Thursday, July 23, 2009 by Rebecca

Bikram - the bat shit insane, gimmicky, McYoga

Today we decided to try Bikram out. We'd heard a lot of good things about it. I kinda hated it.

The worst part for me was the instructor - she was a grumpy little drill sergeant who treated the class like wayward children and never shut the hell up. But if that was the only thing that I disliked, I'd be willing to try it again with a different instructor.

The heat felt like a gimmick; the poses they put you through weren't actually all that interesting or difficult - as long as you could stand the heat. Since each pose in the series was pictured in a frame on the wall in the order that we did them, it's clear that every class is exactly the same every time. And the last 4-5 poses are all done sitting on your knees - something I can't do without triggering massively painful foot cramps - so I couldn't participate in the last 10 minutes of class. I've never spent so much time in shivassana in a class in my life - not that I wasn't grateful for the brief respites. And then, despite making sure i was very well hydrated before i went to class, and during class and after class, I had a horrible headache for several hours afterwards.

I MUCH prefer the Ashtanga class that we've started attending on Fridays at Iron Works. The teacher is an enthusiastic, well informed, yogi who has clearly had LOTS of training. He actually moves through the room for the whole class, helping people correct their postures, which is fantastic. and the poses actually feel like they will help me achieve greater static strength and flexibility - the whole reason I've gone back to doing yoga.

Additionally, when I told my acupuncturist that I had tried Bikram, he winced and then said, hesitantly "How did you like it?" When I said I kinda hated it, he was relieved to hear that, and told me that he thought that it was not a healthy practice - particularly not for me, and that he thought the Ashtanga practice was a much better idea - which is fantastic since it means that I now have a medical exuse not to try it again ... (not that I think I relaly needed one).

No comments:

Post a Comment