It comes as no surprise that upon receiving the assignment to take a Bikram class and write a comparative essay to Power Yoga I began to dread it. I know ALOT of people who go to the local Bikram studio and since I didn't want to have any of them see me vomit across the classroom, I chose to go on a weekday at noon when everyone else in the world is at work.
As I rolled up in front of the studio and struggled to park my bike I heard a familiar voice, "Melanie?! You don't go here!" I turned and there was my ex-boyfriend in all of his glory heading toward the door to the studio. I stopped in my tracks completely frazzled. I couldn't even get my bike lock to close. The ex attempted to strike a conversation but I couldn't focus. All I could think of was how bad my hair looked, how my acne had exploded, how the shirt I'd chosen to wear accentuated my gut. He went inside and I stood next to my bike deliberating whether or not I should run away. But I knew my friend Jo was inside waiting for me and friends stick together and I couldn't let my ex win. So I sucked it up and went inside. Nothing tests your equanimity quite like an ex encounter (especially before a Bikram Yoga class!).
The woman at the front desk (the teacher) had a calm demeanor. She was warm and friendly - probably in her 50's or 60's. She tried to sell me the introductory special but I declined, stating that I didn't think I'd come back. "Why?", she asked, "You haven't even tried it yet!" I explained the ex situation and she reminded me that the insecurity I was feeling was just my ego trying to get the best of me. Feeling a bit more grounded from her earthiness and wisdom I decided the buy the intro pass and head inside.
|Bikram Yoga only has 26 poses. Here they are.|
The class began (and ended) with a weird pranayama, but many of the poses were very familiar to the Baptiste Power Yoga sequence. I thought the teacher's cueing was very powerful and without looking at another person I could figure out how to get into the pose using only the teacher's words. Honestly, I didn't think the class was very hard. What a change! I could see how someone who goes to Bikram would also like Power Vinyasa. After class I felt energized and not the least bit dehydrated.
So this time around I had an instructor with a kind demeanor, a less stinky room, it was hot (105 degrees) but not much hotter than a packed Power Jam class (95 degrees), and I was much stronger, more flexible, and aware of how to align my own body. Dare I say it? I LIKED it.