Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia: Turn Up The Heat!

Health Tips

Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia: Turn Up The Heat!

       You have probably heard by now, but there is a hot (literally!) new trend sweeping the country — and Penn’s campus. Bikram, aka  “hot yoga” seems to be everyone’s new go-to workout. But what is it? And how hot is too hot? I went to Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia to find out what the craze is all about.

            When I first showed up to the studio, located on 15th and Sansom, I was skeptical and frankly a bit scared of the work-out ahead of me. I have never done yoga, let alone yoga at 105°F.  That’s right: 105°F for 90 minutes of yoga. I was certain I would keel over within the first 15 minutes. However, upon arriving the instructors were super helpful and explained that it was totally fine to take breaks, or leave if needed. They explained that the first time is often  overwhelming, and it is normal to feel dizzy or even a bit nauseous. One of the greatest things about Bikram is that not only is it an extremely hard work-out, but it also involves a palpable feeling of purification. Throughout the class your body adjusts to the heat, and you start to sweat out the toxins in your body. It takes about 15-20 minutes to adjust to the heat but after that you begin to lose yourself in a focused state of performing the poses.

           You might be wondering: “What if I am not flexible?” “What if I have no balance?” “Is it embarrassing if I have to leave the room?” “ What do I bring?” Not to worry. The Bikram community is very welcoming and encourages participants of all skill levels. You do not have to be able to perfectly perform all the poses for an intense work out. Many people sat on the floor or left the room briefly during the session I attended. Most people brought their own yoga mats and towels (both easily found at the Penn Bookstore or CVS) but if you need equipment, you can rent them from the studio. They also have a nice sitting area and dressing room with plenty of snacks and drinks available for purchase. Someone in the class I attended brought pizza and cookies for everyone!

       I was intimidated by the idea of Bikram, but after attending a class at Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia, I was ready to sign up for a weekly class. Definitely check it out — they have discounted “first week” rates for students.  Bring in Bikram to your work-out routine, and you will be hooked in no time.

Madeleine Wilson

Images Courtesy of Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia and MindBodyGreen.

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