British Bikram

I’ve never really warmed up to Bikram Yoga. (HA ha! pun intended!) I’m guessing it’s the heat: not that I don’t like to sweat, but perhaps not that much, and I seem to always sweat profusely from my face (WHY?!), which is annoying and distracting. Maybe it’s that I can’t wear my eye makeup, without which I feel very naked, as it would only slide down my face within a matter of minutes. Perhaps being a germphobe and former yoga studio owner, I just can’t get my brain around how they keep those studios clean with all the super sweaty bodies (with carpet, no less!). And lastly, as a slave to novelty I cannot imagine doing the same sequence, and hearing the same teaching script, over and over. Pictured: dancer pose, one of my faves in the Bikram series.

Alright so maybe Bikram’s not for me. That’s cool. Obviously I’ve found my yoga groove in Vinyasa. I do love that Bikram works for so many people. Sometimes I may question that, especially if you’re one of those die-hards that go almost every day, simply because I believe in cross-training your body and your brain with different challenges and moves. But every once in awhile, particularly during ski season, I get the urge to go to a Bikram class. Even though ski season is N/A here in London, I’ve wanted to check out the studio in my hood. Because as you know, there is practically a studio in every hood (although I didn’t find one in Venice, and yes, I looked). And it was…I hesitate to say “great”, but pretty close. Maybe it was just the British accent, but my teacher seemed so polite, vs. the barking-army-general typical Bikram thing. The studio seemed clean (although every once in awhile, I caught whiff of something horrid, and worried that it might be me). It was a great antidote to a chilly rainy London morning, after a week without much yoga, due to 5 year old being on half term school break. I’m feeling pretty darn good right now, thanks to Bikram.
As a yoga teacher, I will always tell my students to keep trying different styles until they find one that clicks. But I also feel obligated to keep trying the styles that never really clicked, just to see. You never know.
What do you think? Are you a Bikram regular? Tell me your thoughts. Next up: a retreat alumna wrote about her experience at the 60 day challenge. Namaste.