Updated: Bye Bye Bikram

On August 1, 2011, I posted about Bikram Yoga Ridgefield, Ridgefield Connecticut. It was one of the last posts I made on this blog before I pretty much abandoned it and all but forgot about it. I didn’t know that it still came up in Google searches. I didn’t know that there were 18 comments on it.

I’ve deleted it now because it was harsh and ugly and causing pain to people. It turns out that this post, which I had put out of my mind, was not out of the minds of the students, teachers and proprietors of Bikram Yoga Ridgefield. I discovered this yesterday in a most painful, embarrassing and humbling way. I will be writing about it further, but I thought it important now to delete the post before it did further damage.

I’m sorry.



19 Responses to Updated: Bye Bye Bikram

  1. Reposer says:

    Remember the NYT article last year summarizing the various reasons folks can be more susceptible to exercising in extreme heat? Worth running down the checklist (hormonal age for women is def on there) but what stuck in my memory was that everyone, even the most fit (who adjust most quickly) need to acclimate gradually to extreme heat. Rise in blood pressure, dehydration, etc. are concerns for many. Dizziness can have multiple causes, but your common sense action is the standard recommendation. Why/how could she justify discouraging it? What is the rationale? Is there something in Bikram philosophy that contradicts the science behind putting your head down when light-headed/dizzy? Or do they teach that it’s noble to pass out while doing the sequence?
    I hope by now she’s called you in concern and regret to apologize!

  2. yogachickie says:

    Hell to the no, she has not called or emailed…perhaps she assumes (hopes) I am dead from heatstroke? Or perhaps she just could sense that I was never ever ever going to darken her doorstep again? Perhaps I am no longer capable of tolerating a bikram class. It’s militaristic like ashtanga, but I more or less respect ashtanga, so I am less likely to argue back at the teacher if they give me an instruction I don’t like. Bikram seems kind of a joke to me…like yoga kindergarten: you go for the experience but not really to learn anything substantive per se.

  3. Sara says:

    You want a great class in that area? Buddhi Mat is it…owner Lyn and her crew are the nicest. No egos and Buddhi was the first of the hot yoga places and continues to do well because of it. The other awesome class I’ve experienced is over at O2 Living in Cross River. Alison is the one to go with…she is fabulous, challenging, great and at the end of class, at least for summer, she puts a cold washclothe over your forehead and eyes in savasana to help the cooling down process. She is Bikram trained but in no way doing that regimented stuff…and she is also Vinyasa trained so the two together are like heaven. Her classes are packed so get there early šŸ™‚ I would never put up with what that teacher did to you…never. And I am a teacher too and wonder where the hell her compassion is. I also think she’s running with fear of her studio not succeeding. Buddhi has the hot yoga people won over already so that was some chance to take opening a Bikram in Ridgefield.

  4. Sara says:

    PS Forgot to mention there is also a cool teacher in North Salem named Basil…I think the website is http://www.basilyoga.com He doesn’t do hot yoga but a great vinyasa mix. No need to EVER got back to that Bikram studio really, if you live in the area šŸ™‚ Wonder how long the place will be open. I heard the Bikram owner in Danbury CT is another one to reckon with…she puts the heat up to 110.

  5. Yogi John says:

    I won’t go to Bikram no matter what, no matter where. I think maybe because I don’t like Bikram himself all that much. The militaristic sans spirituality is disturbing. Yes yoga is a practice that makes you healthy and reduces stress, but it is also a wonderful way to connect with yourself and something bigger than yourself. That teacher you experienced maybe shouldn’t be teaching before she has had more time exploring the “yoga is the cessation of the flutuations of the mind” because she sure is good at creating more of that on all levels!

  6. Hey girl… so glad to see you’re still blogging! I’ve become an Iyengar girl myself, though I still take class at a pretty good Vinyasa studio up the block on a regular basis (it’s up the block and my friends teach there.) But I’d totally join you for Bronx Bikram. Name the date!

  7. yogachickie says:

    Omg!! April!!! So good to hear from you! After labor day, I will be able to schedule a trip to bikram bronx with you…let’s definitely do that!

  8. Yogi John says:

    Guess you are not really back to blogging šŸ˜¦ Oh well.

  9. yogachickie says:

    I blogged today, Yogi John!

  10. Yogi John says:

    AWESOME to have you back…thanks for posting šŸ™‚

  11. yogachickie says:

    John…you can follow me on twitter for a more up-to-the -minute real-time flow of thought. @yogachickie on twitter.com

  12. I am new to this blog. I found you on Twitter. I guess I am going to have to link to this article from my article– Yoga: The Many Benefits of Hatha Yoga. Here is the last paragraph of that article: “Remember that when you are at a class, you are the boss when it comes to your own body. The instructor works for you. If the instructor tells you to run into a wall, it will be your nose that gets broke, not his/hers. So only do what you feel is safe for you and to the degree that you want.”

    I wrote that after reading some things. If you want someone to put their hands on you, just go to the airport. I was reading about a woman in a Bikram yoga class where the temperature was 115 degrees and she was not feeling great. The above reminds me of the complaints in Scientology. There is nothing wrong with the teachings, but people in power abuse it.

    Just like the U.S. There is nothing wrong with the constitution but the people in power abuse it. In a debate, when Mitt Romeny was asked about the constitution, he said to ask Ron Paul since he is a constitutionalist. The president vows to uphold the constitution.

    Also in Scientology they would say that you are a squirrel. And you confessed it to the teacher. That word (squirreling) means to take Scientology and teach your version of it. Bikram has patented his yoga sequence and you were teaching a version of it. I am sure that the teacher was told that if she changes it in anyway, she will suffer a fate worse than death and then when she dies she would go to hell for eternity (If Bikram were a Christian).

    I do not like authority. Actually the teacher may have been concerned about you fainting and getting hurt and getting sued by you. There is a saying about all of the above and about Bikram. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Bikram’s book was made so someone, like me, can do it on their own. It says “If you can, you should try to heat it to at least 100 degrees F.” He talks about heating up a bathroom if large enough or wearing warmup clothing.

    To end on a positive note there was an article about a guy losing 200 pounds with yoga. But when you get into the story, a guy went to a yoga class, but he was not feeling like he deserved to not be obese. But the female teacher there cared about him (as a person or fellow human being) and that made all the difference. So being obese was not just hurting him but was hurting the teacher so he lost the weight. So it was a story about the power of brotherly/sisterly love.

  13. fran says:

    You sound like a little brat. If the teacher is correcting you it is because you are doing something wrong. You taught “hot yoga”? That is not Bikram. The point of the dialog and listening to the teacher is so you do the poses correctly and don’t hurt yourself. I don’t blame the teacher one bit for tossing you out. Next time, try to let go of your massive ego and just listen to the dialog and do the class. Maybe you’ll learn something.

  14. ashley says:

    I have to agree with Fran. If you’ve been practicing Bikram for over ten years you would know that the number one rule is to lay down in savasana if you’re feeling dizzy or faint, you don’t start doing your own thing – it is very distracting to the other students.

  15. Thy says:

    bikram is for people who have poles stuck up their a$$es like Fran and Ashley. if child’s pose is so distracting, why isn’t it distracting in a vinyasa class? that’s because you’re too effing anal and wound too tightly. let it go and let loose.

  16. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and
    the rest of the site is also really good.

  17. Kiki says:

    I love Bikram Ridgefield and the main reason is the teacher/owner. I’m not the only one. I hear people go back there because of her. I think she was concerned about your severe dizziness since she is such a nice caring person.

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    Updated: Bye Bye Bikram | Yoga Chickie

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