Moksha vs Bikram: What’s the Difference?

Hey there friends!

How are you doing this morning? Based on the comments on my Miso Glazed Salmon with Sesame Slaw recipe of the week from yesterday, it sounds like there are a lot of big salmon fans out there!! Let me know if you try the recipe – I can’t wait to hear what you think!

You may remember that back in July I tried Bikram yoga for the first time, and promised that I’d post a comparison of Moksha and Bikram. Well, that day has finally arrived!

I had a few chats with some yoga experts nearby and did some reading on both types. Here’s what I found out:

Origins and beliefs

What is Bikram?

This type of hot yoga was founded by Bikram Choudhury, who was born in India in 1946. He and his wife founded a yoga college in Beverley Hills, and ‘Bikram’ has become the brand that labels their yoga style – the script that instructors follow, the room atmosphere and layout, and the order and number of poses.

What is Moksha?

Moksha is another style of hot yoga which was founded in 2004 by Ted Grand and Jessica Robertson, two yoga teachers from Toronto. A large part of the Moksha philosophy has to do with social consciousness, and this is reflected through community initiatives, environmentally friendly studios, and karma classes (pay-what-you-can classes to make yoga accessible to all) etc.


According to the Moksha website:

We are a group of independent hot yoga studios committed to ethical, compassionate and environmentally conscious living, and believe that the benefits of yoga are limitless and accessible to all.

It was very evident to me very quickly that the ‘green’ value is strong across Moksha locations. I’ve visited 2 locations and checked out others online, and each boasts features like VOC-free paints, energy-efficient heat panels, filtered faucets, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and bamboo studio floors.

Room temperature

According to the Bikram website, a studio must be heated to 104-105F in order for it to be an ‘official’ Bikram studio (or a ‘Torture Chamber’ as Bikram himself calls it). From what I’ve experienced, I felt that the Moksha studio was hotter than the Bikram one. However, after talking to a few other yogis and reading reviews of both types of hot yoga, it seems the general consensus is that both classes are done in a room that is heated to temperatures between 95 and 105F. (I didn’t bust out a thermometer in the classes so I can’t confirm!)

What’s the reason for the heat? In theory, a doing yoga in a hot room allows the body’s muscles and joints to soften and stretch to maximum length and range of motion.



The difference here is pretty clear-cut: Moksha has 40, Bikram has 26 that are done twice through. Some of the poses (also known as ‘asanas’ overlap, but there seems to be more variation in Moksha classes depending on the instructor.


  • More variation than Bikram – there isn’t just a single ‘Moksha’ class. You have options like Vinyasa (flows), silent practices, Ashtanga, etc. For descriptions and differences, click here.
  • The order goes something like: Start in savasana (corpse pose), set an intention for the practice, standing series of asanas, floor series, final savasana. However, there may be some variation in order within the floor series or standing series.
  • Has several rounds of downward dog ‘vinyasa’ flows, whereas Bikram classes don’t have any.


  • Same 26 postures performed in the same order for every class, with no instructor variation.  (For more detail and for the Sanskrit names, click here.)

Class Atmosphere

One of the biggest differences I noticed was the style of instruction. Bikram classes are entirely scripted, so there’s no room for variation. The instructor stands on a little stage and shouts out the poses. In the classes I did, the instructor didn’t leave the stage but I’m not sure if this is a requirement. After reading and asking around about this, I learned that the theory behind the constant chat is that it helps people in the class to stop their minds from wantering and losing focus.

By major contrast, Moksha instructors seemed to be much softer in vocal tone, and again there was more variation depending on the person.

Other differences:

  • Moksha: Less of an emphasis on encouraging students to get as close to full pose expression as possible. Slower, gentler speech. Seemed less intimidating and demanding than Bikram.
  • Bikram: Constant reminders to push your limits and give 100% (again, perhaps just my experience, but Bikram seemed much more militaristic). Quick, demanding speech

Class length 

Moksha varies in length – usually between 60 and 90 minutes, but Bikram is always a 90 minute format.


Expected benefits

I found a lot of similarities here. Both types of hot yoga are believed to 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

So which one did I like better?

Long story short: I haven’t decided. I liked that Bikram gave me one booty-kicking of a workout. I was really, really tired and super sweaty at the end – sweatier than I think I’ve ever been after a spin class or a balls-to-the-wall run. I also liked that the poses were repeated because I found I was often able to get deeper into them on the second round. However, I’m not sure I liked the constant instruction.

There’s something about Moksha that is more peaceful and calming, yet at the same time, it still delivers a fantastic workout. You can push yourself as hard as you want to, whereas in Bikram, it seems the instructor wants you to give 100% ALL the time. I also like the slight variation in Moksha yoga classes. I feel that if I did Bikram regularly, I’d get bored with the poses. At Moksha, there’s always an element of surprise which keeps things interesting.

Ideally, I think both styles have their benefits, and if yoga were free, I’d do a combo of both!

So tell me….

  • Have you tried Moksha and Bikram? Do you prefer one over the other?
  • If you have tried either form of hot yoga, would you agree with the comparisons above? Please feel free to correct anything I’ve said that is wrong – this is all based on my experience, but I’m by no means an expert!
  • When you attend group fitness classes (yoga included), do you prefer consistency or slight variation in instruction style?

83 thoughts on “Moksha vs Bikram: What’s the Difference?

    1. If you have joint problems, yoga will help you. I do Bikram and it really helps my arthritic knees. I’m sure Moksha would be helpful too. Don’t be afraid to try a class. They describe the type of pain which is good (dull, stretching pain) and bad (sharp shooting pain). You will not be able to do all of the poses right away if you have joint problems but if you try, over time you will be much more proficient and also have less pain. Try it for a month and see.

      1. Thanks so much for commenting! I would have to agree about the joint issues. I find Moksha more of a relaxed type of yoga (and that’s not to say it can’t be intense, because it certainly can) but I just felt the instructors were less commanding than in Bikram. Like you say though, I can see how both can help to improve joint problems. I think I just need to do it more often!

  1. awesome comparison, angela! one of my goals for this year is to try both moksha and bikram. from the points that you share, it seems there are aspects of each that i would like.
    we’re lucky to have both studios in town!

  2. This post was great! I loved learning about both. I am dying to try some bikram yoga. I don’t belong to a yoga studio and the classes aren’t offered at my gym. I’m thinking about just doing a drop-in class at a local studio. I’d love to try it out!

