Let me start by saying that I'm quite partial to this topic. Hot yoga is my absolute favourite. I crave it, I (sometimes) dread it, but I always love it.
To say that hot yoga is good for you is an understatement. Though it may feel unbearable at times, hot yoga offers unique health benefits that get you absolutely hooked. Being in a hot room gets your muscles (and the connective tissue around those muscles) limber letting you go further into that stretch. The cardiovascular benefits along with the added toning and strengthening elements help make hot yoga one of the most well-balanced workouts I've ever come across. On its own, it can do wonders, but partnered with a running routine - it's the perfect compliment.
I used to get very confused as to what 'hot yoga' actually meant, and it wasn't until I took the time to go to different classes that I really learned what I was getting into. The two most prominent types of hot yoga are Bikram and Moksha. Though they have many similarities, they're very different in practice.
Both Moksha and Bikram are a series of Hatha poses held for 30-60 seconds. While Bikram repeats every posture twice, Moksha incorporates a handful of flows to get the heart rate up and helps deepen the breath. Bikram is also practiced in a room at a few degrees hotter than Moksha; this is always relative to how many people are in the class - the more people, the hotter it gets. I especially love Moksha because of the instructor's ability to take creative license with each class; this energy really resonates with me and I've learned that some of my most creative moments come after a class - after countless hip and heart openers. That's what has kept me all these years, and I'm certain it's what will keep me coming back for years to come.
So should you ever want to try hot yoga, whether it's Moksha or Bikram, grab your mat (studios have mats to rent as well), your water bottle, and a towel and get ready to sweat and feel zen all in the same breath. It's rather liberating to feel so completely calm during such an amazing workout! Give it a try, I promise you won't be disappointed!