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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

would you like some whine with that?

Bikram Yoga Manhattan Beach
3618 Highland Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 802-0225
website: www.mbeachyoga.com

Bikram Yoga is an amazing 90 minute class specifically designed to work every muscle, bone, joint, ligament, tendon, gland and organ in the body. While improving strength, balance and flexibility, you will reshape and heal your body, and relieve stress and tension. Additional benefits are the prevention of illness, injury and the limiting effects of aging. Students of all levels and ages benefit from this total body workout.

i just don't get this bikram thing. i mean, does anyone really enjoy working out in a hot steamy room that smells like a gym locker? and putting their personal yoga mat on a damp carpet that hundreds of people have dripped their sweat on? (which is why i purposely left mine in my car and rented one from them instead) and feeling totally inept while trying (and failing) to touch forehead to knee while a yoga nazi continues to command them to? and hoping that their backs aren't wrenched while doing quick transitions from backbends to forward bends?

honestly, it's hard for me to write an unbiased review about any bikram studio because the practice annoys me to no end.

why do i have to constantly stare at my image in the mirror? so that i can be totally disgusted with what i see? so i find myself swearing to starve myself for the next week so i can lose all the fat deposits i just realized i had?

why do i have to push, pull, kick, or bend to the point of pain and discomfort? i already have a full set of aches and pains; why would i want more?

why does it have to be so hot in the room that i get lightheaded every time i raise my head after bending over?

and what's with the idea of doing a pose, then turning around and lying down, then jackknifing back up to sitting, then turning back around to do the pose again? is all that repositioning supposed to help us burn even more calories?

yeah, yeah, i know. i whine too much.

the only reason why i showed up at the bikram yoga outpost in manhattan beach is so that i could check another yoga studio off my list. on a positive note, i have to say that of the handful of bikram teachers whose classes i've ever taken, carla, who taught today's class, was probably the sweetest bikram instructor i've ever had. it actually sounded like she was trying to encourage us rather than command us to do each pose.

despite that, it's safe to say that i'll probably never go back there again. unless, of course, i run into someone who wants to try it out. then maybe i'll do it once more just to see his/her reaction. who knows? maybe he/she will turn into a bikram devotee... and i still won't understand why.

bikram MB is conveniently located at the intersection of highland and rosecrans; the entrance is on the highland side. it's across the street from harmony yoga where non-bikram, i.e., vinyasa flow, classes are taught (so if you have a last-minute change of mind, either way, you can attempt a switch). parking in the area is metered, so bring enough coins to get you to the two-hour limit (the meter in the parking structure seemed to give me five minutes for every nickel i fed it).

and when you're done with class, there are many nearby places to hang out afterwards while you cool down. my favorite is OB's, which serves massive fish tacos for only $1.75 on taco tuesdays :)


Blogger shinyyoga said...

teheee - i am WITH YOU on this post!! I actually haven't tried Bikram yet.. I really don't see the point (ie. you can sweat just as much in a regular practice, without false heat) and also, I disagree fundamentally with a lot of it, not the least, mr bikram c himself and all his flashiness and copyrighting of the sequence!

But I am going to give it a try, and be open to what it might bring. Heck - you always learn something from a class, even if it is how NOT to practice ;)


6:36 AM  
Blogger joni said...

hi stella --

thank goodness there's someone else out there who agrees with me! why don't you come visit me out here in LA so we can do a bikram class together? :)

8:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bikram drives me crazy but its the only convenient studio. Kind of like saying I'd be a Scientologist if that was the only church in town. Stupid I know...

7:41 PM  
Blogger joni said...

hi richard --

the scary thing about it is that as crazy as bikram is, i'm even crazier because i still plan to visit at least four more bikram studios before the summer is over!

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha, i love this post. i've written a little about bikram myself at http://isha-yoga.com/2007/05/08/bikram-who/

i've friends who swear (or sweat) by bikram. i've friends who hate it. over here in malaysia, bikram is popular cos these people (mostly females) who go for the class equate hot air + lots of sweat with weight loss!

7:58 PM  
Blogger joni said...

hi isha --

and i love your website so much that i've just added a link to it on my site so we can check on you and the malaysian yoga scene :)

thanks for writing in!

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi joni -

there is bikram yoga in manila but i personally would not want to take that kind of class. i am underweight and need the calories. being in tropical manila is enough to make you sweat with the vinyasa yoga that i already do. no need to do it in a heated room.

7:00 AM  
Blogger joni said...

hi jane --

i'm sure you're always being told how lucky you are that you need to GAIN weight rather than lose it!

and it's true, the people i know in manila do bikram primarily to lose weight, although i'm convinced that all they're really losing is water weight... which they'll gain right back once they drop by starbucks and order their usual venti iced mocha frappuccino!

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Manhattan Beach Bikram is awful. New ownership took over, and are rotten - argumentative and condescending. And their big claim to fame was that they would tear up the old carpet and put in a new surface that wouldn't stink like a sewer. Guess what? The new surface is even worse, and the stench inside will make you gag. Go anyplace else, MB Bikram is the worst.

11:29 PM  

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