    1. I’d encourage you to do it! For both, it took me a few classes to actually start to fall in love with it, so if you don’t really think the first class is anything special, do a couple more and then see what you think. 🙂

  3. I’ve only done Bikram, but at the studios here in Atlanta, many of them offer a 75 minute class where a few of the poses are shortened. I really like the 75 minute class because I feel great afterwards whereas the 90 min class really gets to me. That extra 15 minutes makes a difference!

  4. I got the Bikram group-on as a gift. I’ve never been to a yoga class before. Do you need to know how to do the poses before the class, or do they explain how to do them?

    1. I wasn’t very familiar with some of the Bikram poses, but the instructor decribes how to do them properly throughout the class. Initially I wondered if they would just shout out the names of the poses in sanskrit – in which case, I wouldn’t have a clue what to do! But it wasn’t like that at all. For both forms, they remind you which muscles you should be squeezing, where you should be aiming to lengthen/stretch, where your toes should be pointing, etc.

  5. The Bikram-classes I follow a not as ‘militaristic’ as you described. The instructor moves through the room, to help people correct their poses when needed and are very encouraging: do what you can, don’t push too hard, etc.
    They don’t offer Moksha in the Netherlands, so I can’t really compare, but I can imagine that the element of surprise can be nice 🙂

  6. I’ve been to both types of Yoga and find Moksha is much more my style because of the variation and laid back atmosphere. I signed up for about 10 Bikram classes and found myself dreading them and if I could convince myself to go, counting down the minutes until it was over (when you know which pose is coming next, it feels reallllllly long). However, I finish any type of hot yoga feeling super invigorated and detoxified – an amazing feeling!

  7. Thanks for the informative post! I’ve recently begun trying to get into yoga, but it’s a little confusing with all the different types, so this really helped! 🙂

  8. I wanted to try hot yoga last year but never did. I have heard great things though and appreciate your review! I do like constant instruction so maybe I would like the bikram better?

  9. I have tried both – and definitely prefer Moksha over Birkram!! I find I get a far better workout – Moksha has a Flow and a Power Flow class (at least here in Ottawa) – that makes you sweat buckets and is hard. I found Bikram too repetitive and ‘stagnant’ without enough movement…

  10. I want to try Birkam yoga… although I’m not a huge fan of sweaty hot yoga studios. I have yet to find a yoga instructor who I am over the moon in love with… I think that’s the key to a good class; having a good instructor.

  11. I love yoga and attend classes on a weekly basis. However, I just generally feel I could not handle a hot yoga class. I have a very low tolerance for heat and fear I would pass out!
    For group fitness classes, I prefer variation every once in a while.

  12. I’ve never practiced Bikram (there’s no studio in Halifax – soon though!), but I love Moksha. I actually ‘trade’ at Moksha – clean for four hours a week in exchange for free yoga. That’s offered at all the locations! I actually plan on becoming a Moksha yoga teacher!

    About room temperature, Moksha is heated to 95!

    1. Hi Kris,

      You will not actually die in the room….this would be bad for yogis and hot yoga businesses 😉 That being said, the heat can take a few classes to get used to. At Moksha studios you are encouraged to take classes at your own pace, lie down if you need to and drink water as you need to. They are also heated to 95-98 using infrared radiant heat vs the 105 using forced air at a Bikram studio so the two styles of yoga have a different feeling to the heat. Moksha tends to feel more manageable in my experience but the mental challenge of practicing in the heat aids in a type of mental focus that I had not experienced before trying yoga in the heat. A lot of people mistakenly believe that you are practicing in a sauna which is like 160-180 F (with little to no humidity) this would not be a safe temperature to exert yourself in and is a whole other thing. I realize your post is from a long time ago but this question comes up a lot. So if you haven’t tried hot yoga yet. Go for it!

  13. I really want to try Hot Yoga but we only have a few studios in London which aren’t really close to my home/work. I have heard great comments about Bikram though.

  14. I’ve done Moksha and Bikram… and I teach Moksha, so maybe I am a bit biased. Haha. Another big difference between Moksha and Bikram is that the Moksha series (yes, there actually is a series of postures, just like Bikram, but teachers have a little more flexibility in how they go about things) is that it was designed rather mindfully with the long term health of the spine, joints, and body in mind. Ted, one of the founders, actually has background in restorative yoga and found that years of locking his knees and cranking himself back into backbends as far as he could go had resulted in some joint problems. So, Moksha is designed to focus on muscular containment around the joints (always keeping core and quads engaged, etc.) while keeping micro-bends in the joints. This builds strength around the joints without over-stretching ligaments and tendons to help prevent injury. It depends on the teacher and his or her backgrounds and intentions, but Moksha also tends to incorporate mindfulness meditation and relaxation into the classes, so students relax, stretch and work their minds along with their muscles.

    Another difference is that Moksha has 7 pillars, one of which is “be green,” which means that Moksha studios are designed to be as ecologically sustainable as possible. Some of the other pillars are “Reach Out,” “Be Accessible” and “Community,” so studios try and foster a sense of community and a really welcoming atmosphere. The Moksha series is designed to be accessible to people of all fitness levels and studios try and offer different payment options- including community and karma classes ($5-7 to charity). The philosophy behind Moksha is a huge part of what makes it different… studios just feel different. But, I have also been to some amazing Bikram studios and have had some really awesome Bikram teachers. I don’t know the story behind the Bikram series or Bikram himself really, besides hear-say. But, I can say that Ted and Jess — the cofounders of Moksha — and all of the people involved in the Moksha community are absolutely amazing, kind, loving, warm people that really are just trying to make the world a better place through yoga. Obviously I’m biased and in love with Moksha. I found my home there, but I think people can find their yoga home in any kind of practice… whatever works for each body, for each person, that’s great. I know Bikram was great for me when I was having trouble getting motivated!

    1. WOW! Thanks for all of this information! I totally agree that Moksha studios just have a different feel. I’ve been to a couple and you’re right, they are certainly unique to other places I’ve visited. (Having said that, I’ve only been to one Bikram location so far, so I don’t have much to compare to.) Thank you so much for shedding some light into the story behind how the postures came to be. One thing I did find in Bikram was quite a bit of back pain in the back bends, but I don’t seem to remember experiencing that in Moksha classes. I haven’t been in a while but as the weather cools down, I definitely crave it more. Karma classes here I come! 🙂

  15. I’ve only done Bikram. I like its classical approach and find the constant dialogue to be very helpful. I feel that there is constant guidance and encouragement for doing the postures correctly. I also like that the poses and sequence are the same each time so that I can become better at them. When they say the “posture hasn’t started” if you don’t do “X”, it only refers to you not doing the essential feature of the posture which is usually locking the standing leg or compressing the forehead against the knee. With a bit of practice, even an out-of-shape person like myself was able to achieve these two things. You are always encouraged in Bikram to practice correctly – to work in the right direction. The goal is not perfection but correct practice. This gives the beginner much hope. The only thing I find hard-core about Bikram is the heat and humidity. The humidity can make the class feel more than 40 degrees C and I often think that they should ease up on the heat when the humidity is very high.

