionally heated to 108 degrees plus humidity. The name “Bikram” yoga and the sequence of “Bikram” yoga is copyrighted by Mr. Bikram himself. You need to pay a royalty fee if you choose to open a studio or teach a class with his name.

“Hot” yoga can be taught by anyone in a heated room. The sequence is sometimes similar to the Bikram sequence, sometimes it is different. The more different, the more the class might start to become aPower Yoga class.

“Hatha” yoga is a class which has the heating elements; as well as, the cooling elements of the physical yoga practice. The yoga is more internally heat inducing, rather than by external heaters in the room.

Here is some of the history behind the differences.
Mr. Bikram popularized his sequence in showy fashion. Hollywood’s elite starting going to his classes. He was hard and hard-nosed. There was no spoiling the glamorous stars that frequented his classes and so they came in, got their sweat on and left. He came up with a sequence for “lazy” Americans. He came up with the heating element to simulate the heat and humidity of India. He came up with dialog which resonated with Los Angeles wanting to be beaten up, get a massive sweat, and have a different experience.

Hot yoga came out of the Bikram craze. Teachers that could not afford, or did not want to pay, Bikram’s royalty fees started to spin off of his classes with their own slight variations. The element that stayed the same was the heated and humidified room.

Power yoga came as a combination of the heated room phenomenon and the Patabhi Jois’ ashtanga yoga system. Throw in some sun salutations into the mix of Bikram’s sequence and you have the basis for power yoga. Yoga which is done in a heated room, but with a vinyasa style. The purpose being to reap physical benefits.

Hatha yoga is the true grandfather of all of these styles and systems. “Ha” meaning sun or heat: Internal stoking of the digestive fire and the mental fire of fortitude and discrimination. The piece missing in the other styles is the “tha” piece- the cooling, lunar piece which brings balance to the body and equanimity to the mind. This style of yoga is a physical style meant to bring the body and mind into a supremely stable state.

No matter what style or brand of yoga you fall into, you are getting the physical benefits of the path of Hatha Yoga. No one’s yoga is better than another. They are actually more similar than they are different.

Just like us. We are all the same. Let’s live, play, and enjoy our yoga in peace.

Charry Morris,
Designer: Yoga Weight Loss System.

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Here are a few other additional articles:

What you need to know to stay healthy while doing yoga

How Does Yoga Help Stimultate Digestion?
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Hot Yoga vs. Hatha Yoga
What's The Difference?