I know Bikram Yoga was the hottest thing around about a million years ago (ha ha, "hottest", that wasn't even an intentional pun!), but I just went for the first time tonight. Yeah, I'm so cutting edge! I really like yoga, but I find it doesn't mix well (for me) when I'm doing a lot of training, so I only end up practicing yoga for short bits of time here and there. I'd always wanted to try Bikram, but for some reason that never happened. Until tonight. Here's what I thought.
I love practicing yoga, and am always really appreciative of the (few) times I actually do it. Especially vinyasa yoga, which Bikram reminded me of in some ways. I love the challenge of holding the poses, and how your body lets you in a little bit at a time. So I enjoyed the series of poses that Bikram took me through, although it omitted a few of my favourites (like the sun salutation).
I really loved the heat. I knew it would be hot (obviously), but it was waayyy hotter than I was expecting. I loved how much I was sweating... basically at the end of the class I looked like I just got out of the pool (so did everyone else for that matter). I really like to sweat, and I really like heat. I enjoyed the feeling of sweat running everywhere. I don't know why I like sweating so much. I just do. Except now I'm still beet red in the face, several hours later. I may look like I have a disease.
I didn't like how the instructor talked for the ENTIRE 90 minutes. She never stopped talking. One thing I like about yoga (bear in mind, I mostly do it at home) is the silent, meditative-like state. Hard to zone out when someone is yammering away the whole time. And there was no peaceful music in the background. I love the peaceful new-agey music. Boo to the non-stop talking and no music.
Because of my knee injury, there were a couple of things I couldn't do. I didn't like how the instructor said I should do them anyway. I'm pretty sure she's not qualified to say things like that, especially when I know it's not a "mental limit" like she was saying, it's actually an acute physical injury I'm seeing an orthopaedic surgeon about.
Finally, I don't really like group yoga. I am not a fan of hearing a bunch of strangers breathing. That's my own hang up, I guess. I like practicing yoga at home, even with a small group of friends. But I've never felt entirely comfortable in a class setting. It was ok, but I'd rather be on my own.
Overall... I'd go back occasionally, but honestly I'd rather save the $20/session (yeah, expensive), and just crank the heat and do my own hatha routine at home. I know it's not the same thing, but I don't feel like I need an official "brand" of yoga. Bikram is also 90 minutes, and then add driving to the studio, showering after (there's no way I could have just pulled on sweats and driven home without showering first, who knew?) and then driving home... and it's well over a 2 hour commitment in an evening. Hard to work that into a training schedule.
Verdict: liked it. Not enough to make me a regular. But it did remind me how much I like practicing yoga, so I plan to do more of that (at home) over the winter.