For months, slaDE and I have been toying with the idea of going to an official hot studio Bikram class. We were lucky enough to experience a Bikram-style class without the heat, in Calgary at our local gym. But we had both yet to discover yoga in a sauna-like atmosphere, where one can barely breath and the sweat drips down your brow upon entering the room. Having the Rancho Bernardo Bikram studio just around the corner from our host in San Diego spurred us on to trying this yoga form. Bikrram Yoga (established by Bikram Choudhury) basically is an unorthodox Hatha-based yoga style that confines a large number of students in a room heated to a minimum of 105 degrees Fahrenheit performing a regimented and structured series of 26 asanas, which personally had me flip-flopping like a sweaty fish, questioning the integrity of the ‘yoga’ behind the practice’s name. Our 1.5 hour class was led by a sergeant-like instructor named Stefan. What made the class highly comical and slightly irritating was his accent and ‘teaching’ modus operandi. Stefan is Slovakian born … visualize, if you may, the rapid fire of a machine gun, on steroids, interspersed with English guttural sounds — so fast I could barely understand whether it was actually English that he spoke, or a new language with slang droppings inter-weaved between rat-a-tat breaths! Throughout the 90 minute Bikram spiel, Stefan stood completely still on a podium in a itty-bitty tightly hugging bikini, sweating buckets (wish I had that kind of metabolism and physique whilst rendered motionless). Not a single pose was demo-ed or adjusted. Truly, it felt highly advanced for any newbies, somewhat blasphemous and very un-yoga like, compared to our teaching style and methodology as taught in our Trinity Yoga training. But hey, that might be just me. Yoga in America has taken on new depths and meaning on this RV journey, thus far. And with just 1 class under my belt, I can positively say that I’m not a huge fan of Bikram or the teaching methodology which encourages pain thresholds to be pushed and crossed. But the heated yoga rocks my body and breath to new depths and heights of flexibility and stretch. Rock oN!
With all these new and unique styles of yoga popping up, I wonder what will be next on the menu selection for us. Perhaps Naked Yoga classes? Why not try Naked yogaFLIGHT??!! Gives new meaning to letting it all hang out :).