"Hot yoga", anyone?

For the last month or so, I've started consistently attending a Bikram/Ashtanga/Iyengar combo class which incorporates 38 postures (always in the same sequence) over 110 minutes. It's done in a 100-degree room (thank goodness for dehumidifiers!). I absolutely love the way I feel afterward and the almost immediate strength and flexibility gains are remarkable. I'd done this class in the past but never stuck with it. Now I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to my old practice!


Anyone else doing anything like this? What do you like/dislike about it?

Posted on January 22, 2012 at 8:17 am
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Santosha
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I looooove the way I feel after doing a Bikram's class!  Admittedly, I find it harder because of the heat - way more mentally and physically challenging for me!  I remember the first time I tried it, I was about halfway through, thinking, "If hell had a yoga class, this is exactly what it would feel like...why am I doing this to myself???"  LOL  It was really challenging, but on the flipside, I find it more rewarding in that respect because it is more challenging.


What about you Andrea?!!  Likes and dislikes!  I'm so glad someone posted about hot yoga!


p.s.  Glad you joined the group.

Posted on January 22, 2012 at 9:49 am
GatorBride
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Hehe, "if hell had a yoga class..." That's pretty accurate! I have a love/hate relationship with the heat. One one hand, I feel like it's cleansing and it definitely boosts my bendy-ness. Also, with my hip issue, I feel like the heat is the only way to really loosen some of those muscles up... And I've tried everything (PT, massage therapy, acupuncture, etc.). I feel like I'm finally making progress in getting back to normal in that regard. But there are days when the heat is torturous, particularly if the humidity is high (like the time one of the dehumidifiers was unplugged! Yak!) or if there is a stinky person close by, haha!

But I agree that it's more rewarding, and I feel clarified on some level now that I'm doing it regularly. But, like with anything that's more... extreme, I guess is the right word... I feel like if I'm the least bit "off" or under the weather, it's exponentially harder to get through a class!
Posted on January 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm
lyfe_girl
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I've never done a bikram class, but I don't think I ever want to. After taking a yoga class in the loft at my school (above the gym) where it was around 90 degrees, I don't ever want to do a class at a higher temp than that. :) Maybe someday ...

Posted on January 26, 2012 at 11:25 am
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@ lyfe_girl - I totally get it. I don't know what made me decide to go, out of the blue one day, because I've never been a big fan of sweating!



@ Mica - I thought of another thing I dislike about it... Carpet. Seriously, dripping sweat in a carpeted room just feels... wrong! But, for some reason, that is the only approved flooring for Bikram. My friend discovered that link yesterday and sent it to me. Ick. Maybe the wood is too slippery, but it's gotta be more sanitary, right? Luckily the studio I go to doesn't have an odor issue with the carpet, but I can imagine it being a problem some places!

Posted on January 27, 2012 at 2:50 am
Santosha
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@Lindsie - It's definitely challenging, but worth trying atleast once!  It's surprising to know what your body and mind are capable of doing in that heat.  


@Andrea - UGH.  The carpet.  Yes.  *shudders*  That totally grosses me out, so I really try not to think about it.  I know one of the hot yoga studios here in our city had eco-cork floors installed and less than a year later, they had to redo them.  Let's just say they didn't hold up too well.  :/

Posted on January 29, 2012 at 7:42 am
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I looove me some Bikram! 


Though I've never done it in a room with carpet. And I've taken it at a few different places. So I'm wondering if all my local places are doing it wrong? I do know one place is remodeling and had to order special floors. I just assumed they were yoga special not hot yoga special >.<  now I feel silly lol. I can't imagine though sweat and carpet, eeek! Maybe I havent been doing Bikram at all, maybe I've been doing extremely heated regular old yoga? Hmph...I may have to bring this up at my next class!


I love the extra bendy I get from the heat. I hate how there's always a point during class when I just want to flop on my back and lay in a puddle of sweat rather than do one more down dog. I always make it through though and that's an accomplishment itself!


I also hate leaving class when I am drenched and having to get into my car. Or even worse getting out into the cold!


 


 

Posted on January 30, 2012 at 8:42 am
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@Nicole - do the studios you go to have the word Bikram in their name? I think in order to use his name, the studios have to follow the rules in the link above. The studio I go to does not use the Bikram name because that's only part of the practice they teach (we do 38 postures instead of 26, and the class is a little less structured than a true Bikram class), but they still use a lot of his conventions in the studio, hence the carpet. :/


Apparently, Bikram is a pretty controversial guy in the yoga world and he has sued studios for using his name and not following his guidelines. Crazy stuff. And yoga's supposed to be so peaceful! Haha...


I'd be perfectly fine doing my current practice in a non-Bikram studio with sealed hardwood floors! I just pray this carpet doesn't start smelling bad one of these days!


ETA: speaking of Bikram, I just stumbled on these photos and I'm feeling like I have a loooooong way to go before I can call myself a yogi!

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 4:18 am
NicoleJuliette
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Ah right that makes sense now. I did some research after reading about the carpets here. Now that I think of it, they don't say Bikram, its just hot yoga I guess. Ha you're right I thought it was supposed to be zen, so much for that Bikram! 


Holy Moly on those photos! I tought being able to do Gorilla pose with room for my arms to bend was an accomplishment...!

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 5:29 am
Santosha
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Ditto that Andrea - Bikram is solely Bikram - 26 postures and you're done.  And yes, the name is copyrighted.  :)  And wow on those Bikram photos!!!  SO beautiful and sooooo difficult!!  One day!  One day!


@Nikki - Bikram's is a type of hot yoga, but hot yoga isn't specifically Bikram's, if that makes sense!  lol  If I'm not mistaken, I think the room temp for Bikram's is generally slightly higher than hot yoga classes...

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 8:38 am
NicoleJuliette
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Ah yes I looked it up afterwards, I think I'd be very interested to find an actual Birkram!


Hotter! Yikes. I took a hot yoga class earlier this week and I wound up directly by the heater blower thingy (yes those are technical terms...I work for a heating manufacturer you think I would have bettern terms? lol). I was drenched (gross I know, ha!) At some points the heat was burning my fingers and I had to step back. 


Though I will say I was super duper gumby and loved every second. I wound up stretching the furthest I've stretched since I was in Highschool. I had my full side body against my leg in a straddle and my oppostide arm around my foot. Talk about awesome side body stretch!

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:14 am
dorkmeetsnerd
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I loooooove Bikram yoga!!  It’s a great workout and a great feeling but yes, a bit torturous. 


 


In NYC, a lot of official Bikram studios are closing because of Yoga to the People, a cheaper version of hot yoga.  I’ve taken both and I feel the exercise itself are the same.  It’s the same 26 poses in the heated studio.  The major difference I can tell is the price.  YTTP is only $10 but super, super, super crowded.  The studio really packs them in.  Bikram studios are much for intimate and cleaner but also more expensive like $20 per class expensive. 


 


I did read up on Bikram and I don’t think I would like the guy too much, he’s a real narcissist.  The guy who started YTTP was a student of his. 


 


Anyhoo, I still take Bikram bc I can’t stand the crowds. So far all the studios I’ve been to have carpets.  I guess, you could slip and fall from the sweat if you had hardwood floors??  Dunno. 

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 9:11 am

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