Bikram yoga, also known as "hot yoga", is a growing trend around the United States and has become a popular choice for yoga enthusiasts who want to detox, burn calories and try something new. Hot yoga teacher training programs provide classroom and yoga studio instructor for yoga practitioners who want to teach Bikram yoga at their yoga studio. Since this type of yoga can only be performed in a heated room, the aspiring teacher must practice in an official Bikram yoga studio. The Yoga Alliance does accredit various hot yoga programs around the United States, and most are 200 hours in length.

Enrolling in a Hot Yoga Teacher Training Program

Teachers considering enrollment in a hot yoga teacher training program need to choose a training school that has been approved by the Yoga Alliance, and find one that they can afford. Many schools and training programs include DVDs, CD-ROMs and other instructional materials so that the practitioner can complete some training and lessons at home. Some Bikram yoga training programs are spread out over a course of several weeks and months, while others are more intensive training session that run for about a week or ten days.

In addition to the basic curriculum, some of the fundamental components of a hot yoga teacher training program include:

  • Immersive learning experience where students go on a journey toward deep self-exploration and an overall transformation
  • Defining and improving posture techniques
  • Applying the principles of yoga to daily life
  • "Awakening" the teacher within
  • Learning how to build confidence in others and lead a group successfully
  • Understanding the fundamentals of yoga postures, including neutral alignment, breathing and anatomy
  • Exploring all aspects of yoga philosophy, including the chakra system, Ayurveda and the different branches of yoga

Bikram Yoga Instructor Training Program Curriculum

Bikram yoga is a high-energy form of yoga that focuses on developing strength, flexibility, balance and overall wellness. Practitioners learn how to pose and breathe in a very hot room so that they can work deeply into their postures and perform very deep stretching and toning exercises. This entire process helps to detoxify the body and may also help some people increase range of motion.

Some of the key courses and concepts taught in a hot yoga teacher training program include:

  • Verbal Instructions for Bikram Yoga
  • Vocal Skills, including word choice and volume for the hot yoga studio environment
  • Kriyas (purification and cleansing of the body)
  • Pranayama (breathing exercises that promote relaxation)
  • Meditation to increase self-awareness and also to practice stillness
  • Yoga History and Yogic Philosophy
  • Anatomy of Yoga
  • The Business of Yoga

The Official Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Program

The practice of Bikram Yoga consists of 26 postures and the specific sequencing has been developed by Bikram Choudhury. This type of yoga is an extension of hatha yoga and the series of movements is designed to help the practitioner maintain optimal health, remove dysfunction in the body and increase functionality of the organs, muscles and joints.

Teachers how want to become certified in Bikram Yoga can attend the official Bikram Yoga Teacher Training program, a nine-week course led by Yoga Masters Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury and their staff. This program does lead to certification and includes training in the areas of anatomy, asana, therapeutic applications, nutrition, and the health benefits of yoga. Students can also attend Bikram's Posture Clinic to perfect their technique and get immediate feedback from experienced instructors. This program is scheduled at various intervals throughout the year in Los Angeles, California. There is a formal application process involved for admission to the official Bikram Yoga Teacher Training program.