I recently purchased a Groupon for a local Bikram Yoga studio. For $30 I get 10 classes. It was a great deal so I bought it on sight, and a friend followed suit.
I was worried about my friend who has a heart condition that is made worse in hot, humid conditions. She regularly passes out on gross summer days. Doing yoga in a 105 degree room seemed ill-advised. A few minutes into the first class she thought she’d have to give up, but she stuck it out and by the time we got to our second class she had acclimated and did much better.
I, however, still dread going. If this wasn’t a group activity, I think I’d give up. It’s not that it’s hard, because it’s not — at least not the yoga part. I’ve done yoga off and on for years, and the 26 poses done in Bikram are not all that challenging — though they are, of course, harder when you’re sweating profusely and dizzy. I have no problem sitting out a posture if I suddenly feel like passing out, and since many of the people in class are other Grouponers, they are also new to class and sitting out many of the poses. The problem with Bikram is that it strikes me as yoga for people who are hyper-competitive. I imagine helicopter parents and people with OCD enjoy it very much. But I don’t find it relaxing in the least. Continue reading →