My second day at Bikram Yoga Lower East Side went very well, mostly because it was an incredibly normal class, and the teacher was what I’d call a normal Bikram teacher: young, blond, and with a soft voice that’s spitting out the dialogue in rhythm. Only, I didn’t get her name. If I’ve got any beef with this studio its that their teacher schedule isn’t online, they’ve got a Twitter account but they don’t tweet the day’s teachers, and the teacher schedule is posted in a spot in the lobby where its difficult to stop and read. (Also, headshots please in the teacher’s section, the photos are great, but how do these teachers LOOK?) Back to our nameless teacher. If you’re going to open up a Bikram studio, its a good idea to hire just a few teachers like this, not because Yoga instructors should be type casted, but because I believe its really easy for most people to take corrections from a twenty-something blond with an even demeanor and a comforting tone. I mean this is America after all. Instructors like her usually force me into the habit of forgetting the teacher is there and I have my best classes with that nameless, faceless voice floating throughout the room. Some people might think that’s a stereotypical way to see teachers, and that I should do MY practice, regardless of the teacher. But at this stage of my practice I think that’s a talent. I haven’t gotten to the point where the yoga is perfect and I am alone in the room.
I really didn’t expect this studio to carry these sorts of teachers, especially since it has so many quirks. It’s quirky. It’s full of nuances, however one might categorize it, it’s different, and on this day I went out of my way to notice all of the quirks. A great deal of thought was put into the use of their pink “sweat drop” logo. Some studios choose a “flame,” others will use a drawing of a cartoon yogi in “final spine twist,” but Bikram Yoga Lower East side puts it on everything (they’re pushing some sweet thermal water bottle holders at the front desk that hold Smartwater bottles perfectly) and they are creative enough to incorporate the logo into things like the men’s and women’s changing room signs. If something needs to be posted on a wall, you’d better believe its over a construction paper silhouette of their logo. I said in the last post that they seemed like a team, and I’m mostly reminded of sports locker rooms when I go to this studio, not simply because of the setup of everything, but also because of the studio’s loyalty to the logo as if it were the Yankees’ NY.
Another thing that stands out here over other studios is the lobby and locker room music. The playlist seems too unique and expansive to be a part of a Bikram studio. This day, I was preparing for class to the live version of “You got me” by the Roots. Another time its “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Another time its a super hot song I’ve never heard. Although hardcore yogis might be turned off by something like this, I think that good music that doesn’t get stuck in your head is a great focusing tool for Bikram yoga. Maybe that’s because I’ve always seen this yoga to be more like a game or sport. You learn the rules fairly early, and you’re given unlimited time to improve.
There’s a very good chance that this day’s teacher was Carrie Hilligloss. But that was after some investigation, and still, I’m not sure.