Ever since I completed my 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge at Yoga Lounge in Bournemouth, I have been hunting a Bikram Yoga class close to me. But not all hot yoga is created equal not to mention finding the right teacher. So, when my boyfriend Richard spotted Bikram Yoga Fleet during his travels, I thought to myself ‘I wonder if this one will work?’
You see, there are hot yoga studios and then there is accredited Bikram Yoga studios. Having been to a few of the former, I found myself walking out feeling deflated more than energised. I also barely broke a sweat despite working out in a 42 degree room. As with any class, you need to go along and find out if it suits you.
Bikram Yoga Fleet was founded in 2010 by sisters Jane Ashton and Sue Gosling. The idea for the High Street studio was conceived in a coffee shop in Sydney, Australia 14 years ago. After years of practising yoga and Pilates, the sisters were so inspired by Bikram Yoga Brookvale Studio in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, they decided to replicate the community that Brookvale studio has back in the UK. Fast forward to today, the two teachers have multiplied into a team of instructors, and there is a real sense of community here.
I’ve been attending the studio for two weeks now and have loved every single class. That’s not to say I haven’t been challenged or haven’t found it difficult. Each class is different and you will learn different things from different teachers. But the benefits I have received in such a short space of time are so worth it, including the one-and-a-half-hour car round trip. But when you find a good class with uplifting teachers and fellow yogis, it’s worth every second of it.
What I particularly enjoy about Bikram Yoga is that the added heat in the room sharpens and focuses the mind. It’s often called a 90-minute open eye meditation as the “monkey mind” is not free to wander aimlessly when you are listening to the teacher’s instructions and working hard in a posture. The concentration that it requires to keep improving on the series of 26 Hatha yoga postures and two breathing exercises is immense. With continued practice, you will get a stronger more focused mind as well as body.
There is a plethora of benefits from practising Bikram Yoga including greater flexibility, flushes out toxins from the body, builds endurance and creates a cardiovascular workout. The Bikram sequence was designed to systematically work every muscle, ligament, tendon and joint, moving fresh oxygenated blood to 100 per cent of the body into each and every organ, thus restoring all systems to a healthy balance. As well as all the physical benefits, Bikram Yoga can help develop concentration, patience, determination and self-control that help promote mental clarity and reduce stress. When we exercise, we hardly ever think of the mental benefits which I perceive to be just as, if not more, important that the physical ones.
I’ve mainly been doing the Bikram 90 classes but there are plenty of classes on offer. In the hot studio, Fusion 75 and Bikram 60 are also taught while in the non-hot studio, you can choose from Yin 60 or 75, Core Flow 60, Slow Flow 75 or Flow 75. The numbers denote the class duration and most of them are suited for all abilities.
Now, I don’t what the community was like in Brookvale the sisters tried to recreate, but I can say I have so warmed to the community at Bikram Yoga Fleet. It’s friendly, welcoming, inviting and uplifting. Being exposed to so many classes at various times, I can really have the pick of the bunch. But with Bikram Yoga Fleet I have decided to go here beyond my month long complimentary trial because I genuinely want to. As mentioned, the round trip takes me over an hour and a half but as far as I am concerned it’s time well spent for the peace of mind I get from practicing Bikram Yoga which is good for my mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
Where and how?
Bikram Yoga Fleet, 242-244 Fleet Road, Fleet Hampshire GU51 4BX, 01252 447 751 M: 07795 841 133 | 07787 578 835. For more information visit here.
Tags: Amber Fidler, Bikram Chaoudary, Bikram yoga, Bikram Yoga Fleet, body and spirit, body workout, flushes toxins, Jane Ashton, mind, mind and body workout, positive mind, spiritually uplifting, strength, strong muscles, Sue Gosling, weight loss, yoga, Yoga Lounge Bournemouth, yogis
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