  16. Your post has changed my life! I practiced Bikram Yoga for 4 years before trying Moksha Yoga, and I can safely say that I will never look back. Bikram teachers always seem to make stuff up when you ask questions, while every Moksha teacher I have had is very well educated in anatomy and modifications. I also did a workshop with Moksha Yoga founder Ted Grand recently, and can safely say that it was one of the best experiences of my life. He is so wise, compassionate and insightful, and has the best perspective on yoga that I have ever heard. Recently I went back to do a Bikram class and the teacher yelled at me for trying another style of yoga: “especially Moksha!”, he emphasized. Never. Going. Back. To. Bikram. Ever!
    So thank you so much for this post and please know that you have changed someone’s life from your writing!

    1. Awww thank you SO much Sarah! Wow, I didn’t think I would have had that large of an impact on someone but I’m so glad you gave Moksha a try. What an amazing experience to be able to do a workshop with Ted Grand! I bet it was unbelievable and hugely inspirational too. I hope you have an absolutely fantastic day!! 🙂

  17. Great article! I was an avid bikram goer until I moved and there wasn’t really a studio convenient to me. But a great moksha studio opened up several months ago and I have since been going almost every day! I really like Bikram, but Moksha is great too. I like that it has a less regimented feel…its harder to count down the poses when each class is a little different! But my Moksha classes are generally only like 99 degrees, and I preferred the room a little hotter as in Bikram.

  18. Thanks for this post, I have always been curious of Bikram Yoga, because I know a lot of people who are practicing it compared to Moksha.

    I’m going to try Bikram one of these days.
    Thanks for heads up, now I know what to expect in a Bikram Yoga practice. =)

  19. I can tell you that 6 months ago, if you would have asked me, my answer was, ” I hate the heat and I dislike yoga” . That was before Moksha opened 2 blocks away. I am a full on addict. The energy of their studios and instructors is amazing. I experience such a sense of caring and community there. It is now my home away from home. And, my hip and back problems are almost nonexistent, I am starting to develop abs and my friends keep telling me I look taller! GO!!!

    1. Ahh Melanie that’s FANTASTIC!!! I’m so glad you found a studio that works for you. I too love the energy of the instructors at the Moksha location near me. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d buy a pass in a heartbeat. That’s amazing to hear that your back and hip issues are resolved too. Keep it up! 🙂

  20. So…I have been going to Moksha Yoga for the past few weeks – and thought I’d look up and see if anyone has done a comparison of Bikram and Moksha – and lo n behold! I found this post! Thanks for posting the comparison – I have never tried Bikram but based on what you mentioned about the repetitiveness of each class, I’d get terribly bored. The instructors at Moksha Yoga in NYC are really nice too – and always caution you from going too far – which is a really good thing if you think about it – it is so easy to screw up your muscles in hot yoga and get hurt.
    Thanks for the comparison!

    1. You’re so welcome Mallika! I’m glad you’re enjoying your Moksha classes. I agree with you – I’d rather have an instructor caution me about safety in poses, rather than have one that pushes me further than my body is capable of. Yoga is supposed to make you feel good!

  21. I’ve taken quite a couple of Moksha classes and I LOVED it! I felt at peace before, during and after class. The whole atmosphere is relaxing. The scent, the music, the instructor’s soothing and mellow voice — it all adds so much to the whole experience. I found the classes challenging, really working on strength endurance, and I felt exhausted (in a relaxed way) after class.

    I recently purchased a deal on a website — 10 Bikram classes for $40!!! At first, it did not click, I thought Bikram was the name of the studio.. Well it is, but it’s the style. I only realized why I found it so different the next morning when I googled it. I didn’t like the atmosphere nearly as much, there was no nice scent or music, even the changing room is just bland. Like the post said, the instructor is on a platform yelling out commands, repeatedly talking (which I found confusing and I couldn’t concentrate on getting at a peaceful state of mind). I was out of breath after half of the class, and repeatedly had to sit down and try to calm my breathing — which wasn’t even fast. The room temperature was just too hot! I went in the class a good 15 minutes before class to adjust my breathing to the temperature, but it seemed like they put it up easily by 10 degrees once class started. The room didn’t FEEL too hot, I don’t mind humidity nor the fact that my pours were just pouring water, but everytime I stood up after a short break I felt extremely dizzy. I felt like I was going to pass out. I tried to get out of class but the instructor refused to let anyone out. This bothered me, because the only reason I would ever give up during an exercise would really be if I know I can’t function anymore. During the last 20 minutes (or more) all I could do was lie down. I felt like I was itching under my skin (mostly my feet and hands), I really didn’t enjoy the last part of class. I couldn’t even listen to the instructor anymore.

    I’m making the experience sound awful and it wasn’t that bad, but I was frustrated with myself because it was the first time that I ever had to give up during class and watch the others do. I’ve always been the type to outdo myself and others’ expectation (because of my small, very thin figure). I had also convinced my mom to go with me. She is not at all the sporty type and I prepped her mind greatly before going so that she wouldn’t give up. But she too had to stop during class because she couldn’t take the heat anymore.

    I felt like the room temperature was much warmer than Moksha — significant enough to make me feel the way I did. I also assumed that because it was my first time back in over a year, that it explained a lot. However, the movements weren’t nearly as challenging as my Moksha classes, and I had a great meal 3:30 before going, and had water with electrolytes during class. The only explanation is the room temperature. But, I will also go get my blood tested because the intense dizziness scared me since I never felt like this in Moksha, not even for a split second.

    Anyway, I went yesterday and it was only my first Bikram class, but I will try to go again tonight. The instructor suggested we come back 24hours later — mind over body. So I’ll see with my mom if she is up to it, I’m not sure I am but I’ll drink lots of water today just in case! 🙂

    I definitely suggest to anyone who has tried Bikram and didn’t like it so much, to try out Moksha. *I do find Moksha more challenging pose-wise, but breathing wise, Bikram is a toughie.

    1. Wow, thank you so much for sharing your experience Leah!! It sounds like it was quite similar to mine in terms of the way the class was run. I didn’t find it too hot to handle, but I will definitely admit that the heat in Moksha has never bothered me. Good for you for giving Bikram another chance. I don’t think many people would do that.

