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In an action that appears contrary to the unity-oriented principles of yoga, Bikram Choudhury has attempted to copyright the sequence of 26 hatha yoga postures that make up a “Bikram yoga class.” That means, in theory, that if you take a class anywhere that bills itself as “Bikram yoga” it will include these poses in a certain order. Also, instructors who have participated in official Bikram yoga certification have undergone 500 hours of training. If you want to make sure that you're getting the real thing, ask about the teacher's certification. To avoid potential lawsuits, many gyms and yoga studios offer “hot yoga” classes in which hatha poses are done in a heated room, but these poses may differ in order or type from the Bikram 26 poses. Choudhury has, in fact, issued cease and desist orders to instructors who have not taken his certification courses.
If you just want a “hot yoga” class and you're not concerned about the Bikram name, or if you can't find an official Bikram class in your area, you can still reap the benefits of the heat and the poses.