Bikram Yoga 101: Everything to Know About Bikram

by bfoster

While Bikram yoga has been around since the 1970s, its popularity only continues to grow. That’s because Bikram yoga magnifies traditional yoga’s many mind and body benefits.

But what exactly is Bikram hot yoga? What’s the difference between traditional yoga and Bikram, and where can you find a class in Santa Barbara (Downtown)?

Here’s everything you need to know!

What is Bikram Hot Yoga?

Bikram yoga isn’t just hot yoga. While regular yoga is simply yoga performed in a studio heated above traditional room temperature, Bikram yoga has several specific defining characteristics.

Bikram hot yoga involves 26 specific poses and two breathing exercises to be performed in the same order in each class. A Bikram yoga studio is heated to precisely 105 degrees with approximately 45% humidity—which are standards higher than traditional hot yoga.

Bikram’s specific poses and heat requirements make for a quieter, more deliberate and serious yoga practice that helps promote increased healing, rehabilitation, and a deeper mind-body connection.

The Benefits of Bikram Hot Yoga

The 26 Bikram hot yoga poses are specifically selected to improve participants’ health in various ways. These poses, combined with the heat of Bikram yoga can provide the following benefits:

  • Improve flexibility, balance, and strength
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Increase bone density
  • Reduce stress
  • Ease depression
  • Reduce blood glucose levels
  • Nourish skin (through increased sweating)

Along with these benefits, Bikram yoga generally helps the body to heal and release toxins and other unhealthy substances. The famous Bikram heat loosens muscles and allows for deeper stretches.

At Gold’s Gym, our instructors say the Bikram yoga practice helps participants manage their lives outside the life. Putting aside the stresses of outside life while performing Bikram hot yoga makes it easier to gain perspective and prevent those stressors from overwhelming you.

Two Kinds of Bikram Classes

Bikram hot yoga classes come in two different formats. The traditional 90-minute format includes doing each of the 26 Bikram postures two distinct times. This is the full-length version of the class, which allows participants to allow their bodies to go even deeper stretches the second time.

The other class type is the 60-minute format, which includes the same postures as the 90-minute class. However, certain postures will only be performed one time.

While we encourage everyone to do the 90-minute class to really receive the full benefits of this practice, there are health, mind, and spiritual benefits to both classes. Even if you don’t have a full 90 minutes to spare, you can still access the positive experiences of Bikram.

Where Can I Find Bikram Near Me?

It is no understatement to say that the practice of Bikram hot yoga can be life-changing. But where are Bikram classes in Santa Barbara (Downtown)?

Gold’s Gym Santa Barbara DT hosts 22 Bikram weekly classes, with both 90-minute and 60-minute formats. We’re proud of our beautiful studio that maintains the consistent heat and humidity required for Bikram—which is no easy thing to do.

Are you interested in signing up for Bikram hot yoga classes? Stop by Gold’s Gym for a free trial today!