  22. The trouble with Bikram is that there’s almost no real upper body work (indirect in a couple of poses). And I made the mistake of visiting teacher training and realizing that the $10,000+ Bikram training isn’t about learning about yoga, the body or why/how these poses accomplish the benefits listed in the script. It’s memorizing the script, 2 months of doing Bikram twice a day while he curses at you and a needed ambulance is on standby outside, and staying up until 5am being forced to watch Bollywood movies (unpaid volunteers walk around making sure students don’t nod off). When teachers finish training and start teaching classes on their own back home (for peanuts), many of them tend to have a “you think you have it tough, at teacher training people puked/passed out/convulsed/etc. in class everyday…” attitude (along with shaming people who want to lie down during postures, or who are having trouble with breath). Pushing people to do better is good, but for some teachers the whole point of a Bikram class is to be as miserable as possible. And that’s all they know. But there are others who are really gentle. And I think sone studio owners are pushing teachers to be friendlier and kinder, just so people keep coming.

    After all that — Moksha’s a lot tamer, and slightly cooler… but I really do think you can get a better, full-body benefits if you want to push yourself.

  23. I’ve practiced Bikram for about 5 years. When I moved to California in 2010 it was hard to get to a Bikram studio due to location, but I lived around the corner from a Moksha studio and began practicing there. First I should say that just because you’ve taken teacher training doesn’t mean you should be a yoga instructor. Some instructors are just better then others and its important to find the teacher you feel most comfortable with. I don’t mind the mix up of postures in Moksha, but I due wish the teachers pushed you more to get into full posture and challenge you to go deeper. In my opinion Bikram is for serious yogis…people who practice take it VERY seriously and sometimes the practice becomes more about showing off then just being in the room and working on self. Overall, Moksha studios (i’ve been to both nyc and LA) are cleaner, friendly, and have more excepting atmosphere.

    Bikram studios are hit or miss. I’ve been to some great ones and then I’ve been to stuck up ones. The carpet is gross and the dressing rooms are bare minimum.

    I love hot yoga and if you’re just looking to get your sweat on without being judged then Moksha is the way to go

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Alexis! I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, and thanks for sharing your experiences. I too wasn’t really a fan of the Bikram carpets and felt that the Moksha atmosphere in general was just more welcoming and less judgmental. From what I’ve heard from you and others, it sounds like there are some definite commonalities across locations!

    2. I practiced Moksha when I lived in Canada and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately there are no studios here in Boulder, CO and I’m trying to find another style that I like. There is a Bikram studio that I’ve considered trying and your comment has made me curious: have you been to/heard anything about the studio in Boulder? I don’t think I would enjoy being judged during my practice.

  24. First off I should state that I am a Moksha Teacher, but became one because of my love of yoga, the practice and community. I actually was introduced to hot yoga attending Bikram Yoga classes in my business travels throughout Canada and the US. There is something to be said about regularity of the poses in Bikram, and the drive to push you “to your limit”. With Moksha, there is a sense of creativity and flow with the poses, a freshness to the studios and the emphasis on practicing “effort with ease”. And it is also true that the quality of the class is strongly influenced by the quality of the teacher, both in their ability to guide the students through the class as well as being “connected” with the yogis in community. As Moksha Yoga Instructors we are in gratitude to our Bikram compatriots and we always suggest to our students to practice yoga, no matter what the form, your body and mind will always benefit from the practice. If you are new, I recommend giving Bikram, Moksha, Power (Baptiste) and other forms a try and mixing it up if their is a varied yoga community in your locale. namaste!

    1. Hi Edward! Thanks so much for your comments – I love hearing instructor feedback. Like you say, I think there’s a lot of value in trying various yoga disciplines (if you can call them that?), and in the end, it makes for a much more versatile yogi! ‘Effort with ease’ – I like that! I can’t say I’ve ever been to a Moksha class that I didn’t like, but in other types of yoga and other fitness classes in general, the quality of teaching is one of the biggest things for me. Maybe you and I are really primed to notice this since we’re instructors (I teach spin), but it definitely has the potential to make or break a class. Namaste!

  25. I did Bikram for years and a visit to teacher training (I was thinking about teaching) really turned me off. It’s all about the script, there’s no anatomy. Students are pushed to the breaking point (puking/collapsing are de rigeur), kept up all night watching Bollywood movies and cursed at by Bikram. They don’t learn anatomy, or anything about yoga aside from Bikram’s script. Some teachers bring that attitude home — our local studio had a student have seizures after a teacher convinced her not to take water at all in that 90 minute class, because water was a ‘crutch.’ Not all studios are like that.

    I’d found Moksha too gentle the first few times I tried it, years ago. But I came back to it and the classes seem to focus more on flows, and it goes faster. I find my body’s been responding a lot better to Moksha. With Bikram I was just drained and dehydrated (and had an adrenelainecrush after because I’d survived). Plus it gives the upper body workout that Bikram totally ignores.

    Moksha seems a little cooler — but still really hot. More bearable. Maybe Bikram has more humidity?

    1. Wow, thanks for all the insight Jack! I’ve heard some pretty wild things about the Bikram teacher training, including some of those that you mentioned. I have to ask, any idea what the logic is behind the Bollywood videos?

  26. First and foremost: “to each, their own.” There is no “right or wrong” means of practicing yoga. Yoga, by definition is a term for disciplining the physical, spiritual and mental realms of ones self. This was, traditionally, done through meditation. However, many, MANY years ago, under very well known Yoga Gurus, Bikram Choudry developed a series of postures that were part of already known traditional asanas, and developed a form of yoga that would be translatable to North America. Everyone needs to recognize that we are NOT from India, Nepal, China, Japan, or any other culture that has far longer histories of traditional meditation, yoga, martial arts, religion, and medicine than we do. We’re babies compared to them. So, all Bikram was looking to achieve was to merely introduce the “Western World” with a means of practicing meditation and yoga, that would appeal to a super fast-paced, super-busy, “don’t have enough time to eat”, kind of world. Bikram’s Yoga is 26 postures done twice for a very specific reason: IT’S A MOVING MEDITATION!!! Its kept on a repetitive level, in order for us Westerners to be able to clear our minds, and focus on the task at hand. It enables us to block out the “outside noise” and give our mind-body-soul a means to connect through 90 minutes of a moving meditation. I am very disappointed in all the “bikram enthusiasts” that have posted here… You have all neglected to mention the basic fundamentalism of BIkram’s Yoga…. but, in the same breath, perhaps those “enthusiasts” did not give it enough time. I have been practicing since 2006, and one thing is for sure: the room is always HOT, the dialogue is ALWAYS the same, and staring at myself in the mirror for 90 minutes constantly reminds me of my ego, and where it SHOULD be, NOT where it needs to be. In a world of constant uncertainties, disappointments, time constraints, the latest fad diets and celebrity gossip, isn’t it nice to know that you can always count on the consistency of Bikrams Yoga? Oh, and for your Moksha fans…. I really hate to burst your bubble, but where do you think they got the idea for the “hot room” from, and the “series of postures” from… Everyone needs to do a little more research. As for the Bikram Yoga Training… its not for the faint at heart… it teaches you mind over matter, even through the most trying times… don’t you get it???

