Class Pass: Bikram

Bikram Yoga takes place in a heated studio and is taught as a sequence of 26 postures. Each Bikram class is cued, executed, and prompted in the same manner day to day, studio to studio, and city to city.

Although people often mistake Bikram for hot yoga and vice versa, they are different. Bikram is a type of hot yoga. It is categorized by the an identical sequence of 26 postures, it is called Bikram Hot Yoga, and it is franchised. Didn’t know you could copyright yoga, did ya?


Although it’s similar to Mysore in its consistency, it offers no modifications and concentrates heavily on the lower body. Because no modifications are offered students can find themselves in poses that they don’t belong in. And the heat accentuates this habit, opening up the body in ways that lower temperatures can’t.

I find Bikram to be a bit too rigid and repetitive. Bikram teachers also tend to have a reputation for being brash and can have a barking tone to their teaching style. All in all, I think it’s important to taste all of the yoga flavors, but I view Bikram as more of a special occasion treat than my go-to cone.

Have you done Bikram? Do you think yoga sequences should be allowed to be franchised?



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13 responses to “Class Pass: Bikram

  1. I’ve done bikram, or should I say Bikram Hot Yoga (TM), and I sorta liked it the first time. But then the second time I realized it was IDENTICAL to the first class, right down to the words the instructor said. I realized that it wasn’t for me. I like a little variety in my yoga practice. I also prefer a class with more vinyasa, which Bikram is not.

    I think the instructors come across as brash because their classes are scripted in that way… I mean, Bikram himself is pretty brash.

    • I think you are spot on about why the instructors come across the way they do. The way the style is set up fails to let instructors bring their personality to the class, which I think is a huge disservice, but allows for an extention of Bikram himself into the classes. Love your thoughts!

  2. I’ve never done Bikram before, but I like yoga teachers that have those soothing you-might-fall-asleep-at-any-second-but-can-you-feel-your-abs-working-too attitudes. I love the way they make me feel like I’m not actually working out.
    I dig the hot yoga though, it really gives you the cleansing feeling.

  3. thebettylife

    Never done a class with just Bikram poses, but have done a lot of these poses in other classes. Looks a bit limiting just sticking to those 26 poses.. as there are so many other great stretching and strengthening ones out there. Betty x

  4. foodandfarm

    I have been debating brikam, a new place opened up around me, I don’t know…. I’ve tied ashtanga and like it. Love reading the blog!

  5. It’s so weird to me that you’ve encountered harsh Bikram instructors. I’ve only worked with two, but both were incredibly patient. For me, Bikram’s the only way to go!

    • Im so glad that youve found yoga, regardless of what your preferred style is. Its so interesting to see who is into what types of yoga because I do think it can reveal things about your personality and approach to life. I love the heat of Bikram, but I love the flexibility of Ashtanga.

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  8. I agree with kari lee. Maybe it is the studio. I love the not over friendly not too soothing approach. Nothing is working better for me right now. It is so nice that there are so many styles of Yoga. Something for everyone…kind of like a good beer assortment.

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