Four years ago I stumbled into a Bikram yoga class totally unprepared for the +40 degree temperature, the strength and balance it demanded, and length of the class. After an hour and a half of sweating every last ounce of water in my body I collapsed on my mat looking like a prune, and I vowed to never return to Bikram yoga.
As many of you know, I have been practicing Bikram yoga for the past four years and loved it – I have even dragged many friends and family members to classes with me. As a runner, I have put a lot of strain on my joints and muscles and this practice has been my treatment for all the injuries I have acquired and even improved my running!
Bikram yoga is a type of hot yoga that is the same 26 postures in the same order every time. Because of this, they say you can practice in any language since it’s always the same. I decided to attend a French class and see what it was like! The dialogue in French is almost identical as the English one, which I find fascinating. It’s clear the Bikram instructors are all taught the same way.
What is different however is the culture. In Canada, classes are all taught in English only – Montreal may be an exception. In Paris, the Bikram studios offer an English class at 11am every day! That got me wondering why in a city so headstrong about their language, they offer a class in English? What’s more peculiar still is that all the instructors are fluent in English and the majority are second language French speakers. Yesterday I went to a French class and there was a guy speaking to the instructor afterward who said, “I’m glad it looked like I knew what a I was doing… I don’t speak a word of French!”
And then there’s the lululemon. Some how, on the other side of the world where there are no lululemon stores, at yoga everyone is nonetheless decked out in it! Generally that can strike up conversations as you ask each other, “Oh are you Canadian or American? I noticed your lulu shirt!” Since lululemon isn’t sold here in Paris, it’s like our own private inside joke!
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