No longer a Bikram virgin... - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

No longer a Bikram virgin…

bikram yoga

Today was a first for me. A very sweaty first.

I am more than capable and have stamina at the following:

  • 3 hour Zumbathon – yes
  • Three back-to-back netball matches – yes
  • Doing five gazillion burpees in a field – yes
  • Teaching three classes in a row – yes
  • Dancing all night long – yes
  • Running 5ks – yes
  • Running a marathon – er, no (thanks)
  • Bikram Yoga – yes, BUT (and it is a big but) I had a serious run for my money with this today

Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s. All Bikram Yoga classes run for 90 minutes and consist of the same series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (≈ 40.6°C) with a humidity of 40%.

So, what did I learn from my virgin Bikram experience?

1. It makes you a very Sweaty Betty.

2. You should not use a white towel if you ever have applied fake tan. The towel gets orange.

3. I am not very flexible, but I am definitely someone who perseveres.

4. Do not try to count the poses. Once you get to number four you think ‘oh my gawd, how many more?’ so it’s best just to go with it and concentrate on your poses.

5. You have to look at yourself a lot in the mirror, which means you become very critical about your body (well, I do). Noted: I am not doing very well after Halloween and wotnot with the abdominal region!

6. Puce really is a colour, and my face was that very colour.

7. It’s okay to fart in Yoga (not me).

8. Everyone in Yoga is really lovely and compliments each other.

9. They have free shampoo and conditioner in the showers!

10. I must make sure I have a pedicure next time.

I do feel cleansed, though, as they said I would be, and I did have a banging headache afterwards.

Will I do it again? Yes, I will, but it won’t be part of my routine on a weekly basis. Just a monthly sweat-fest I think. And 90 minutes! That is a long time, folks. A long, long time.

I visited Bikram Yoga Columbia for my first experience, and they took my virginity in style! Do give it a try if you want to challenge yourself! But don’t drink tequila the night before. I heard horror stories about what happened to the guy who did that! ;)

 

 


About the author

Claire Bolden

Claire Bolden McGill is a British expat living in Maryland, which means she still drinks tea, but now has it with a corn muffin instead of a crumpet. Coming from a full- time job as a communications and PR manager in the UK, Claire and her family made the move the States in August 2012 and haven't looked back since. Claire is a fitness instructor and blogger. She blogs about fitness and what it's like to be a Brit in the USA, as well as trying to find time to write her novel and short stories, make lists about things she should do like clean the house and bake things, and be an utterly doting wife and mother. @ukhousewifeusa Contact the author.
COMMENT POLICY
  • hotyogamom

    There is a lot of negative commentary and accusations about Bikram Choudhury, the man (the same goes for many famous guru-yogis), but know that most Bikram studios are independently owned and pay no fees or royalties to Bikram or Bikram Inc. You should talk to the individual studio owners if you are concerned about supporting Bikram Choudhury. By not attending Bikram studios in general you are not hurting Bikram you are hurting your local small business owner.

    • Mandy Lett

      I have been recommending to Bikram studio owners for years that they
      change their name to “hot yoga” and drop the Bikram name. They will be able to continue to teach the same sequence of 26 postures, because Choudhury’s attempt at copyrighting the sequence failed. Plus, he sued a number of studios.

      “Yoga” also involves a much bigger spiritual side than just the physical practice, so Choudhury is not a “yoga” teacher by any stretch of the imagination.

      Bikram teachers do in fact pay fees directly to Choudhury for their initial training (about $10,000) plus their renewals every five years. No other type of yoga certification is permitted, except Bikram training, which is always done in his presence (which is very disturbing). So, the fewer “Bikram” teachers that are needed, the less fees Choudhury receives.

  • Mandy

    The use of a sexual term (i.e., “virgin”) in relation to Bikram is probably no accident. Accusations of rape, racial bigotry, religious bigotry, harassment and myriad other illegal acts perpetrated by Bikram Choudhury — founder of Bikram Yoga — have been documented by multiple women, making this a particularly unappealing type of so-called “yoga”. There is nothing yogic about it. See http://podiumleaks.com. It’s time to stop supporting this man, and instead patronize studios that operate in a true yogic spirit. The fact that this article fails to mention the obvious scandal — which would be revealed by a simple Google search — make it painfully clear that she is either willingly or blissfully ignorantly being used as part of Bikram’s reputation repair effort. Do not give your business to any Bikram studio.

    • ukhousewifeusa

      I am now not blissfully ignorant…… I have Googled and am now aware. Wow.

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