Can You Do A Bikram Yoga Class in 60 Minutes?

My Bikram Yoga studio started offering classes of different lengths recently. Some are 60 minutes, some are 75 minutes, and most are offered in the early mornings or at lunchtime, when time is tightest. I hadn’t taken one, preferring my typical 90 minute class each day. But this morning my schedule was crazy and an upcoming conference call left me little time for class. I decided it was time to try a 60 minute class.

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Heading in, I was hopeful. I had bad experiences leaving class early in the past — they always left me sore and aching — so was hoping that doing the full series, albeit in a shorter timeframe, would alleviate these problems. But how would the class go? Would there be time for all the postures? Would we feel rushed? Would we sacrifice Savasna? I was about to find out.

Luckily for me, one of my favorite teachers was teaching. She warned me on the way in, “You’ll be fine, but you will need to listen carefully. No autopilot in this class or you will be out of sequence.” She said this with a smile, but it put me on alert and made me particularly mindful during class. This was a positive.

The class started with an extended breathing exercise — basically two sets in one, which was challenging for me. My shoulders hurt and I usually switch up my grip in the second set, but didn’t think to do that here. I felt a little uneven afterwards. Not a great start.

From there, the warm-up proceeded normally, followed by a typical balancing series. The pace was a bit quicker between postures, but not unlike a more fast-paced class. We only did one set of the side-facing standing postures (Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose, Triangle Pose and Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose), and then faced forward for a flow of Tree Pose into Toe Stand. I felt good and was comfortable with the tradeoffs that were being made to keep to the shorter time.

We started the floor series with 15 minutes left to go. Wind Removing Pose and two of the spine strengthening postures were done once, as was Half Tortoise Pose. Camel and Rabbit were done twice but as a flow without a Savasna in between. The remaining postures were done once. It felt a bit rushed.

As we settled into Final Savasna, I did not feel the same sense of calm as I usually do at the end of class. In fact, as I walked to the showers, my heart was pounding and I was still actively sweating. My body had not had the same opportunity to bring itself back down to steady state as is possible in the more typical floor series.

Eventually my body restored itself and I felt fine for the rest of the day, so a better end result than when I have skipped out of class early. Bottom line — I would take a shortened class in a pinch, but prefer the 90 minute version for my regular practice.

Fellow yogis, would you take a 60 minute Bikram yoga class?

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14 thoughts on “Can You Do A Bikram Yoga Class in 60 Minutes?

  1. I’ve done it once, and I’m not a fan. This is the one time when I would rather have no yoga class than settle for a 60-minute one. I just didn’t get the workout I was accustomed to, and I could tell.

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  2. No, I will NOT do it, not and call it Bikram. If you called it a 60 minute hot yoga class, maybe. BTW, my studio changed two of the morning classes (the only time I can go) to 75 minutes, effectively forcing me to take them, and while I usually do, I don’t like it. Interesting that the people they said they were serving by doing this STILL leave early – or don’t show, while those of us who want the full 90 are inconvenienced.

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      • I used to love Bikram when I had more time in day. With my work demands, it is impossible to do any workout for 1.5 hours. I would love to find a hot yoga class in Houston TX that incorporates the bikram poses in one hour. my body could really use it!
        Through Google, I couldn’t find any options for this. Do you know of any in central Houston?

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  3. Yes, and I love it. First, I will say our version sounds different from yours (for example, we don’t flow Camel into Rabbit without Savasa; I would die). But we have them for the early class three times a week, and I try and go to each one. I do still try and do the 90s though as well.

    For me, 60 minutes feels like I am actually engaging more with the postures themselves than battling the environment. I struggle with the heat terribly, and for most of my time practicing I’ve been so out of gas by the end that I had no idea what I was capable of re: the last few postures. 60 minutes has given me the opportunity to really dig into them and see what I am capable of, which gives me a bar to shoot for in the 90 minute classes I had no idea what to expect, or hope, to do. Those classes have helped me incredibly.

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  4. I sweat a whole hell of alot, so just being in the room 30 minutes fewer makes me feel much less depleted than the 90 minute class. I’m always still sweating at least a half hour after class, regardless of length. The only asanas which I miss two sets of are the standing separate leg head to knee & the seated head to knee poses. The other shortened parts of the series are either not very challenging to me (fixed firm, half-tortoise, the breathing exercises) or a few others which I find too grueling (eagle, balancing stick). The couple pints of body fluids I save make it all worth it.

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  5. Started Bikram Yoga at 64 years old, that was 3 years ago. Have struggled with chronic fatigue syndrome for years. The 60 minute class does not wear me out as much as the 90 minute class. Am able to work on my postures because my muscles are not so fatigued. For me, I love doing the 60 minute and occasionally the 90 minute. I too, at first was skeptical, but love the 60 minute class. Yea for change.

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