So the main questions.
Is Bikram the same thing as hot yoga?
Bikram is a type of hot yoga- it's a series of 26 postures, no music, 105 degree heat and high humidity over 90 minutes. The classes are the same everywhere and there are rules to be aware of: scheduled water breaks, leaving early is discouraged (even if you're feeling sick) some people may describe Bikram as being militant- but I think it ultimately comes down to preference. Many people ONLY do Bikram and do it their entire life!
PROS of Hot Yoga:
- Your skin will look amaaaazzzing
- Lean, long muscle. But you can get this from regular yoga and pilates
- I (personally) think hot yoga is good for type A personalities that may have a harder time concentrating in vinyasa type of classes
- Therapeutic...and all that good stuff
CONS of Hot Yoga:
- Its expensive, expect to pay $100/month but more in the $130-150 range in a larger city
- You may have scheduling conflicts
Can Bikram/ Hot yoga help me lose weight?
I have heard stories of people losing 30, 40 or even 50+ pounds with hot yoga. However in my experience, most people I know will never get shredded/super lean off of just yoga. The people I know who have had amazing bodies off of just yoga were people who were already naturally fairly slender and just needed to tone up or lose a few vanity pounds. However I do think yoga makes you more mindful of what you eat- which will of course help you shed weight. However the caloric burn cant compare to a brutal gym session/running. Ive heard people say hot yoga can burn 800+ calories a class...I really think 300-400 is much more accurate. The elevated heat makes your heart pump + burn more calories but 800 is definitely an exaggeration.
What to wear to a hot yoga class:
Girls: For bottoms I'd recommend shorts or crops, on the top I like to wear a sports tank top but lots of girls wear only sports bras and thats fine too :)! (If you're brave! ahaha).
Guys: usually shirtless with board shorts or short shorts
Things to know before class:
- Be well hydrated (drink a TON of water) and no big meals 2 hours before
- Arrive to your first class 10-15 mins early, never go in late
- Don't set your mat directly in front of other's mat, manners :)! Make sure to stagger so everyone can see themselves in the mirror