Ch-Ch-Chilly in Bikram Class?!?

Today I was chilly in Bikram class. This never happens, right? Usually I am hot, or boiling or somewhere in between, but chilly, hardly ever. I hadn’t even worked up a sweat until the very end of the standing series. My mat was practically dry when I laid down on it for the floor series, and I drank hardly any water. I missed the heat. I wanted to sweat. So I worked harder, but still, a less than satisfying situation.

So what happened? I think it was a combination of the cold weather, the door to the studio being a little loose (which was letting in more air than usual), and the fact that the teacher forgot to put on the overhead heat until halfway through standing! That last one was the kiss of death.

At my studio there are a group of yogis who often complain about the room being cold. You know the type — they wear long sleeve shirts and fleeces over their bra tops and always move the humidifier so it blows only on them. They often confer with each other about the temperature before class starts and complain to the teacher during class that the room is too cold, even when it is not. I am NOT one of those yogis.

I don’t like when people complain about the temperature in the room — either too cold or too hot — because 1) someone’s “cold” is often someone else’s “I am going to pass out and die,” 2) it shouldn’t be about the temperature, it should be about the postures, and 3) I think we all need to toughen up a little bit — if you are cold, work your muscles harder and if you are hot, sit down and take a break.

It also never goes well. The teacher gets annoyed, makes a speech about him or her being in charge of the temperature and you being in charge of your meditation. And the teacher is probably right on that.

So, for all these reasons, I didn’t say anything when I noticed that the overhead heat was off. I tried to work harder to build up my own internal heat. I focused on what I could control rather than on what I couldn’t. But I have to admit, I was pretty happy when the teacher remembered and turned on the overhead heaters…

Fellow yogis, how do you handle temperature swings in the hot room?

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8 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Chilly in Bikram Class?!?

  1. I call those people yoga princesses! I agree- I don’t complain. It’s only yoga people! But the humidifier was out in my class yesterday and I really really needed a juicy class after advanced the day before. I did my best to create heat on the inside and rolled with it!

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  2. Wow! I’ve never had that happen, I did however attend a “Glow Yoga” class where the room was just a degree cooler and a percent less humid and it was crazy the difference! I think the people who complain about the environment have some control issues they need to work out. As Doc Brown said in Back to the Future “Since when can weathermen predict the weather, let alone the future?” You can’t predict the weather or what the day has in store, you just have to roll with it… or in this case, bend, stretch, lock your knee, ect….

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  3. The heat and humidity vary somewhat at my studio class to class, teacher to teacher. They all say they keep it the same temp so maybe outside weather plays a factor. We have separate temp and humidity controls so I think that may account for some of the differences. Some classes are hot and a little humid, some classes are deep dark rainforest hot and super drippy humid. I love the heat and I live to sweat but I also need to breathe, lol. Every once in awhile class starts off a little too cool and takes awhile to heat up. If I’m not dripping by 2nd set of 1/2 moon, I start to wonder what’s going on. Sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for because then by Standing Bow, I’m dying…. We also have a fan switch that the teacher controls. Some use it; some don’t. You just have to deal with it and keep your focus regardless. That’s a big part of the practice. To the other point made in the column, I’ve never known a student to mess with the temp controls or lobby the teacher one way or another. We comment to each other “boy that was brutal (and awesome)” or “ehh, I could’ve used a little more heat…” but we let the teacher take care of all that. I guess we are an obedient bunch, lol.

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  4. The only time I feel cold in the studio is when a door is left open to accommodate some newer students, seemingly on the verge of a vasovagal reaction, or when the fans are ceiling fans are going really fast. Other than that, I usually just nice (but don’t complain about) the varying levels of heat and humidity.

    I have been practicing regularly for about four months now, and I cannot say that I am completely “used” to the heat, but it is increasingly becoming less of an issue. In fact, I find that I rarely think about the temperature in the room now, and am focused fully on my postures and quieting my mind to stay present in the room.

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