Hot yoga refers to yoga exercises performed under hot and humid conditions. Often associated with the style devised by Bikram Choudhury, hot yoga is now used to describe any number of yoga styles that use heat to increase an individual's flexibility in the poses. Hot yoga typically leads to profuse sweating. In colder climates, hot yoga often seeks to replicate the heat and humidity of India where yoga originated. Some forms of hot yoga include:
Hot yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury during the late 20th century. Choudhury practiced different yoga techniques for six hours each day until developing a steady technique including 26 different poses to stretch one’s body and become aware of one's own breathing. Over time, Bikram Yoga developed and shaped into many different styles of yoga practiced in hot, humid conditions.
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Hatha is a broad term encompassing all types of yoga. Hatha is Sanskrit for “forceful”, the ancient Indian language, where most yoga terminology comes from. Modern Hatha classes are slower paced, with less flow between poses. This allows for time to focus on relaxation and the Pranayama breathing techniques, taught during these classes.
Bikram Yoga one of the first styles of hot yoga devised from hatha yoga, by Bikram Choudhury. It is practiced traditionally in a room at 104 °F (40 °C) with 40% humidity. The class typically runs 90 minutes and is always the same 26 postures with 2 different breathing techniques.
Forrest Yoga is a modern style developed by Ana T. Forrest, from hatha Yoga. This specific style focuses on holding poses for a longer duration of time. The repetition of 20 specific poses accentuates the stretch equally on each side of the body. This yoga emphasizes the connection between your emotions and your physical being. Being practiced in a hot environment helps deepen the stretch without causing trauma to the body.
Power Yoga focuses on a fitness based Vinyasa styling. This encompasses the benefits of both Ashtanga and Vinyasa, including the building of internal heat, increase of stamina and flexibility, as well as reducing your body’s stress. This class is more personalized by teachers, for they will design their own sequence of postures. Students use this time to synchronize their breathing and movements.
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