Bikram Yoga

ignore my poor bow form :)

ignore my poor bow form 🙂

My 10 classes for $10 special ran out this week and so I took the leap of faith and switched to the yoga studio 7 minutes from my house. Initially I had been skeptical about hot yoga and bikram yoga (mostly because people who do it seem to be in a sort of cult…much like my crossfitting friends 🙂 ). But I loved hot yoga, and really had to convince myself that the switch would be worth it…closer studio…same price…longer workouts that would actually work with my schedule, hope for having a community, etc.

But making the switch was nerve wracking. Because…if it didn’t work out, it didn’t leave me many other options (unless I was willing to drive, which is good in theory but bad in actual practice). So this week I took my first class and….whoa…I can see why people feel cultish about it!

I had loved the other studio until I joined this closer one. Whereas I had gotten used to giant space heaters hanging down from the ceiling making me feel like I was standing in front of a hair dryer, this studio has the heaters all recessed into the ceiling, so the room just feels warm. I’m not a huge fan of the flourescent lighting, but quickly got over that because of the COMMUNITY feel of the class. Holy moley. The instructor chatted me up before class, introduced me to the class as we started, gave verbal instructions to everyone BY NAME and was super encouraging. Wow. I walked away feeling validated, positive about my own practice, and like I had been noticed and welcomed. Something that didn’t happen at the other studio, it always felt like it was just about getting me to sign up and be a regular paying customer.

The workout was somewhat strange at first, starting with their pranayama breathing, but fortunately the Hot Yoga class I had been going to followed a loose version of Bikram’s 26 postures. While I’m still not sure how I feel about Bikram, the man behind the series, much preferring the ideology of Ashtanga or Anusara yoga, I am really digging the workout and the community vibe that I’m getting over here…and looking forward to my next class! I am hoping to make this a part of my regular weekly schedule!

Have you ever been anxious about a particular type of workout and then tried it and loved it? Anybody else experience hot yoga or bikram yoga? Thoughts?