I have never been a huge yoga fan. I am naturally not very flexible, I like loud music when I workout, and I really don’t enjoy stretching. My mom has been going to a Hot Yoga studio here in town, and has fallen in love with it. While on vacation I decided to try it with her. We visited the local Bikram Yoga Studio in St Augustine, FL. Here is my unofficial review. 🙂
The studio was beautiful and inviting. I signed in- informing them that this was my first class. They let me rent a mat since I had not brought mine on the trip, and showed me where to put my things. Then I entered the class studio. The room was really hot (like it’s supposed to be). It immediately took my breath away. Everyone was laying on their mats, and that’s why. I laid down, closed my eyes, and began to breathe. I became accustomed to the thick, hot air, but was already sweating.
The teacher came in, and with a quick introduction began class. She explained to me (and one other newbie) that there would be 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises. We would do 2 sets of each pose. I was free to watch the first set, and then really focus on the second set. If at any time I needed a break, I was to lay down on my mat. And then it started. The first breathing exercise was intense. I was a little nauseous from the heat and the exercise, but I pushed through it. Once the poses started, I could tell this was going to be hard. I am very strong, and didn’t think I would have trouble holding positions, but it took everything I had. We were supposed to only focus on ourselves in the mirror, and not look around, but I couldn’t help it. Some of the people in class could do the advanced poses, and it was so impressive! I tried to complete every pose, but I don’t know that I did any of them correctly. The teacher was amazing. She could glance around the room and talk each person (by name) into the correct position-allowing for beginner techniques where needed. She clearly explained what we were to do, and why this was beneficial. We got through the standing poses, and I was thinking surely we were done. We were not. 🙂 On to the floor moves. We ended with another breathing exercise, and then resting on our mats. We were told we could stay there as long as we needed, and I didn’t think I would ever be able to get up.
It was an intense 90 minutes of sweat, strength and stretching in a calm, peaceful, HOT environment. I left shaking, and drenched. (I was amazed to see one man jump on his bike and peddle away – I could barely walk!) I guzzled water and had to recover by the pool for a good hour. While relaxing, I checked my email and had already received a welcome email from the studio. I really loved the staff there. (I wish I could remember the teacher’s name because she was excellent!) The next day I was sore all over – especially in my back and shoulders! I could really feel the strengthening of my core. Although this type of class is not for me (simply because I do not enjoy yoga), I know that if you are a fan of yoga, you will love Bikram Yoga!
Have you tried Hot Yoga? What did you think?