In its modern use, the term Hot Yoga is often interchanged with Bikram Yoga. Many people think they are one and the same because both types of yoga involve doing poses in a heated room. The main difference, however, is that Bikram follows a specific sequence of 26 poses whereas not all Hot Yoga follow this rule.
Some Hot Yoga classes involve doing sequences of variable poses depending on the instructor or the specific goals of the class. Below are a couple examples of the Hot Yoga poses done in a typical session.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
The Triangle Pose is among the most popular yoga positions because it works both the upper and lower body and stretches the leg, arm, and back muscles. It also promotes proper posture. To do this pose, stand with your legs wide apart; one foot facing the front of the room, the other facing the side so that your feet are perpendicular to each other. Then bend over one side, grasp your ankle with your hand, and raise your free arm towards the ceiling. Direct your gaze in that same direction and hold the pose as you inhale and exhale.
Half Tortoise Pose (Ardha Kurmasana)
In other styles of yoga, this position is also called the Child's Pose. But in Bikram or Hot Yoga, it is referred to as the Half Tortoise. The Half Tortoise Pose is done by sitting on the mat with your legs folded underneath you, such that your buttocks are touching the soles of your feet. Then you bend your body forward, making your forehead touch the ground with your arms outstretched in front of you.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
The Bow Pose stretches the back and arm muscles and is known for effectively bringing relief to lower back pains. To do the Bow Pose, lie facedown on the mat with your hands at the sides, palms facing up. Then bend the knees to bring the soles of your feet as close to the buttocks as you can. Lift your chest off the mat, stretch your arms out behind you, and clasp your hands around your ankles. Depending on your level of stretch, the only parts of your body touching the mat are your upper thighs, pelvis, and tummy.
Standing Bow Pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana)
This pose is much like the Bow Pose, except this time, you will rely on one leg (and not your tummy) to keep your balance as you hold the pose. From a standing position, shift your weight to one leg and bend the other so you can grasp your ankle behind you. Then simultaneously lift the bent leg and lower your body forward. Raise your free arm and stretch it out in front of you.
Wind Removing Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
This pose helps you get the stretch you need in your legs, and open up the hips, so you can progress through the poses easier. Lie on your back with legs outstretched flat on the floor. Then bring one leg up, bend your knee and wrap your arms around the bent leg to hug it as close to the body as possible. Remember to keep the other leg outstretched to loosen the muscles around the hips.