  27. I practiced Bikram for almost a year until I had to move away from the studio, which was a serious miss! Then the city I’m now living in had an outstanding studio open up called Sumits. I LOVE IT! Still the same heat, similar poses offered with a more comfortable and soothing tone than that of Bikram. Plus, there is music in class which really helps it flow and create a happy feeling.The interesting thing is Sumit is the nefew of Bikram which is why we find a very similar set up. I’m traveling to Montreal this weekend and am so looking forward to trying Moksha!
    I’m not sure if what I have heard is true…..are the floors heated at Moksha? If yes, that combined with the space heaters is perhaps why people find it hotter than Bikram.
    Enjoy your practice everyone! No matter what style it is that makes you feel at home.

  28. This was a great post to read! I have been going to Bikram yoga on and off for a few years, but have really gotten back into it over the last month. I have been suffering from sacroiliac joint (tailbone/hip joint) problems for almost 2 years and in the beginning (acute), yoga was actually making the problem worse – over stretching muscles that were trying to hold my joint together when the ligaments were weak – and caused a lot of pain. However, I decided to give it ago go again when chiropractors/physio wasn’t giving me any relief, and haven’t had any problems since… my body feels great again!

    Now that I’ve experienced how much hot yoga has helped my body heal I am becoming slightly addicted to practicing and want to try other forms of hot yoga. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bikram yoga and what it’s done for my body, but I can’t help but want to try other forms of hot yoga. There is a Moksha studio near my house that I’ve been thinking of trying and wasn’t sure what to expect… but now I am definitely going to give it a try after reading your post and all the other comments.

    Also – can’t beat the idea of Karma classes, yoga isn’t cheap!!

    Thanks again for posting this!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with yoga and healing your SI joint problems! I actually sprained my SI joint in the middle of a half marathon I was running last summer, so I know exactly where you’re coming from – that kind of pain isn’t fun! That’s great to hear that yoga made a difference for you the second time around. If you enjoy Bikram, I think you’ll like the routine nature of Moksha too. Enjoy, and if you get a chance, let me know what you think after your first class!

  29. I’ve been doing Bikram yoga for nearly a year now, and I’m shocked to hear all of the things that have been going on at various Bikram studios.

    My studio has natural light, floor to ceiling mirrors and laminated antibacterial corkboard floors. It smells nice and the studio was built primarily for hot yoga, so it is incredibly cleanly and even has heating and cooling panels that float from the ceiling. It’s very beautiful and does not smell at all.

    The instructors are all very friendly and understanding, and stay late to talk to students outside the room. They walk around a little, but mostly stay up at the front, but there are always other instructors attending the class as students, so it’s easy to see a perfect model of what you should look like. The instructors always discuss the anatomical benefits and risks, as well as telling people to stay strong. They insist that you get the form right above doing a full version of the posture, and I have never seen a harsh word in yoga class, or any sort of shaming.

    It’s true that they don’t want you to leave, but that’s because a lot of people are shocked by the heat and panic or feel sick and don’t understand that if they stay, they will have accomplished more, and then next time they will be better suited to working with the heat. In my studio however, they don’t prevent people from leaving or shame them- they just express regret that the person has reached the point where they can’t stay, and often they don’t say anything and the person can just exit quietly.

    Everything is always very clean and the water is filtered- even the shower water. The change rooms are pleasing and I don’t know anyone who has injured themselves at the yoga studio. They do community events and workshops and things for charity, and the group is very much like it’s own little community. They have guest instructors in and they teach other disciplines. They even have Flow yoga and Yin yoga on a weekly schedule Autumn through Spring.

    My advice to the people who have had bad experiences with Bikram yoga: Don’t judge the entire discipline because of one studio. Try before you spend a lot of money, keep searching until you find the right place for you.

    1. Wow that’s awesome that you found such a great BIikram studio. The studios in my city that are BIkram are the exact opposite of what you described. However the MOksha studios are exactly like your BIkram studio, from the heating system to changerooms, atmosphere and filtered water. Your BIkram studio sounds like an exact set up of Moksha! I have never seen a BIkram studio offer flow or yin ( although all moksha studios do). Shows that it really depends on the studio owner and what they want to project!

  30. I have been practising Bikram for almost two years. In that time, I have lost inches and become much calmer! Our studio is natural flooring and the instructors really care. I tried Moksha a couple of times and liked it. However, I love the calming repetition of BIkram. I love the long class. I feel it is a great workout for your mind and body. And that is never boring!

  31. Not sure just where I clicked to get to this blog but I read your Moksha/Bikram report and all the comments above and just wanted to add my own experiences and thoughts. I’ve been a dancer ad circus performer my whole life and stretching has been a big part of my daily routine/training. I did Bikram religiously for 6 months as I found it made my flexibility increase a lot. As the postures are always the same I found my mind starting to wander after a month or so of regular classes and I stopped as eventually I got bored. 18 months ago I was working in Toronto for 3 months and was introduced to Moksha and fell in love with yoga all over again. If anything the gentler approach in Moksha has improved my physical well being even more. I am now training to be a yoga instructor and my goal is to go back to Canada and train in Moksha as well and try bring it over to Europe as I think it is an amazing way off practicing. I want people who try Bikram and can’t stand the heat and the way it is taught that there are other forms of hot yoga that might be more suitable. After all, we are all different and we are all attracted to different paths in life. Mine is definitely with Moksha 🙂

  32. Thank you for your comparison. I just took my first Moksha class after
    years of Bikram practice. I too can see how people can benefit from both. I choose Bikram because A) I don’t have to plan it. In my town there’s two Moksha studios and a variety of classes and I have to book ahead for a class and the classes fill up. There’s one Bikram studio, it’s large, I memorize the schedule and just show up.
    2) I leave everything behind after a Bikram class. I’m 100% spent and I
    just feel like I’ve had the best work out of my life, everytime. I really do feel like I’ve let go of so much that I leave the room a different person then when I came in.
    I try to avoid discussion regarding the philosophy behind each style.
    There’s very good info on both if people are open minded enough to look into it. I go to Bikram because its what I got used to. It’s my community now. It’s no frills or fluff yoga bootcamp and I LOVE IT!

