I went to a flow style vinyasa yoga class yesterday. I was visiting friends on the Jersey Shore and my former running cohort and dear pal invited me to check out her yoga class. Here’s my observations relative to a Bikram class…

What I liked…

My calves got a better work out. I think this is due to the many returns to  downward dog. My arms got a better workout-PLANK!  Variety can be nice. I learned several poses, especially hip openers that I found interesting. While not easy, it was certainly easier than a Bikram class. I wasn’t dizzy, praying for the end or needing to rest.

What I didn’t like…

Flow. I’m the first to admit, this may simply be because I’m not used to it, however, I prefer the start and stop of postures. The rest in between. The return to stillness.

Not knowing poses. While I liked variety, I also like the comfort and familiarity of a Bikram class. It helps me pace myself, knowing what’s next and I like how each pose prepares you for the heat.

Props! I’ve drank the kool aid, so when I see bolsters, pillows and blocks, I get nervous.

Triangle, non-Bikram style. This class had that triangle pose where you put your hand past your leg on the outside. I found it more uncomfortable than the Bikram version where I’m better able to twist my spine at the end.

Overall, I think it’s great to try different things. I’m still aiming to try a Yin yoga class, as many Bikram students seem to recommend it. What other styles of yoga have you tried?


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