It’s been about two years since I’ve done yoga. And it’s been more than three since I’ve done hot yoga. But that didn’t stop me from signing up for and attending my first Bikram class last night, at Bikram Yoga in Dupont.
How bad could it be? I thought. Hot yoga was great. You sweat out all your toxins, and achieve this incredible calm afterward. In fact, I may have even described one particular class as orgasmic. How different could Bikram be?
About 20 degrees different. That’s how.
The hot yoga that I practiced in Baltimore was amazing. In fact, if you’re ever there, I strongly recommend the Charm City Yoga studio. While I was there, I thought that I was sweating up a storm, that I was completely detoxing my body.
And then I did Bikram. Where the room temperature is 105* compared to the cool 85* of a hot yoga studio. And the humidity’s no joke, either. When I left the studio last night, I looked like I’d just gotten caught in a rainstorm, with my clothes all a darker shade than they had been before, and water still dripping down my face and body. And I felt amazing.
- The instructor was on her game. The studio had a weird set up – almost two rooms – where you couldn’t actually see all of your classmates, and not everyone would have been able to follow an instructor standing in the front. But ours walked around, calling out the poses and offering guidance as necessary. For the first time, I felt that that, coupled with observing other classmates, was enough for me even as a first time Bikram-er.
- I knew I’d underestimated the temperature when I walked in the studio and immediately started sweating. When your skin is glistening before you even start the breathing exercises, you know you’re in for a workout.
- I was pleasantly surprised with how many of the positions my muscles remembered. I may have lost some of my flexibility (I can’t touch my toes), but I could hold nearly every pose for the majority of the time. I’m not doing any crazy balancing yet, but we’ll see. I won’t rule anything out.
- Bring two water bottles. They say you can refill during class, but walking around all the mats and still trying to dodge the sweat puddles makes it a little tricky.
- You always have to be behind someone, but try to make sure it’s not the guy with the too loose shorts who almost kicks you in the face during positions 7, 17, and 18. It kind of takes you out of the zone. Briefly.
When all is said and done, I’ll definitely go back. I got the intro week pass, so I’m good until next Wednesday.