Are you wondering what the difference is between Moksha yoga and Bikram yoga? Find out more by reading below.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga is the original hot yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury and introduced to the US in the 1970s. The postures are performed in a specific sequence to allow safe and progressive conditioning of the body. Bikram Yoga is a series of yoga postures synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques. Every class is 90 minutes and consists of a set series of 26 postures with 2 breathing exercises. Ideally it is practiced in a room heated to ~105°F (~ 40°C) with a humidity of ~40%.
The proven effectiveness of Bikram’s copyrighted sequence, combined with the specified 105°F temperature and 40% humidity, has enticed many non-Bikram yoga studios to offer “hot classes” with a modified sequence.
What is Moksha Yoga?
Moksha is another style of hot yoga, which was founded in 2004 by two yoga teachers from Toronto. Class times vary between 60 minutes to 90 minutes depending the class you attend; Vinyasa (flow yoga), silent practices, Ashtanga etc. Moksha is also practiced in a heated room varying between 95°F (35°C) and 105°F (~ 40°C).
This yoga has 26 beginners postures performed in the same order every class, twice, with a consistent dialogue. Consistency is key.
Bikram scientifically designed the series so that one posture opens a specific area of the body in preparation for the next posture. It is intended to work through the entire body systematically stretching and strengthening every muscle, ligament and joint squeezing and massaging every internal organ, tissue and joint flushing out the cardiovascular, and lymphatic systems, stimulating the nervous and reproductive systems, regulating the endocrine system and biochemistry in the body effectively restoring all of the body’s systems to healthy working order.
Bikram yoga is a prescription.
You may think if it’s always the same, will I get sick of it? Although the class is always the same, your mind and body are different every day and you’re always being changed by it. By doing the same sequence of postures in each class you are able to mark your improvements and learn more about your body and its overall functioning. Remember, this is a lifetime practice that can always improve, change and evolve!
Moksha yoga usually has 40 postures in this order: savasana (dead body pose), set an intention for the practice, standing series, floor series, final savasana. There is no typical Moksha class; there may be some variation in the order of the floor series or standing series. This type of yoga has several rounds of downward dog ‘vinyasa’ flows whereas Bikram doesn’t. A typical Vinyasa class consists of flowing vinyasa sequences, breath awareness and alignment. There is more variation in Moksha classes depending on the instructor.
Most types of hot yoga have the following benefits:
- Stronger, toned muscles
- General sense of well-being (physical and psychological)
- Improved flexibility
- Increased mental clarity
- Detoxification (through sweat)
- Alleviating many ailments including stress, arthritis, muscular pain, insomnia, and asthma
- Potential for weight loss…
The main difference between Moksha and Bikram is that, with the guidance of his guru Bishnu Gosh, Bikram created his 26-posture-series in a specific order based on his research with scientists at the Tokyo University Hospital formulated to maximize yoga’s ability to regenerate tissue and cure chronic ailments.
So if you are going to try “hot yoga” why not practice where it all started and try the real thing at Jazz Yoga School!
See you in the hot room.