What are the Differences between Hot and Regular Yoga?

What are the Differences between Hot and Regular Yoga?

There are many forms of yoga practiced today. All yoga styles have varying movements aimed at achieving specific results.

There are several differences between hot and regular yoga.

Hot YogaRegular Yoga
Instructors are not confined to using basic yoga posesUses basic yoga poses that can be done independently or combined into a series
Done in a hot environment such as a steam roomDone at room temperature
Typically used by experienced yoga enthusiastsTypically used by beginners
Consists of various types of yoga, including Bikram and vinyasaIs basically a single type of yoga
Is designed for detoxingIs designed to promote wellness 

There are distinct differences between hot and regular yoga. It’s important to understand the differences between the two, as well as the various types of hot yoga. In addition, learn more about the benefits and disadvantages of hot yoga and traditional yoga. 

The Key Differences between Regular and Hot Yoga

Some of the most popular forms of yoga are hot yoga and regular yoga. A significant difference between the two yoga styles is the environment they are practiced. Although hot yoga uses the same movements as traditional yoga, there are several disparities between the two. 

Hot yoga movements are slowed down. In addition, the hot yoga environment must be heated. There are many forms of regular yoga; however, there are only a handful of hot yoga variants. In addition, practitioners of both forms of yoga are driven by different motivations.  The results for hot and traditional yoga are also different. 

How to Tell the Difference

The first step to performing hot yoga is to get the room temperature right. Hot yoga rooms are heated from 90°F to 105°F. Heating the room helps the muscles to expand quickly, allowing you to achieve many of the yoga poses.

Hot yoga rooms are designed to make people sweat. Excess sweating drives out toxins and impurities from the body through the sweat glands. Regular yoga rooms are not as hot, which means sweating is minimal. 

Hot yoga participants are encouraged to hydrate. This helps the body replenish lost water. Practitioners may also need a towel over their yoga mat to absorb dripping sweat. Hot yoga movements are similar to regular yoga. Common hot yoga movements include the downward-facing dog, lotus pose, and crane pose.

During a hot yoga class, all these movements are slowed down. It makes the session more challenging, encouraging participants to push themselves harder. On the other hand, movements in a regular yoga class are fast-paced. They are designed to improve one’s mind, body, and spirit.  The maximum duration for a hot yoga class is 90 minutes. This provides adequate time for a wide range of yoga poses. 

Unheated yoga sessions often last an hour or less. Expect to leave a hot yoga class sweaty. Hot yoga enthusiasts say the feeling is similar to running a marathon.  

Types of Hot Yoga

Any form of regular yoga can be converted to hot yoga. The rule of thumb during the conversion is to perform the movements in a heated room. Popular types of hot yoga include Bikram, moksha, and vinyasa yoga. 

Bikram Yoga 

This is the most challenging form of hot yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 70s. Bikram yoga is often described as militaristic and is typically practiced in heated rooms to encourage rapid sweating and release of impurities from the body. It also keeps the muscles stretched and flexible for prolonged periods.  

Bikram hot yoga rooms have carpeted floors. The front-facing wall must be fitted with a mirror. In addition, the room must be filled with bright lighting. Another unique feature of Bikram yoga is its signature poses. It uses 26 trademarked postures combined with two breathing classes. These movements are practiced repetitively throughout the session.  

Total silence is encouraged when practicing Bikram yoga. Yoga trainees are not encouraged to interact with each other or the instructor. Background music is also discouraged in Bikram yoga. This limits distractions and keeps the mind focused on the yoga movements. 

Only yoga instructors trained by Bikram himself are allowed to offer Bikram yoga classes. In addition, the sessions must be provided in a Bikram-certified yoga center.  

Moksha Yoga 

This type of hot yoga uses the same movements as regular yoga but with varying poses. Classes start with a relaxation pose to focus the mind. Instructors design the yoga movements to improve strength and flexibility in the students.

Moksha yoga is practiced in eco-conscious environments. Adding green walls help invoke a feeling of mindfulness and relaxation. A Moksha yoga class lasts 90 minutes. Expect a different routine for each yoga session. 

Baptiste Vinyasa Yoga

Baptiste hot yoga combines the styles of Bikram, Ashtanga, and Iyengar yoga. The State of Massachusetts is known for having a wide range of Baptiste yoga classes. Yoga instructors craft different yoga movements for each session. In addition, students have the will to choose which sessions appeal to them more. 

A Baptiste yoga class lasts for 90 minutes. This class is perfect for anyone looking for variety in yoga styles. 

Benefits of Hot Yoga over Regular Yoga

Hot yoga builds more endurance. In addition, performing slow yoga movements helps build muscle. The fact that hot yoga is practiced in a heated room helps to relax the muscles and keeps the body flexible throughout the session. 

It is possible to burn more calories in a hot yoga class than in a regular yoga session. Research indicates men burn 460 calories while women 330 calories in a hot yoga session.  

Hot yoga burns the body fat faster than traditional yoga. Fats are converted into energy, increasing the body’s endurance. The heated yoga room warms up the muscles and joints, which eases stretching and makes the body more flexible. 

Hot yoga encourages sweating, which flushes impurities out of the body. It is a natural detox that promotes long-term wellness. In a hot yoga class, one has to continually rehydrate to keep going. 

Disadvantages of Hot Yoga 

Despite its benefits, hot yoga is not for everyone. A 90-minute session in a high-temperature room can take a toll on your endurance and will power. 

Many people practicing hot yoga for the first time experience nausea and lightheadedness. This is an early sign of dehydration. Hot yoga styles like Bikram discourage interaction between trainees. This can make a person to lose morale because music enhances the whole experience of yoga. The lack of background music also makes the class sessions dull. 

You can still lose weight from practicing regular yoga. Although hot yoga burns calories quicker, many trainees do not enjoy the process.  Not everyone will experience peace of mind and body after a hot yoga session. Most hot yoga trainees quit early from the unfavorable yoga environment and unwarranted stress. 

Useful Tips for Yoga

Hot yoga is a good idea if you want to flush out toxins from the body. To maintain your endurance in a hot yoga class, be sure to hydrate adequately throughout the session. In addition, consider taking breaks between sessions to allow the body to revitalize. 

It is advisable to consider stopping your hot yoga session whenever you feel pain or experience any other health problem. Hot yoga is not recommended for people with some health complications, including cardiac problems. 


Hot yoga is a lot like regular yoga because of the similarities in yoga movements. However, hot yoga is practiced in a heated room to improve willpower and endurance. The movements in hot yoga are slowed down to allow muscles to stretch. Hot yoga attendees are required to rehydrate continually to maintain healthy water levels in their bodies. If you are new to hot yoga, sign up for one session first. If you can go through the 90 minutes of stretching and mind training, hot yoga suits you.


Yoga have been a part of Dakota's life for 10+ years. Her practice has helped her grow stronger, more flexible and fearless. Dakota encourages her students to be creative and challenge the body. She seeks to inspire every student to feel refreshed, nourished and balanced both on and off the mat.

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