Hot Yoga vs. Regular Yoga, is one better than the other?
While most styles of yoga are based on the same basic yoga poses (called asanas), there are many different kinds of yoga and it can be difficult to figure out which particular style is right for you.
For the sake of this article we are focusing on regular (Traditional Hatha) yoga practices and the more celebrity-favored hot yoga.
Both regular and hot yoga are spiritual, mental, and physical practices that involve a series of asanas that focus on flexibility and broad muscle groups.
A lot of people prefer hot yoga, because they say that the heat allows them to experience a deeper stretch from the asanas, as well as burn more calories than in a regular-temperature yoga room, but what’s better for you?
Regular (Traditional Hatha) Yoga:
Yoga was first created in ancient India in order to help connect the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness through physical activity.
In all types of yoga, the weight of the body is used as resistance in a series of poses that are performed on a non-slip yoga mat.
Yoga also requires a great amount of focus, as the flow from one position to the next must be fluid. Different poses focus on different parts of the body, but one thing is for certain: you must also focus on your breathing!
Hot yoga requires you to move through asanas in a room that is heated to between about 80 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
The goal of the heat is to help you sweat out the toxins in your body. The heat also helps warms your ligaments and tendons quickly, which is great for any type of yoga practice or workout.
Hot yoga can be any kind of yoga, so there are many different variations, but the most common type of hot yoga is called Bikram.
Bikram yoga has attracted a large and loyal following due to its intense classes, which involve 26 specific poses and breathing exercises in a steamy room heated to a strict 105 degrees.
Founded by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970’s, Bikram yoga is meant to flush out toxins, manage weight, and allow participants to move more deeply into poses due to the hot temperature.
On the other hand, other types of hot yoga aren’t as strict and don’t follow the 26 specific Bikram poses, but participants still tend to swear by the style’s ability to work up a sweat, promote flexibility, get rid of toxins and detox.
There is one thing you can be certain of when you attend a Bikram class, and that is consistency.
Outside of having a different instructor, every Bikram class is the same no matter where you go, as they all require the same 26 postures and the same two breathing techniques in the same order for a strict 90 minutes.
The humidity in hot yoga classes typically sits at about 40%, so plan on sweating profusely while you flow through the poses.
Remember, breathing is also important and you should only attempt hot or Bikram yoga if you are free from injuries and physical limitations.
How Yoga vs. Bikram Yoga: What is the difference?
- Unlike hot yoga, there is no talking, music, clapping, or hands-on instructor adjustments in Bikram yoga.
- Bikram instructors are specifically trained to talk you through the exercise, rather than demonstrating the exercise. This allows you to focus on your own movements so you can get the best of the practice.
- Bikram yoga classes go a full 90 minutes, while regular hot yoga classes are around 60 minutes.
Regular Yoga vs. Hot Yoga: How are they similar?
All types of yoga involve a series of poses that focus on the mind, body, and soul while strengthening your muscles and increasing your flexibility.
Yoga helps relieve stress while toning the body, and the yoga movements themselves also help tone and strengthen the core, improve balance and prevent injuries.
Regular Yoga vs. Hot Yoga: How are they different?
There are some major differences between yoga and hot yoga (other than the obvious difference in room temperature).
While they both challenge you mentally and physically, hot yoga can get your heart rate up quicker and allows you to sweat more due to the higher room temperatures.
Hot vs. Regular Yoga: Which one is actually better?
We Put them Head to Head in 10 Different Categories, See Who the Winner Is.
- Best for Fat Loss: While many exercises will help you take the necessary steps to lose weight, there are some that help you burn more fat than others. Hot yoga allows you to burn more calories and lose fat quicker than regular yoga due to the higher temperatures.
- Best at Building Muscle: All types of yoga are great exercises for building muscle without bulk.
- Best at Strengthening Core: All styles of yoga focus on strengthening the core, however, the intensity of hot yoga could provide a better benefit for some, making it a winner in this category.
- Most Calories Burned – Shortest Time: An average 60-minute yoga class will only burn about 150 to 250 calories. An average 60-minute hot yoga class or 90-minute Bikram class you can burn up to 450 an hour. The clear winner here is hot yoga.
- Best Full Body Workout: All types of yoga are – tie.
- Best Option for Busy People: All types of yoga! You can do a couple yoga poses to stretch and get your body moving each morning, or you can end your busy day with savasana. Yoga is a great exercise for those who are busy because it’s low intensity and you can do it anywhere! You can even crank up the heat in your shower, bring your mat in the bathroom, and create your own hot yoga room at home!
- Best for Back Pain: All types of yoga (and certain poses) can help lengthen your spine, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and return your back to its proper alignment, thus relieving back pain.
- Best for Stress Relief: All types of yoga can both get the heart rate up and help relieve stress.
- Best for Mental Health: All types of exercising can benefit mental health, Yoga adds an element of meditation.
- Best for Joint Mobility/Stretching: Hot yoga is the winner here, as it allows for a deeper stretch and looser muscles.
For some people, just thinking about hot yoga may make them sweaty and uncomfortable.
The truth is, all types of yoga are beneficial to the mind, body, and soul Try both hot and traditional yoga to see which one might suit you best!