  33. A Bikram yoga class is the only yoga class I have every walked out on – I couldn’t stand the ‘push yourself even if it hurts’ attitude of the instructor, who did not walk around or engage very much with the students. And the room was so hot and stuffy that I just thought the heat wasn’t for me. However, I gave hot yoga another change and tried Moksha after hearing many good things – and loved it! Great instructors and hot but very breathable studio air. I don’t know if the ventilation is better or what. I’m about to try a different Bikram studio, in the hopes that the air flow and instruction will be better – but now that I read this, I’m worried the philosophy is a bigger part of what I liked that I realized. We’ll see how it goes!

  34. I did both Bikram and Moksha yoga. I find that Bikram is more intense as a workout, and Moksha is more fun. I enjoy both in a same way. However, Moksha is short and sweet to compare to Bikram 90 min. Also, in Bikram I found classes are smaller and instructor is more involved with correcting and helping students to get correct positions.
    Moksha is fun, shorter and really enjoable, that 60 min just flies by so fast.
    I think for yoga beginner I would suggest start with Bikram to be able to grasp on the postures in a correct way. Thus, when you do attend Moksha, you know how to perform, since instructors not really personally involved with most students, since its usually larger groups (20-30 per class as per my experience) to compare to (10-15 students in Bikram)

    Whatever type you practice, it doesn’t matter as long as you feel great and enjoy it.

    1. Thanks for your insights, Irina! I had a bit of an opposite experience to you regarding class size – the Bikram class I attended was packed, and the instructor didn’t do a whole lot of form correction. I actually found that Moksha instructors of those classes I attended were more helpful in that regard, but obviously it totally depends on where you go, who the instructor is, and how many people turn up! I agree that Moksha classes totally fly past – even the 90 min ones I’ve attended seem to do the same, and I leave feeling totally blissed out! 🙂

  35. I prefer Bikram over Moksha mostly because I hate Downward Facing Dog with a fiery passion. I have no clue, they say it’s supposed to be relaxing but it stresses me out and makes me angry (again, no clue why).

    I do agree mostly with how you’ve described them both.

    It’s hard to say if I prefer variation or not because when i’m having one of those days and I know i’m almost done my workout because we are on pose #25 it’s nice opposed to not knowing and thinking “oh god, when the hell is this going to end”. At the same time I love them surprising me with a pose that might be a bit harder or just any new/unexpected pose keeps you on your toes…sometimes literally ha ha.

    It’s funny as I read this blog right as I was thinking of trying a new Moksha place in town…I just down know if I want to deal with Downward Facing Dog (DFD) (there are no Bikram places near my house…i’d have to drive 30 minutes to get there).

    I think due to DFD if I HAD to choose I would choose Bikram….DFD….grrr.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting Misty! And I had to laugh about your DFD comment – sometimes I loathe it too! But I find that the heat helps, no matter what type of class I’m doing. My DFDs at the end of class when I’m all warm are far better than the super stiff-legged ones at the beginning! To be honest, I don’t think there are an excessive number of DFD’s in a Moksha class – no mare than any other class anyway. If it saves you 30 mins, I’d definitely give it a try!

  36. Hi Angela! I must have started following your blog after this post- I’m also a moksha instructor 🙂 Interesting factoid, Moksha studios internationally (outside of Canada) have recently changed their name to “Modo Yoga” although it remains identical otherwise! (One flame, two names). There were a lot of legal issues and other events, studios, rock bands etc with the Moksha name which wasn’t trademarked outside of Canada so they wanted continuity.

    The moksha founders were both trained in Bikram but had their issues with it, hence branching off into their own. It’s no secret and they always voice their respect for Bikram’s yoga (although not perhaps his personal decisions in life…) for leading them to create moksha.

    Great post 🙂

  37. I’ve been going to Moksha for about 6 months now, and I absolutely love it. The instructors all have their own individual style of running a class, and it is nice to be able to choose between the hot/warm room and different class lengths! We are encouraged to make the class our own, pushing hard or taking it easy. I have never been to Bikram myself, however I have heard from many friends that it purely instructional and very militaristic as you did describe. However a new Bikram studio opened near my house so I will probably give it a try at least once. I would definitely do yoga more however it is SO expensive! $17 a class for Moksha and Bikram in my area!

  38. Hi Ang!

    I’ve never heard of Moksha yoga until reading your post. However I am a keen Bikram fan! I’m fortunate enough to be a karma yogi, I clean the Bikram studio once a week as barter for unlimited weekly yoga classes.

    Bikram to me is not only just doing an intense physical body bending exercises in a hot room. Sure it’s torture at times, your monkey mind is constantly distracting you from focusing on the instructors cues. The sweat and heat becomes too much, you can feel nauseous, fatigued, frustrated. You’ll question “Why? Why am I here? This is too hard!!” “Give up now” The negative aspects will surely be detrimental to your experience – if you let it.

    Bikram is a practise. No body is perfect. We are only there to make improvements to our wellbeing. If you want a well rounded regime – you’ve got it in Bikram. Mental, physical and spiritual benefits are gained over time with regular practise (3 classes a week is ideal) The first few classes are the hardest but it gets easier! Each day is different depending on the energy or vibe in the room. You will soon learn to still your monkey mind, ace that pose you’ve been struggling to master in the early days. One day you may be able to do an awesome back bend and another you may not extend as far.

    As an incredibly sensitive and intuitive person I pick up on other people’s energy. If there is a lot of new people or those who are sick and tired I feel it too. So prior to a class I think of protecting my spirit with golden light. As you become a regular you may soon see what I am rambling about! I bring whatever crystals I feel I need for that day’s class. Since doing Bikram my mental wellbeing has improved dramatically. It’s good for your willpower ‘self discipline’ It’s great for alleviating stress ( often more noticeable after a class lol) I’m much more calmer and kinder to my body. I want to look after myself, and nourish my body with good food. Your mind becomes so much clearer.

    I am looking forward to my next practise!!!

