Bikram: Yoga That Burns with the Fire of a Thousand Suns… Shalimar Takes on Local Hot Yoga

hotyogaSomebody told me I could really benefit from yoga, it’d cleanse my body and mind and maybe my spirit (that’s when I laughed). I can’t remember who it was but it must have been someone I wanted to impress because the next morning when I emerged from China D, after I stopped at the BMX park to drink coffee and chase off my eye boogers, it somehow made sense that I would then go to South Town’s Bikram Yoga, so I did.

Bikram is basically doing postures in a room that approximates the temperature of Death Valley at midday. The person at the counter welcomed me with a waiver with so many boxes to check I expected to find one promising I wouldn’t sue if I ended up spawning baby dragons. If anything, the list proved that some people think it’s important to drink water. I was feeling wary that I might die until I noticed the instructor was at least twice my age, and he actually said, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.” Maybe I’m a sucker, but that sold me and my future dragon children, Titus and Gloria.

Bikram’s studio is not only sweltering, it rocks wall-to-wall carpet. I was told to lay on my mat before class started so I could acclimate to the temperature. I felt like Polly Pocket in an Easy Bake Oven, and, judging by the smell, the Easy Bake Oven had just finished cooking some gym socks. But then the class filled up, the instructor made his appearance, and things got real.

Turns out stretching in a hot room is a lot more fun when there’s no smoke. I like Bikram, because I got to sweat into my own eyeballs. Sweating that much really makes you feel like you’re kicking ass, even if you’re just standing there with your arms out to your side, staring at your own reflection like a serial killer. Another reason I decided I like Bikram is that I’m not paying $15 for a safe place to pass out for 90 minutes, like I did in other yoga classes. You’re supposed to have your eyes open all the time, which works in my favor, because have you seen a practitioner of Bikram? They are not only fine as hell, they also routinely dress as though they are going to the beach.

A few more sessions of Bikram, and I think I’ll be ready to spawn those baby dragons. I can’t wait to meet you, Titus and Gloria!

By Shalimar Jones