Ideal for: Building flexibility.
What it is: Founder Bikram Choudhury popularized this style of “hot yoga” in the 1970s. To mimic the climate in Choudhury’s hometown in northern India, studios are heated to a saunalike 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 40 percent humidity level. “The heat loosens your muscles, increasing your ability to stretch,” says Raffael Pacitti, the owner of Bikram Yoga Manhattan, in New York City. Each 90-minute class includes a series of 26 poses done twice through, sandwiched between two sessions of breath work (think rapid inhalations and exhalations).
Good to know: Avoid eating at least two hours before class, as being too full in high heat can make you feel nauseated. And don’t forget your towel and water bottle.