I took my first ever Bikram yoga class four years ago today. I went to Bikram Yoga NYC and took their beginners class at the Flatiron location. Outside of the posture clinic I did last year at their UES location, it is the only studio of theirs that I have ever visited. The class was smaller than most and the instructor walked around the room helping us get in to the postures properly. The room wasn’t as hot or humid as prescribed. It was a great way to dip my toe in the water.
Scrolling through my visit history confirms that it was love at first asana. I went from an introductory class to an intro week then a month and then the auto-renew. I was taking class four times per week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday). I loved it. Loved everything about it. The postures were challenging, the studio was welcoming. Tuesdays and Thursdays I went before work – it was always the same crew and I felt great accomplishing something before I even set foot in the office. I was able to walk to the studio from my apartment in Stuyvesant Town, from my mom’s house, from work. It was perfect.
Personal reservations aside, it still is. And I think that’s what makes it so hard for me to find a replacement. The man is an ego-maniacal possible-rapist but he has hit on something really special. There is a magic to the combination of 26 postures, two breathing exercises, 104° temperature and 40% humidity. Repetition doesn’t beget boredom. Each class is different. The repetition allows you to go deeper in to the postures. Allows for true meditation – unlike Vinyasa because (beyond the opening Sun Salutation) you really don’t know what is going to come next.
Getting pregnant broke up my Bikram routine as did moving, twice. But I now have a studio I love with great teachers and I’m starting to get to know some of the regulars. Just when I’m back in the swing of things, these lawsuits go to court and I find myself conflicted. I know this is like the 1,000,000th time I have written about it – but it’s because I really can’t say goodbye just yet. I have 17 classes left on my current package. Basically nine weeks to decide what to next. Do I break up with Bikram?