Is Hot Yoga right for you?
There are so many horror stories about hot yoga but it’s not as scary as people like to make out. I personally don’t like hot yoga, because my body is not very good with extreme temperatures. It left me feeling completely knocked out and I went to about 6 sessions before I gave up. Maybe that wasn’t enough. Read more about Bikram yoga
Bikram North is one of three yoga centres called ‘Bikram Yoga’. The reception is quite friendly but more like a fitness club than a yoga centre. You won’t find much incense or many chanting CDs here. The changing rooms are decent but can get overcrowded as everyone needs a shower after Bikram, unlike other yoga forms.
The studio has low ceilings as it is all rigged up with the extremely powerful heating units. It is like going in to a cocoon. There are mirrors and mats hanging along the hot pipes around the walls. Using someone else’s sweaty mat seems a bit disgusting but as soon as you step in, you realize that you are at one with everyone’s hotness anyway.
There is a little courtyard where you can cool off and replenish lost liquids with some fresh juices. No one was using it when I was there but in the summer I imagine it would be quite a nice place to rest after a strenuous session.
The Bikram Teacher
The Bikram teachers recite the set routine through a headset. The ones who taught me were all extremely lean and didn’t seem to sweat a drop. They ask the regular ‘anything I should know about?’ and give a few words of advice and encouragement. However, it feels that they are just reading off a script so I didn’t feel any connection with the teacher of the other students. You could say, it left me feeling cold.
The other students
I found that most of the students were new to it, and very hesitant. Out of classes of around 50 only 5-10 were regulars. Some people looked like they’d been giving it their all but looked a bit disheartened as they limped to class and out again. The upside is that teachers and others are used to nervous newbies, the downside is that they have lost a natural empathy for nervous newbies because there are so many of us.
I would recommend you give it a go if you’re curious, it’s not going to be a hellish experience. Try a few and see what you think – if you like the heat and want to get seriously fit, go for it!
- Yoga Styles: Bikram
- Private Classes: No
- Studios: 1 large heated studio
- Classes/wk: 36
- From/To: 6.45 am – 9 pm
- Class length: 90 mins
- Prices: £14 drop in, 10 classes = £110, 30 day unlimited = £145 (other options available, see full rates)
- Special offers: £29 for 30 days unlimited for beginners
Changing Room: Decent changing rooms with communal showers and lockers
Equipment: Used sweaty mats provided!
Reception: Very efficient but a little bit cold perhaps.
Typical visitor: More athletic than in some yoga classes, more men and a lot of people who are in a hurry to get fit.
Other services: They have a cafe in the courtyard selling fresh juices.