While the Bikram series of asanas is the same at every Bikram studio, there are still a number of nuances that make every studio unique. Aside from you, the teachers and the feel of studio make your practice what it is. Here, five studios are reviewed by certified bikram instructor and avid yogini, Natalie O’shea.
The teachers are experienced. Many have been teaching for many years. They’ve developed the confidence to teach with their one styles and have toned down some of the militant quality that is common with Bikram’s style. Mercifully, the heat in the room is not punishingly hot. Its quite perfect. The room has a nice view that faces East, and at 6:30am classes get a sunrise show. There’s no showers, but there’s a changing room. Try Suzanne. She went to the training in 2003 and has lived in Maui for a number of years; her style is free-flowing. She gives you lots of space, encourages you to relax into the asanas, and keep your wandering eyes focused on your practice. Classes are not that crowded, especially weekday evenings. It’s a friendly atmosphere and mostly locals. Prices: drop in $16. 1st time special 1week unlimited yoga for $10.
It’s one of the oldest studios in the country. It has full lockers rooms, showers, and a steam room. It is dialogue driven, but not so militant. It’s a spacious studio and the heat is very intense. Victoria is an excellent teacher with lots of sass and an charismatic accent. It is located just off the 5 fwy in old town. The students are friendly and is a nice mix of college students and locals.
Prices: drop in $17. 1st time special 1week unlimited yoga for $10.
The location is fantastic. It is right across form the beach. The room is big, 4,000 square feet. It’s floors are non-absorbent, so the usual hot yoga scent is minimized. Plus, each student gets a lavender scented towel during final savasana. Very relaxing! There is a great boutique with mats and yoga gear. There’s showers and locker rooms. For an instructor, try David. He trained in 2003. He pushes you, but has a great sense of humor. The students are mostly locals that are healthy and fit.
prices: drop-in: $17. Intro Special 10 days for $25. First month $79 unlimited
There’s lots of classes throughout the day, catering to a clientele with busy schedules. It is a massive room. The locker room and showers are great. It’s in “the Camp” at Costa Mesa, so there’s some places to eat after class. For an instructor, try Stacey. She has a calming presence and emphasizes proper pranayama, which is essential to a good practice. She will get you through a tough, hot class with encouraging words. Also, try Carry’s class. She has a fun and humorous teaching style.
prices: drop-in: $20. Intro Special 2 weeks for $20. Monthly $99 unlimited
This studio has a small town feel with mostly local practioners. You can see the ocean and feel the breeze, when the instructor allows it. The room is small and bright. It doesn’t get that crowded. There are showers and a locker room. For an instructor, try Christian. He is a funny, lively and will carry you through the class. He holds the asanas a long time so you can really get into them.
prices: drop-in: $20. Intro Special two weeks for $25. Monthly $159 unlimited
Contributor: Natalie O’shea, certified Bikram Yoga instructor, attempting VRISHCHIKASANA at Bikram Yoga in Encinitas. She lives in Kahana, HI.