The heat is the key defining factor of Bikram Yoga.
There are many yoga styles now called “hot yoga” but there is only one Bikram Yoga where the room is heated to 40 degrees Celsius. All Bikram yoga is hot yoga, all hot yoga is NOT Bikram yoga!
In October 2021 we conducted a risk assessment process where we examined how ventilation and heat impacts on covid-19 virus.
1.The effect of ventilation on Covid-19 airborne transmission in the Bikram yoga room
We used a calculator to estimate the effect of ventilation on Covid 19 airborne transmission developed by Professor Jarek Kurnitski and the Rehva Covid 19 task force. Rehva is the European Heating, Ventilation and Airconditioning association. This calculates the “R” factor (the event reproduction number) if one person in the room has Covid.
The resulting “R” factor for our 200 sqm room with full occupancy (under government guidelines), doing yoga for 90 minutes is 0.26. This is well below the 0.5 recommended by WHO and NSW Health.
2. We also examined the effect of heat on covid-19
We use Lennox gas fired furnaces to heat the yoga room. To achieve 40 degrees celcius we normally recycle the air flow through the Lennox furnace which heats the recycled air to a minimum of 80-90 degrees celcius through the heat exchanger.
According to our Lennox engineer most viruses are killed at this temperature including covid-19. We did some further research and WHO and CDC have both published papers on heat and the impact on viruses that supported his claim.