One of the wonderful things about Bikram Yoga is that the class is the same, no matter where you are in the world. My home studio is Bikram Yoga NYC in Manhattan, but I have been lucky enough to practice in several other studios. And in each of these studios, I always felt at home, welcomed, and among friends. The routine of the class was the same, the dialogue the same, the flow, the heat, the postures, all the same. Even when the class was led in a different language, the rhythm of the words sounded familiar and I could follow along with ease.
So far in the United States, I have practiced in NYC, Yorktown Heights, NY, Walnut Creek, CA, and Maui, HI. Overseas, I have practiced at two different studios in London and one in Berlin. One of the classes I took in Berlin was in German and I remember it as one of the best classes I have taken. Despite not knowing a single word of German, the rhythm of the words was so similar that I could follow along well. It actually made it such a peaceful class – all about feeling the flow of the words and tapping into the energy of the other students, rather than listening so intently to the actual content of the words.
While the class is always reassuringly the same, it is fun to notice minor cultural differences in the studios. For example, in London, one of the studios very strictly enforced where the mats were placed in the room. Each mat had to be lined up with red lines on the carpet to make sure that all could see well. Even in a less than crowded class this was strictly enforced. I kind of liked that actually, as it eliminated any of the mat scrambling that can sometimes happen during class. In the other London studio, fresh oxygen was pumped into the room periodically throughout the class. I never really noticed a difference with that to be honest, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt.
I thought it would be fun to keep a photo album of all the studios where I have practiced. So far the album is a little thin, but I am confident I will add to it over time.
Fellow yogis, where in the world do you like to practice Bikram Yoga?