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Bikram yoga

My introduction to Bikram yoga was at the Funky Door Studio in San Fransico. I arrived with my friend and was warmly welcomed by the teacher, who called me by my first name - via a microphone headset - from the front of the class throughout the practice. The class was full of young scantily-clad yoga students, who all appeared to know the 26 poses in the Bikram series.

Before the yoga session starts a towel is placed on your yoga mat. The reason why becomes apparent very soon as the room is heated to sauna temperature and the sequence is commenced with a breathing practice (prananyama). In that first class my friend and I must have hit the floor at least five times to escape the heat. I found it amazing that anyone could stay on their feet for the duration of the class; the heat was so intense that I started to feel quite dizzy. As I looked around the classroom from my new position on the floor, I could see people standing in pools of sweat (hence the towels on the mat). It is, therefo…