Well, I tried Bikram yoga for the first time today. I had bought an awesome month unlimited earlier this year from groupon, and finally decided to put it to use. Here is my experience:
The building is shared with and Endoscopy office, and I was walking into this door when someone spotted me with my yoga mat and told me I would be surprised if I was hoping for yoga if I went into that office! I redirected, and was pleased with the friendliness of the the Bikram yogis. They were very welcoming, which is definitely important. Now, to the yoga part.
I walked into the room and hit a wall of humid heat. Think about the hottest day in the summer when it is just about the storm. That is what it felt like. The poses were not foreign to me, having experienced many of them in my Vinyasa practice. However, I did not like the lack of a smooth flow between poses. I also greatly missed the sun salutations that I am growing to become so fond of. My second peeve was a big one: the girl who was leading the class kept telling us that if it doesn't hurt we aren't pushing hard enough! And if we reach the point where it hurts, then it is time to give one final push further into the pose. I was a bit taken aback when I heard this to say the least. From what yoga has taught me so far, a pose should never hurt. Yes, you want to feel an intense stretch, but pushing so it hurts just screams to me MUSCLE TEAR.
My conclusion: I will never pay for a Bikram class again. However, I am going to utilize my month because despite the disapproval I just expressed, I still feel that the heat was helpful in increasing my flexibility. I just know that I will ignore the instructor's commands if they leave me cringing at the thought.
And on a side note, I had a very stinky woman next to me! Talk about body odor, it certainly did not help the deep breathing that I was supposed to be doing. Not to mention she was tooting the entire class! And she didn't seem bothered by it at all! Haha ooo well...I will just make sure I stay clear from her if we show up to the same class again.