The simple explanation is that Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 postures that lasts 90 minutes. The difference at our studio than some others is, we are sticklers about it. Some studios request that students stay the whole time, many don’t flinch when students come and go and some even ask those planning to exit early to set up by the door. But we ask for a commitment. It probably scares some people off and might not be the best for high-volume business. What if we feel lousy, people ask. What if I’m squeezing this in between appointments? Why can’t we just leave?
The long answer is, what we are doing is staying true to our beliefs and Bikram’s teaching. He designed the series to work all the systems of the body systematically, which is lost if you approach it a la carte. And when you start the class, you join in a collective energy with everyone else in the room, an energy that is fractured when anyone leaves.
But perhaps the most important part is, one of the biggest things Bikram yoga sets out to teach you is that you are stronger than you think. No one learns that lesson by fleeing at the first signs of stress. Yes, Bikram yoga is hard. The class is long. The room is hot. But you are strong enough to handle it. The postures are accessible to anyone, no matter what shape you’re in, how old you are, what injuries you might be battling. Look around at the variety of people that tackle this challenge. Everyone starts where they can, works toward improving what they can — it’s everyone’s individual journey. But you can stay in the room and undertake it together. That commitment is where your strength begins.
So yes, it’s 90 minutes. And worth every second.