  39. An interesting list of comments. Google brought me to this site as the explanation of the difference between these two yoga styles. I was tempted to say ‘two styles’ BUT not having attended either that would be presumptuous on my part, though the description of one class seems to be rather gymasanas orientated. I began the study and practice of Yog (yes that’s the correct spelling) in 1999, and since then have been spending 2-3 months each year in India with my teachers (husband & wife). Now some 15 years later I am just beginning to realize the depth and span of this way of life. Of the two styles described here, one seems to be orientated and rooted on the third rung of Yog, the other style certainly seems to realize and incorporate the yama and niyama as set forth by Patanjali. I recall some years ago now that my male teacher as part of his morning introduction to the class spoke about the Yoga which seemed to exist in much of the West. He said, ” you have hot yoga and cold yoga, fat ass yoga and cat-walk yoga . . BUT where is your Yog ?” I knew years ago that there was much more to Yoga than what I had seen or experienced, limited as that was at the time. SO, I returned to its homeland, and while I do not wish to imply and discredit any style that exist or is yet to be, please do know there is much more to Yoga / Yog than so many asanas / postures and the occasional pranayama class. May you find Self. Namaste.

  40. I am a Moksha teacher/studio owner here in Canada and we just opened up a studio in the same community as there is a Bikram studio. We get a lot of students who ask us what the differences are and it never gets old to share with students just how wonderful both communities are. We are so proud to come from the lineage of Bikram. Both on an international scale (Ted/Jess were originally Bikram teachers) and personally, as that is where my most committed yoga practice began.

    It’s also so wonderful to see such an unbiased opinion of both communities and you can see it in the way folks are commenting. There is enough criticism of yoga in this world, which in my teachings is the opposite of what we are trying to be doing on and-off our mats. What ultimately brought me to Moksha (other than my love for saluting the sun) is the environmental aspect. How could you not fall in love with a business that cares so intimately about their business’s foot print? And to think that all Moksha and Modo studios follow the same guidelines for environmental stewardship is pretty awesome. Not just one business with a zero net foot print, but over 70! The best is when you see students coming in to share their fun stories of energy saving initiatives, or how they chose to buy a used couch instead of a brand new one… We may not have the capacity to change the world, but we can with ourselves.

    Thanks again for posting a wicked awesome comparison.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Darci, and congratulations on the opening of your new studio! I have to admit that it’s been a while since I visited my local Moksha studio but I really do miss it and want to get back at it, especially since the cold weather is coming far faster than I’d like. As you said, I also really appreciate Moksha and Modo studios’ environmentally conscious values and think it sets them apart from other studios. Best of luck with the growth of your location!

  41. Thank you for your comparison. However on the surface your comparisons are very simplistic and not necessarily written with a strong knowledge of either practices.
    It would be noteworthy to mention that Moksha was created by Canadian Ted Grand who was at one time a Bikram graduate and created his Moksha series with Bikram as the base.
    With that said, there is significant difference in the two methods but as much similarity. Moksha is a franchise so the studios have the benefit of franchised marketing, website and concept designs etc. Where Bikram is an affiliation and all bikram studios are individually operated, one reason why they all have different websites and have less collaboration with each other.
    Class temp are similar but Bikram studios stay closer to the standard 40 degrees or so where Moksha varies and is slightly less for its hot classes.

  42. I used to do Moksha and just tried Bikram today.
    What I felt from Bikram is more like exercise than meditation. The teacher gave instruction so loud and the class went so fast. Compare to Moksha, like Angela said, more calmly and meditated which I love! Teachers in Moksha give instruction slowly and voice is always down so I can concentrate and feel my body well during the classes.
    Little sad that many of them commented they haven’t heard about Moksha.
    If you’ve never tried Moksha before, just give it a shot! You will like it 🙂

  43. I have tried both Bikram and Moksha.

    Many people do not like Bikram yoga because of charges of sexual assault against Bikram choudhury. If we ignore that then in my opinion Bikram is much much beneficial than Moksha. Here is my reasoning.

    Bikram yoga is very well defined and the information about all the asanas practiced is available online. Bikram’s standing series followed by spine strengthening series is ideal combination.

    On the other hand information about asanas practiced in Moksha yoga is almost non-existent. Its pretty much dependent on instructor to teach whatever they want. Most of the classes I did at Moksha yoga had lots of standing series asanas and only one or two spine strengthening exercises which is extremely disturbing since spine strengthening series is the core of yoga.

    Sometimes Moksha yoga instructors made changes in asanas just for the sake of being different from Bikram yoga. Sasangasna, Trikonasana and Ardha-Matyendrasana are few example where Moksha yoga has modifications just to be different from Bikram yoga.

    Moreover, in Moksha yoga students were encouraged to modify asanas according to their liking. Which is again extremely disturbing. In contrast, Bikram instructors encouraged students to stick to the pose and do not worry about depth.

    I had long list of complains about Moksha yoga when I was doing it. This is all I can remember right now.

  44. I just happened upon this thread, and since I am a Bikram instructor, and have also practiced at Modo, I thought I would respond.

    One thing to know about Bikram “dialogue”- this is essentially what other types of yoga refer to as cueing, describing how to enter, develop, and exit a pose. There are basic descriptions and some more colorful ways of describing the ultimate goals of the posture. Teachers use this as a guide. Any good teacher, even if they are standing on the podium the whole time will be adjusting their dialogue to fit what the class needs, The podium allows you to look through the room and see, in a matter of moments everyones hips, everyones, knees, everyones shoulders, so you can make sure that the precision of the postures is being upheld. Bikram yoga teachers are strict for a reason. These postures are strong medicine with amazing healing potential. Most postures use strength to create flexibility and are held to deepen the effect, when this is done incorrectly repeatedly you don’t get the desired result and you can injure yourself.

    I believe in this yoga because it worked for me. I did various types of yoga two times a week for 10 years and though I was fit I was extremely inflexible. I had always been this way since childhood and never thought it would change. I took my first Bikram class at 30. I didn’t love it at first, I couldn’t get very deep into any of the postures. But as soon as I started going regularly my whole body began to change. I have practiced at least four times a week for over five years now. I went from not being able to touch my toes to nearly bringing my elbows to the floor (with straight legs.) I finally was able to do the splits for the first time at 36. I enjoy Vinyasa more now because Bikram gave me the flexibility to get more out of those classes than I ever used to.

    I practice Bikram 4-5 times a week and also do some flow classes when I have time. This winter I tried out Modo. The heat was regulated wonderfully, the facilities were much fancier than at most of the Bikram studios I’ve been to, and the classes were full. Most teachers did not give a lot of corrections and I could see it in the people practicing around me. As I looked about I saw more people with bad form than with good. There is a marked difference between sweating in a hot room and getting the profound benefits that yoga can bring. At my studio you see 65 year old women (who out of the studio you might say didn’t look particularly fit) touching their foreheads to the floor. They didn’t start that way. They started and just kept coming, and just kept working, and good teachers gave them constant instruction, and their bodies changed. All yoga is good yoga if practiced safely. But if you are looking for big change, big health benefits, and you are ready to leave the ego behind Bikram yoga is for you.

