I have to admit something. I cheated on you. It was just once, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t like it. I’m going to cheat on you again, because I paid for an introductory special. I’m sorry – but Bikram was just so hot!
It’s true. I tried Bikram. I have been craving a change in my practice, something that would make me feel like a student again. So, I drove straight to the studio. I had a lot of anxious energy! In the car, I was ujaii breathing and telling myself how strong I am. I was nervous, but excited.
When I walked in, it smelled like sweat but everyone was smiling. Some folks were dripping at the brow while others were bundled in their hats and coats. It was easy to decipher who was coming and going. The women at the desk were kind and inviting. I wore gray capris and a tank top. Three women wore bikinis. Instead of panicking that I was overdressed, I was conned into a 10-day introductory special. There were so many thoughts in my head: “It’s only $3 more. I hope I like this. It’s so hot already and I’m only in the lobby!”
Once I paid, I began to put my things down in the room and glance around me. I was truly a beginner in this setting and it felt amazing. I was watching others as they waiting in a dimly lit room, mildly mimicking their movements.
Finally, the teacher arrived. Triangle cut bathing suit top, hipster bottoms, big, beautiful, square retro glasses. She had a pencil through her bun and was rail thin. My inner voice started some nonsense and I quickly shut her up. “We are brave and beautiful,” I said to her.
She instantly flicked the lights from dim to bright and clapped her hands twice. On command, everyone stood at the top of their mats. I followed suit.
The next 90 plus minutes was full of 26 poses, done two times each and 2 breathing exercises. I was sweating from my head to my toes. I took rest and water when I needed it, but as I am strong (sometimes stronger than I believe), it wasn’t as much of a challenge as I thought it might be!
At the end of class the teacher dimmed the lights again. She left the room with a curt “namaste” that everyone repeated. We were then left in savasana for however long we needed. The ending, just as the clapping, is awkward. But it doesn’t stop me from enjoying class overall.
Trying new yoga styles is something I always encourage my students to do. Before I graduated from my yoga teacher training, I had experienced 12 different styles of yoga – and I have many more to go!
Bikram, for me, was about being anonymous in class and the practice of being a student again. I plan on finishing my intro special and then, most likely, having an occasional love affair – but not ever being fully committed to Bikram,
With so many styles of yoga to choose from, vinyassa, forrest, Iyengar…. and much, much more: what is your favorite style of yoga?? Do you have one?
How many types of yoga have you tried?
Get out there – do MORE yoga & make life sparkle,