Is Bikram Yoga practised in a sauna?

Bikram Yoga is hot yoga – practised in 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% humidity. By definition, a sauna uses dry heat to

Conventional sauna

Conventional sauna

induce sweat, and depending on the type of sauna (of which there are many), the temperature and humidity varies. Temperatures typically range between 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) and 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). As a general rule, though, the higher the humidity the lower the heat. For example, Turkish Hamams tend to be set at 100% humidity. Any temperature higher than 40 degrees Celsius would scald your skin, and therefore, temperatures are kept low.

Bikram Yoga Study in Salisbury

Bikram Yoga Study in Salisbury

Bikram Yoga is therefore not practised in a sauna, but rather, in a hot room. As Bikram Yoga originates from the ancient Hatha Yoga tradition in India, Bikram Choudhury further developed his sequence in a hot room in order to mimic Indian heat in the chilly West. Heat and sauna-sessions are commonly used by athletes to improve endurance performance, to soothe sore muscles, to improve exercise tolerance, and to increase respiratory oxygen intake. Regular sauna sessions alone are great for runners, footballers, dancers, etc. However, add the benefits of heat to the stretching, twisting and compression of inflexible calves, hamstrings, biceps – and you’ll get an overall more flexible, more refreshed and oxygenated you!

The benefits aren’t limited to the above, but it’s good insight to get you started! Apart from the spiritual and medical benefits of individual postures, the heat truly serves as an opportunity to detoxify your body, lose additional weight, flex your muscles, get deeper sleep and, ultimately, relax and de-stress after a long, hard day.


6 thoughts on “Is Bikram Yoga practised in a sauna?

  1. According to experts, the benefits of hot yoga can also be enjoyed by physically active individuals particularly by runners. In fact, a combination of yoga and training can provide runners with the necessary vitality and other benefits of hot yoga.

    • Thank you, Steve! I love running, so it’s great to know how combining Bikram Yoga with running can benefit you. I had a look at your site – you have loads of useful information there! Really great! I’m trying to decide on a mini-race to train for whilst travelling in South East Asia… I’ve found one in Thailand that I’m considering… I need to make sure I’m organised enough to coordinate both yoga and running, as it may actually help!

  2. Pingback: No Sweat! – The Many Benefits of Sauna Bathing | Hands-of-Faith Holistic Healing Centers® Blog

  3. Pingback: YOGA FOR HAMSTRINGS |

  4. Pingback: Day 247 – Feeling ‘Hot Hot Hot!’ « Life with Lizzi

    • I read your entry on feeling hot, hot, hot – indeed, it is! I’m doing the 30 day challenge at the moment in London, and I’m trying to find new ways to psychologically convince myself that it’s far cooler than it actually is! Finding out that Bikram Yoga studios weren’t in fact saunas did make me feel slightly better… however, I still have a long way to go before I feel ‘cool’ in those strenuous – yet very rewarding – 90 minutes! Anna Denise’s Bikram Journal is lovely! 🙂

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