I practice a lot of yoga & consider myself as advance. However, there was on type of yoga which I have been a bit scared of is Bikram yoga! Bikram is a style of yoga which is practiced in a hot (44 degree celsius) room & follows a set sequence.
I finally went along to a call! Here are my thoughts…
I visited Sadhana Yoga & Wellbeing in Dalston (E8 2FR). They offer Bikram, Hot Vinyasa Yoga & ‘normal’ yoga classes. The studio is located in the basement off a small backstreet in Dalston & a little hidden. Upon arrival you have to check-in at reception & if you are new to the studio you have to fill in a form.
The Bikram class as head in room “Fire” which is long and quite big. At the beginning of the class the teacher welcomed those new to Sadhana & check if anyone was totally new — me ☺️ She gave some tips & moved me to the 2nd row of mats as in Bikram the teacher does not demonstrate the postures. I was really impressed by this as it makes sure that everyones practice is safe & enjoyable.
The room felt not as hot as I feared but boy, did I sweat 😅💦! You are not supposed to wipe the sweat off with a towel. The sweat is flushing toxins out & by using a towel you are subbing it back in…apparently. The heat definitely makes you a bit more flexible & actually didn’t mind this.
A traditional Bikram class always follows the same set of poses & lasts 90 minutes to go through the full sequence. You can do shorter classes but these will not include all postures (or asanas).
The first half or 1/3 of the class is standing poses, the rest seated poses. Each posture is done twice. and in between seated poses you lie down for a moment in shavasana. Getting out of shavasana you do a ‘sit-up’ (straight legs, arms over heard & then sit up). The class — as always — end with relaxation in shavasna.
What did I think of Bikram Yoga?
Due to the way of getting in & out of poses the ‘sit-up’ transitioning & the repeating of poses I didn’t feel like there was a flow as you have in other types of yoga — e.g. Vinyasa Flow or Ashtanga. I love Ashtanga which is similar to Bikram in the sense that it is always the same sequence of postures — I find that this has more of a flow.
I didn’t mind the heat too much. I enjoy going to seam rooms & in a way it ins nice to be in a space where it is ok to sweat like crazy 😆
Will I go back?
Maybe once a month or so but Bikram won’t become my new go-to class.
If you are like me & are interested but a bit apprehensive — GO! Bikram is fun & not as tough as I thought.
About Sadhana Yoga Studio:
- Cost: £20 drop-in. Intro offer = 30days for £45. You can visit on your ClassPass membership.
- Facilities: Changing rooms & showers are provided. There are no lockers in the changing rooms. The showers are ‘communal’ (so not separated). There isn’t a huge number of showers — you will probably need to wait.
- Accessibility: not wheelchair accessible & not great for people with walking difficulties. Reception is at street level but the studio rooms are downstairs.
- Other: Matts are provided & there is tea for after class. Rent towels for £1.
A few notes on how to prep for hot yoga / Bikram:
- Drink plenty of water before (stop 1 hour before so you don’t need leave the class) & make sure to hydrate after your class.
- Bring towels for the class & for a shower after. 🚿
- Wear light closing — it’s HOT HOT HOT! 🥵
- Bring a change of clothes for after — you will be soaked! 😅💦
I hope this was interesting for you!