I usually practice on weekday mornings. The classes are full, but not to the brim. The students are regulars, but the skill levels vary. Some people are old, some students are young, but most are somewhere in the middle, like me. The teachers are challenging, but caring, the rooms are hot, but not too hot, and it is all good.
Recently, I have started to practice on the weekends too. My husband has finally succumbed to my Bikram Yoga fever, and since he can only practice on the weekends, I have been going along for moral support. But class has been extremely challenging — because of the heat. So challenging, that we leave class spent, and exhausted, and this can last through the rest of the weekend. Clearly not the goal we were seeking.
Why are weekend Bikram classes so much hotter? Yes, the classes are more crowded, and the turnover of the rooms more frequent so they start off hotter and more humid, but shouldn’t this be manageable by lowering the heat? Or turning off a humidifier or two?
Is it that the teachers on the weekends just run hotter? Or the typical student skews younger and therefore wants even more of a physical challenge?
I’m not sure, but last weekend, I had had enough. Before class, I decided that I was going to do my best, but if it felt too hot, I was going to take it easy. I didn’t want to ruin the rest of the weekend.
Class began – an experienced teacher, but one that I had never had before. She was strict, but provided lots of new insights. She gave me a great correction on Half Moon Pose. I got my elbows below my knees in Standing Head To Knee Pose. Things were going well.
But then people start dropping like flies. It was just too hot. I think the teacher knew this, but couldn’t figure out what to do about it. New students were walking out. Seasoned students were taking a knee. My husband, to his credit, was hanging in there pretty well, but I needed a break. The heat was overwhelming.
The teacher became annoyed. She started scolding people who were taking a rest, or leaving the class to refill water bottles. She announced that she would only teach those that wanted to learn. She brought people down, rather than up. It was disheartening.
Couldn’t this all have been avoided by moderating the room temperature for the increased attendance? I don’t want to stop practicing on the weekends, so maybe we need to try an earlier class. Any suggestions?
Readers, do you find weekend practice more challenging?