During my time in NYC, my friend Amina invited me to join her at Bikram Yoga. I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was that it was commonly referred to as “hot yoga”. Can’t be that bad, right? I was able to drag our mutual friend, Elton, with me. He kicked and screamed the whole way to Bikram Yoga Harlem, a quaint little yoga studio located on 145th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway. Elton was under the impression that the class was only 60 minutes. I didn’t correct this assumption and acted surprised when they told him, that it was in fact 90 minutes. What? I really wanted him to come. :-).
Bernadette, our first official Bikram teacher told Elton he would be fine, but he definitely had some reservations. I thought he was going to punk out but surprisingly he came into the class. Elton sat down for a good portion of the class, but he didn’t leave the room. I, on the other hand, loved it!!! I’ve never sweated so much in my life, but it felt so good getting all of those toxins out. And while many of the positions twisted and pulled my body in places I could have done without, I surprised myself and the instructor, who told me that I was very flexible. A lot of yoga is about focusing on yourself, physically and mentally, so while all of those toxins are draining, a lot of negative energy leaves you as well.
Bikram Yoga Harlem is a great place to get your start in the world of Bikram yoga. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, from the instructors to the other students who had way more experience than me. They make you feel comfortable and make it beneficial for you, no matter what your level of practice. For new students, you pay $20 for seven consecutive days unlimited!!!! That is amazingly cheap. Especially considering that a five class card is $85. While Elton did not survive the first class and vowed never to return (Amina showed up late for our yoga date but continues to go on a regular basis), I have become a fond lover of bikram yoga and will be looking to practice it wherever I go. And you will find the best Bikram Yoga spots all over the world right here on this blog, after I try them out of course.