If you are new to yoga, but would like to try it to help with your weight loss program, then you could choose between Ashtanga and Bikram styles of yoga. While it is true that these forms of yoga have so many similarities, such as the predetermined sequence and the class duration of 90 minutes, they are still pretty much different from each other. Nevertheless, you will still need to have your own small yoga mat regardless of which yoga class you enroll in.

Class Structure

In a Bikram yoga class, there are 26 poses and two exercises for breathing that you will have to perform. More often than not, this sequence is done two times during the entire duration of the class. On the other hand, Ashtanga consists of a couple of twists, inversions, and really challenging balancing poses. Also in Ashtanga, your instructor may come to you to give you adjustments or help you go deeper into a pose.


In both Ashtanga and Bikram yoga, you will need a hot yoga mat because both classes are hot. The difference is in the way the heat in the room is built. In Bikram, the source of heat is actually the room itself. The heat in a Bikram studio is at 105 degrees with 40% humidity. This could be tough for some, but many believe that this level of heat greatly benefits their spirit and body. The concept of Ashtanga, meanwhile, is for you to build your own internal fire. Doing the sun salutations, for instance, can get your heart pumping, which helps build your internal heat.


There are short breaks during a Bikram class, which is for changing from one pose to another. These breaks are so important as you will be inside a heated room. It is also recommended that you drink water during these breaks. In contrast, most Ashtanga instructors encourage students to drink plenty of water before the class begins. The reason is that when you drink water during a practice, it will put out the internal fire you have tried so hard to build.

Yoga Gear

Obviously, you will need a good pro yoga mat whether you take the Bikram or the Ashtanga class. Most Bikram students are seen using large towels also because they sweat so much during the practice. It is also important to that your mat be slip-free so you can comfortably change from one position to another even when the mat is wet with your sweat.


NOW Athletics Yoga mat is an excellent choice when you need a mat that provides enough traction. It is also easy to clean so you can use a germ or bacteria-free hot yoga mat each time.

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