What do you get when you combine a summer day in Phoenix and scuba diving without an air tank? You get a hour and thirty minute yoga class at BikramYogaHarrisonburg, a studio located downtown. Beginning last semester with the encouragement of a friend of mine I started attending Bikram Yoga classes. A lot of people have done yoga, but I guarantee you this is not the same thing. This is yoga on crack, in the desert.
The studio room at BikramYogaHarrisonburg is 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. As soon as you walk in you start to sweat. There is a strict no talking rule in the room, so as soon as you enter you have nothing to distract you except for the mind-boggling heat. While it may sound like I am harping on the experience, I actually am not. Is it hot? Yes. Is the class hard? Yes. Do I often feel insecure and vengeful because the girl next to me is twisted into a pretzel while I can hardly breathe? Hell yes, but I love every minute of it.
In the class we systematically work through 26 postures and two breathing exercises transitioning from standing to the floor about half way through the class. The postures work on strengthening, loosening, and generally making you aware of all the muscles and ligaments in your body while helping you sweat out all its toxins. The postures themselves are not that difficult, but with the added heat they prove to be challenging.
Instructors always start the class out by saying the goal is to just stay in the room. One of the things that I find most satisfying about Bikram is that it forces me to pay attention to my body. It forces me to recognize what I, at that moment, can handle. I have to pay attention to the way I breathe, to where Peace-building, has been going to Bikram as much as her schedule allows since the studio opened about a year ago. “…the whole process of preparing myself to be in that room has made me very conscientious about staying hydrated and eating well. There is usually a very direct correlation between how well I have eaten and hydrated and how I feel while in the room for ninety minutes.”
-Devon Fore, Style Editor
Tags: Devon Fore