Bikram yoga is also known as hot yoga. It is practiced in a temperature of 95-105 degrees in order to prevent injuries a promote detoxification through sweating and more flexibility by warming up the muscles. It was created by Bikram Choudhury who was a disciple of Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Paramahansa Yogananda (who wrote Autobiography of a Yogi). Bikram was a gold medal Olympic weight lifter in 1963, and wanted a yoga method that provided a comprehensive workout which included all the components of physical fitness ( muscular endurance, muscular strength, cardiovascular flexibility and weight loss). Thus, Bikram yoga was born.
Hatha yoga is a basic easy-to-learn form of yoga. It is the foundation of all Yoga styles. It incorporates postures – Asanas, regulated breathing – Pranayama, meditation – Dharana & Dhyana, and kundalini – Laya Yoga into a complete system that can be used to achieve flexibility, physical well-being, peace, and enlightenment or self-realization. Thus it has become very popular in the western world as source of exercise and stress management. The Hatha yoga approach is one of peace and calm. The practitioner should practice the Hatha Yoga poses, asanas, in a calm, meditative mood. After sitting quietly for a few moments, he can begin the series, slowly, with grace and control, staying inwardly aware as the body performs the series of poses selected for the practice session. One should not overdo the asanas or try to compete with others. This is a yoga to be taken easy and enjoyed.