TYPES OF HOT YOGA CLASSES
There are 2 main types of hot yoga classes. Hatha and Vinyasa. Some studios are starting to offer Hot Yin as well.
Depending on which yoga textbook you read or online reference you google you will find differing lists of “styles” of yoga. Different yoga styles include Anusara, Iyengar, Sivananda, Ashtanga, Jivamukdi, Yin, Kundalini and the aforementioned Hatha and Vinyasa styles. There are more or other variations of this list, but those are the basics. There are also niche yoga styles such as pre/post-natal, arial, couples, just to name a few more. Some lists will include Bikram as it’s own style, or Hot Yoga as a style of yoga but in reality all the postures in any hot yoga class I’ve participated in have been variations on traditional Hatha postures or Vinyasa flows already in practice for centuries.
What kind of hot yoga is a Hatha style class?
Bikram hot yoga is a set series of 26 postures based on traditional Hatha asanas. The teacher guides you into each static (still) posture and you hold the posture for anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute (depends on the instructor). Please link to my Bikram yoga post for specific and detailed information about the Bikram practice.
Moksha hot yoga, the original series is also a set series of postures based on traditional Hatha asanas. Since there are almost 200 basic Hatha yoga postures and variations of each, it is expected that some of the basic poses are found in most hot Hatha classes. Go to my Moksha yoga post for a detailed description of their practice.
Bikram and Moksha are just two types of Hatha style hot yoga classes offered by specifically branded franchised operators. There are numerous other studios that offer hot yoga classes based on hatha postures taught by both instructors who may or may not be certified specifically to teach hot yoga. These classes may be a good choice for people who would like to try hot yoga to compliment other disciplines of yoga. Additionally, there are certainly going to be other styles of yoga offered in studios that are adding hot classes to their schedules to meet the growing demand from people interested in practicing in a heated room. Please leave a comment below if you have attended or heard about new and different hot yoga classes so I can follow up and check it out maybe add the information to my posts.
About Hot Vinyasa Flow
Vinyasa yoga, also known as “Flow” or “Power” yoga in some studios is also a popular style of hot yoga. It is based again on the Hatha flow sun salutation and in most classes combined with a standing series followed by the floor series. This is a dynamic (moving) sequence of postures that in certain ways feels somewhat like a dance. My post on Hot Flow – Vinyasa Yoga has full details.
There’s also Hot Yin
Yin is another practice based on Hatha postures. A hot yin class consists of a reduced number of postures (10-15) depending on the teachers plan and duration the class. Each posture is held for a longer period of time (3-5 minutes). The philosophy is that holding the postures longer will allow a deeper release right into the fascia and tissues, producing a generally restorative effect on the body. There are many that find this to be true and still others who find Yin to be one of the more challenging practices both mentally and physically due to the longer hold of the postures. This type of hot class maybe more difficult to find as it may be considered more of a specialty class by some studios.
Are there other kinds of Hot Yoga classes?
For the purposes of providing general information to those who are interested in hot yoga I will focus here on the hot yoga classes that people will most commonly be able to find, which are Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin. However, there are definitely going to be other offerings specific to studios anywhere in the world that are innovating the hot yoga practice or offering variations not widely offered elsewhere.
So, which type of class is best for me?
The tricky answer is: maybe all of these, or maybe just one. If you’re already a regular yoga practitioner and just want to branch into hot yoga for something different then any of the above classes might be to your liking. If you already know you like flow or yin yoga then just do the hot version to see if it suits you. If you’re brand new to yoga and want to launch straight into a hot practice (a very exciting way to start yoga) then you’ll definitely benefit from the advice in my post Beginner’s Guide to Hot Yoga. ← Also see this post if you are pregnant and interested in hot yoga.
Just go for it. You’ll never know if it’s your THANG if you don’t give it a go!
Comments are welcome, please leave yours in the box below. Thank you, Connie.