As you all know, my Bikram yoga studio recently closed. And while I could have gone to a different Bikram studio I (surprisingly!) chose not to. I thought I would view my studio closing as an opportunity to try something else. If I didn’t like it, I could always go to the other Bikram studio.
The day after my studio closed, I found myself at a hot flow yoga studio. All I could figure out about the temperature was that it would be at least 98 degrees, and there would be humidity. There would also be music.
Ugh. Music? Really? More on that later.
I showed up to a gorgeous studio with only one minor flaw (besides that whole music thing): no shower. Seriously, this place has no showers. I asked why, and got an answer about how the studio owner didn’t think yoga studios should have locker rooms or that people should have to wait around for showers.
I’ve waited around for a shower. It’s really not a big deal. This no shower thing kinda kinks up the works as it means that there will be days when I cannot practice because there is no shower. Given that the studio is directly centered between my house and my office, there is no zero chance of me grabbing a morning class before going in to work.
But I’ll get over myself. Maybe.
Anyways, first day there I went in and took the class. I was aware of what to generally expect, but I was not prepared for the true butt-kicking that ensued. The studio offers 60 and 90-minute hot flow classes. Since I was new, I thought I would start with the 60-minute. I assumed it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. I was terribly wrong.
The class was a blur of me trying to keep up and doing about one million downward facing dogs. The class was also hot – like really hot. Truthfully, I have been there for three weeks now, and I have zero complaints about the heat and humidity.
By the time I got home from class, 15 minutes later, I was already sore and starving (and it was about 10:30 am). I pondered skipping class the next day, but then I remembered that going to class while sore, at least with Bikram, tended to be a good thing. Yes, the class might suck, but I would feel better afterwards.
All the second class (still 60 minutes) did was kick my butt again and add new places where I was sore.
During the first two weeks, I would periodically have to take a day off from being sore/so damn worn out, and that was just from doing mostly 60 minute classes.
On the weekends, I decided to try the 90 minute classes. Let’s just say, I am starting to get better at them but initially they felt like they were 1000 hours long and full of never ending push-ups leading me back into downward dog.
Now, three weeks in, I can say that I am getting the hang of it. I am starting to figure out what I don’t know and need help with. Things are less confusing. I also know that this yoga is killing my calves and my arms. A recent trip for a massage resulted in him spending 25 minutes trying to undo the mess that was in my right calf and learning my arms were filled with lactic acid (“Do you hear that?” he asked me. “Your arms are filled with lactic acid!”). I blame the down dog.
It’s challenging. It’s different. I’m loving it.
But the music. I am not sure I will ever understand why we need music in yoga class. Here are my pet peeves with it:
- it seems like a distraction. if I want to, I can tune in to the music and checkout from everything else. I think the music helps create a disconnect between the mind and the body.
- i cannot hear!!!!! or, should I say, all i can hear is music! some instructors are difficult to hear over the music. this is not bikram. there is no dialogue. the class is different every time even if taught by the same instructor. it is important that i be able to hear. some instructors just don’t amplify their voices enough.
So that’s it. My beef with music in yoga class.
And now, for me, the question is what to do with this blog? If I’m not going back to Bikram yoga anytime soon, then I can’t really have a blog called My Bikram Yoga Life. It’s not that I would never take a Bikram class again or go back to the practice at some point. It’s just that this is where my life has lead me and, for now, I am happy with where I have landed.
I’ve had a good six weeks to think about this. Rest assured that I have some thoughts, and I’m starting to move in the direction of making some decisions and feeling good about them. I’ll have some announcements soon.