As I had said in a previous article last month, I was giving Bikram Yoga a try. This is a type of yoga that you do in a 115+ degree room for about an hour and a half. I was on a $29 trial that they had for an unlimited month of using their studio.
At first, it seemed to be all right. I was stretching things that hadn’t really been stretched before and while it was probably the most physically intense thing that I have ever done, I was sticking with it, despite the various pains I was feeling. About three weeks into it though, I realized that I wasn’t improving and what we were doing in there was actually aggravating previous injuries that I’ve had. Naturally I told the instructor about what was going on, to which they always said it was normal for beginners. I stressed the fact that it was really, really hurting and got the same response from them. Looking around the class, I saw that everyone else was doing the poses, so I assumed that the instructor must be right and I kept pushing myself into it.
It finally got to the point where I was constantly feeling pain in the tops of my feet and in my back and I went into my chiropractor, since he’s one of the few people I’ve seen who has actually made me feel better in the long run. Turns out he knew exactly what was happening before I even told him I was doing yoga. He says that he gets a lot of business from yoga people these days, inferring that yoga is often done incorrectly.
Now, I have no doubt that the people at Funky Door Yoga know all the poses and have gone through the certification, but from my experience, the vast majority of them shouldn’t be instructors. They don’t understand how beginners are doing and they don’t seem to understand that you may be nursing other injuries (such as previously tearing both my quadriceps in a fall down some stairs.)
They bill their classes as being for beginners, but they really aren’t. Their classes are much more for intermediate to advanced students, since you need to have a good grasp of what you’re doing before you start applying all the heat. I’m sure that people who have done yoga before would be able to move into their classes quite easily.
I guess my big gripe with them boils down to three faults: A) They’re far too “Gung Ho” in wanting people to really push themselves beyond what I think a lot of us are initially capable B) They keep the room too hot for most people, since it will often go up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and C) They don’t listen to people. The last point was really emphasized by the oblivious hippie girl I was talking to about the problems I was having, since she simply wasn’t listening to me. In addition to that fact I felt like I was talking to tree that was intent on quashing everything I wanted to say, she helped to reiterate my theory that all white people who grow dreadlocks are the lamest people in the world.
I would highly recommend not going to Funky Door Yoga or other Bikram Yoga places in general if you’re just getting started out. I still want to do yoga, but either do it at a non-Bikram kind of place, or just do it at home, since I know the poses now. That is, I’ll do it once various joints heal from my Bikram ordeal.