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Doors open 30 minutes before class and studio closes 30 mintues after class. For 6am classes, doors open 15 minutes prior. Doors are locked during class.
Great Staff, amazing experience, so glad I joined this community
She is the one of the most grateful and thankful students we have! She welcomes all the new students with open arms and sings the praises of the studio everywhere she goes. Many of us fell in love with this yoga immediately. Gretchen was not one of them. Read her real and honest experience below and keep reading to see how her feelings about the practice transformed:
“For most of my life I followed a philosophy of “nextism.” I looked forward to the next event or milestone, whether it was a degree, a move, a job, a birth or a birthday. It didn’t matter – in my mind it was always the next thing that would make me happy. Somehow, though, it never did. The next thing would come and go and although I’d be temporarily uplifted I would inevitably start to focus on what was coming…next. I lived in 10 cities in four countries between the ages of 22 and 32. This was a deeply unsatisfying way to live, and I spent years looking to fill the emptiness that was, at times, overwhelming.
About 10 years ago I experienced what felt like a catastrophic event, one that caused me to become willing to change. My focus shifted from holding others responsible for my unhappiness to accepting my own responsibility. It was terrifying. But when I let go of what wasn’t working, I found there was space for what did. I began to get healthier: spiritually, mentally, and physically.
I never saw Bikram yoga coming. I’d never even heard of it until one of my friends mentioned that she’d “…just come from a 90-minute yoga class where the room is 105 degrees with 40% humidity.” I looked at her, wordless, and wondered, Why? A year later I went to my first class. Anecdotal research has led me to believe that my first class was worse than most people’s: I wished for death. My only frame of reference for that class was giving birth without drugs…the first time. In both instances I didn’t know what to expect, when it would end, or whether I would survive. I was too mortified to leave the yoga room, but once the class was finally over, I vowed never to go back. I literally scoffed at the introductory offer and got in the car and drove home as soon as I could. I was never doing that again. But . . .
After I got home I could not believe how good I felt! Elated. Peaceful. Calm. I went back a week later. And the week after that. Then I started going to one class during the week as well as the Sunday class. I paid the drop-in rate for three months because I was never certain I would go back again. But I did go back, and I kept going back because of how wonderful I felt. This was the feeling I’d been chasing my entire life.
I’ve practiced regularly at four studios, but ever since Lynne and Frank opened our studio I have felt at home. Our practice connects every person in the room. We are safe to be who we are without judgment. There are no cliques; instead, we each make up an integral part of the whole. I practice four to five times a week because if I don’t, I don’t feel good. I love knowing that no matter how I feel when I enter the studio, 90 minutes later I’m going to feel better. Guaranteed. Where else can I go and what else can I do that gives me that assurance?
One of the aspects of this yoga that I most love is that while I’m in the yoga room whatever is happening on the outside doesn’t matter – not work or kids or money or any of the other issues of the day. Being in the room reduces me to my lowest common denominator, to the essence of life: inhale…exhale. Everything else disappears and my sole attention is on the rhythm of my breath. Kyle says I lose my sense of humor during yoga, and she’s right. I don’t have room for it. I don’t have room for anything except inhale…exhale (which is why I love practicing to the left of Johanna). Over and over I am reminded, “All you have to do is breathe.” At my most humble, this shared focus on breath makes me feel that I am everyone in the room and everyone is me, and we are all connected by the One who made us.
I cannot control how hot the room is or how humid, or whether the door is opened or the fan is turned on, or the movements and sounds made by my fellow yogis. What I can do is practice acceptance of what is. I can practice being present and not trying to escape. I can practice accepting my limitations on any given day and my progress overall. This applies inside the hot room as well as in the world. I can’t control what others think or say or do, but I can control my reaction…sometimes. More often than in the past.
I am so grateful for Bikram Yoga Catonsville and everyone at our studio. This practice is a huge part of what I do to be well, to be whole, and to be here. The more I practice, the better I become at learning to be content with what is instead of yearning for what comes next.