Just came back from my first Bikram Yoga class. It's the first of it's kind on Northern England and I joined the throng of excited people anticipating their first session.
Firstly the obvious comment on the heat- a studio heated to 40 centigrade or 105 fahrenheit. It wasn't a problem for me, I think perhaps because I grew up in a very hot climate I tolerate the heat well, so it was just lovely and pleasant and though it takes a lot for me to sweat I did eventually. They have installed a special heating system that maintains the correct balance of humidity and temperature, using heat exchange technology to reduce energy consumption and supply fresh air. So it never felt stuffy and stifling.
I found the postures tough, and the they were particularly challenging for my inflexible shoulders and back. I like that BY is not dynamic, and that there are no handstands, headstands or shoulder stands. I think these sorts of postures are really rather tough even for many intermediate practitioners and I think removing them from the series of postures makes this style very accessible to all levels, and less dangerous. I also do so much CV work already, I want a yoga class that doesn't involved jumping around.
It's very different to many styles I have practiced and the teacher, though strict was funny and irreverant and clearly knew the system inside out.
We ran over by 25 minutes which made the class almost 2 hours, I left feeling sticky, stretched out and with so much energy I have no idea where to put it
Let's see if it's just beginners high. I've got unlimited usage for 10 days, it's going to be lovely warm sweaty week here in freezing wet Manchester.
So a big thumbs up but I need to do it more to form a firmer opinion.
As a disclaimer I think there is a lot of snake oil bullshit around this method, and a lot of unsubstantiated health claims and I am very aware of that. I'd like to see some research into how this does actually affect the body, so far it's all anecdotal. I feel great though!
To anyone in the North West interested, the studio is in the heart of Manchester http://www.bikramyogamanchester.co.uk/