    Yes in most Bikram classes I call out students by name (I know all my students names) and I make sure students are getting the effects of the work they are putting in. That is my job. When the postures start to come together the meditation follows. In a quiet, dark room with aromatherapy meditation is relaxation. In Bikram you learn to find meditation even in a starkly non-mediative environment. You find deep, controlled breath even as your heart rate climbs. You find teachers that bark out directions not because you have to do it that way RIGHT NOW – because you have to TRY, because they believe in you even if you don’t believe in yourself yet. I see the hidden potential of my students and it is such a gift to watch them slowly realize it with every practice, every drip of sweat.

    1. On reading your follow up I’m left wondering whether it is an advertisement for your studio or that of the Bikram physical exercise program or perhaps a bit of both with a negative nod to some other ‘hot form’ of exercise. Given the emphasis you place on flexibility in these classes I am reminded of a comment by one Indian Yoga teacher who referred to it as gymnastics. My own Indian teacher with whom I’ve spent some 2-3 months each year these past 11 years stated; “.. In the West you have Hot Yoga and Cold Yoga, Skinny Ass Yoga and Cat Walk Yoga, but where is your Yog?”
      It’s wonderful that your Uttanasana and Hanamanasana have developed and now you can ‘DO’ the Splits, and nearly touch the floor with your elbows. So you now have the form of the pose and as your noted and state, “… I saw more people with bad form than with good.” Unfortunately you appear to be as Joe Campbell would put it “stuck in your metaphor …. entering the restaurant and eating the menu thinking that’s the food.” There is a whole life span and then some more between Your Form of the asana, that of another person and perhaps the idea there might even exit The Perfect Form of an Asana. You follow up your statement with a very compelling observation that, “There is a marked difference between sweating in a hot room and getting the profound benefits that yoga can bring.” How so very true, though I suspect we view this from rather diverse positions. Having participated in 3 World Masters Games I never undertook the Study and Practice of Yog for physical flexibility rather because my readings suggested there was far more to Yog than was being sold in the West as Yoga. The Rishis of the Vedic tradition certainly weren’t emphasising the need to be in a Hot Room wherein physical exertion became the measure of one’s ability to enter into the practice and study of Yog. Maybe Yoga in the West and its billion $ a year business is every reason to open another ‘new’ Yoga Studio. When next will someone want to copyright as their property asanas that have been around for 1000’s of years. Or will there be an approach similar to Iyengar who although he introduced the use of props of various types and designs did not feel he could claim them as his property.
      ” ..and since I am a Bikram instructor…”
      A ski instructor, a driving instructor, a flying instructor but never a yoga instructor! My Yoga teacher has both depth and span to his understanding of this science that is Yoga. He does not stand on a platform an parrot information as if he were reading from a script rather he has started me on the path of understanding self, knowing that this is the way to a greater depth, appreciation and understanding of the unity that is in the diversity about us. If what is being sold in the market place as Yoga is nothing more than an emphasis on form and fitness, then how really is this any different from Cirque de Soleil?

  45. I starting practicing yoga at the very first Bikram studio in Vancouver back when it first began and practiced 5 to 6 times a week. This was my first experience with yoga and I was hooked. Intense workouts were my “thing”..
    The first Moksha studio was originally a Bikram studio. I continued with them when they transitioned.
    Having practiced Bikram’s exclusively for years, I can definitively say that it is a beneficial workout but it should not be your only workout. You will not build strength in your upper body. I discovered this immediately when I branched out and took my first vinyasa/flow class. I had mistakenly believed the Bikram doctrine that Bikram was all that I needed.
    Moksha offers variations within each moksha class and offers flow classes as well.
    Neither form solved my knee issues which needed to be addressed with specific weight bearing exercises and stretches.
    A Moksha studio has heart. Yes, you can get a good workout there but you can go deeper and experience a conscious community.
    Bikram changed my body but Moksha effected my soul.

  46. I’ve done both yogas multiple times. I have to say the winner is Bikram yoga for me. Although the poses are always repeated and I know them by heart, I can’t get enough of them because they are always hard no matter how advanced your practice becomes. And because I know the poses well, my practice has advanced quite a bit as I always learn something new since the teachers are always instructing. I always have a tough time in there and I always reap the benefits afterwards which makes me keep coming back. The heat is very healing for joint and muscle pains, because its hotter than moksha it is more effective at healing carpal tunnel, knee, hip and lower back pains, it even helps with the digestive system. I can attest to this personally. I am also a family physician. I love that I sweat and detoxify while I’m in there. After a session of Bikram’s, I am beyond relaxed – I am in a blissful state. After a moksha yoga class, I feel relaxed but nothing like after Bikram’s. But moksha yoga is a more relaxed type of yoga and one might feel relaxed during the class. A bikram class is about stretching the body and perfecting technique – the coaching is excellent. Moksha yoga teachers are not quite coaches, they talk and offer a little bit of instruction. So for me, I learned much more about yoga in a bikram class than Moksha. I am absolutely hooked because of the health benefits, Moksha has not been able to even closely do this for me. So for me, Bikram’s all the way. But its one of those things that are hard to describe and must be tried… so I highly reccomend trying it before knocking it ;).

  47. For accuracy: Ted Grand and Jess Robertson were two Bikram trained teachers from Vancouver, who wanted to see more variation and accessibility from the Bikram practice along with the 7 pillars they’ve instated as a part of the moksha / Modo community.

    1. This explains so much! I felt that Moksha was sort of a blend of Yin yoga and Bikram….now it all makes sense. 🙂

  48. Great article. Thanks for posting it.
    I’ve tried both, but only done Moksha about 3 times. I like both, but find that Bikram offers a whole body healing, every time. Because it is pretty much a guarantee with Bikram that you will re-align your spine and work every joint, muscle, organ and tissue of your body, I’m hooked. I should be teaching some time in the next year.
    Moksha is definitely more relaxing during class. But I find that Bikram offers the same effects starting about 30 minutes after class, or, with time, during final savasana.
    I find that all yoga Teachers offer their own sort of flair. Even with Bikram. It’s possible that you had a new Teacher with your Bikram class that was still getting comfortable with the dialogue. Or maybe just the “Drill Sargent type”. LOL
    SO many benefits to yoga. No matter what style works best for you.
    I feel Bikram is a little more suited to the North American lifestyle compared to the chanting and slow talking of more Eastern styled yoga.

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