They're serious here: heated rooms, demanding postures, and plenty of rules and regulations to make even the dabbler a serious devotee of the tenets of Bikram.
GIMME SOME SPACE AND CLEAN THE CARPET!
I just moved from Harlem, where I have practiced several times a week for three years, to the neighborhood to where this studio is located, so I signed up for their $59 intro month.
What a mistake!
The reception area is tiny with nowhere to sit to fill out their forms, and when I finally got a spot on the one bench, it was drenched with sweat from someone who was in the previous class because-- as I would find out-- there's really nowhere to sit upstairs either. The tiny locker room with itty bitty lockers that barely hold a purse is so narrow, there's literally no room to turn around if anyone else is in there. Gals were standing in the middle of the aisle texting and talking on their phones. I also saw someone insert a tampon and leave the bloody one and applicator in the trash can by the sink.
The class itself was terrible. The carpet was nasty, smelly and completely soaked with the sweat of the multiple classes before. When I laid down my mat, someone else's sweat soaked through it AND my towels immediately. The teacher came in five minutes late, and then started taking names and telling the first timers what to expect, so we started ten minutes late. Two students were let in the class AFTER that even though they had missed the two sets of breathing, forcing everyone who got there on time to move their mats to let them in (they both wanted in the front row).
It was overly humid (probably because the sweat on the carpet is just permitted to fester all day) and cold at the same time. The temperature is supposed to be 105, but the teacher was completely preoccupied with turning off the heat, turning on fans and opening the doors, more so than actually teaching the yoga. FYI, it was 40 degrees outside.
The behavior permitted at this studio is also appalling. This is supposed to be a discipline, but people came in late, were flopping all over their mats, drinking their water while people were trying to do postures, going in and out of the room for water or whatever, and grunting like they were lifting weights. A lot of people in the class were doing the postures wrong (which can make them really hurt themselves), but the teacher was more interested in making sure the room was cold. And I was shocked when seven people-- a third of the class-- left early.
After class, it was back to the locker room. The showers are disgusting, with slippery plastic floor coverings that don't cover the entire floor. The mold is sickening (I wish I could post the picture I took-- yuck!), and I have never seen so much rust on a stainless steel floor.
Their website says that this studio "is equipped with a variety of toiletries." If by that they mean a few gross, hair-clogged brushes and a single hairdryer that seems to blow a fuse whenever it's turned on, sure, but aside from some foam soap out of dispensers in the shower that keep falling off the wall when you try to use them, nothing even close to a toiletry was provided.
I will be taking the train back up to Harlem for class. It's worth the extra time and $5 daily fares to actually get what I'm paying for.
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