Bikram Yoga Hampden
911 W 36th St Ste 2, Baltimore, MD 21211
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01/27/2012Provided by Citysearch -
If you are a beginner you should look elsewhere. The instructors are not very considerate. They have unrealistic expectations for beginners. The instructors egos fly very high here, as if they were born doing this. They have forgotten where they come from. Forgotten what it's like to be a mere beginner or mortal ;-) However, the instructors do succeed at taking you out of the practice and its moments. Even veteran yogis were bothered by the way they shout at people. As a student was leaving a class she said to a friend ""I just wanted to yell at him to shutup and follow the script..How hard can that be"" It's not very hard which is why I guess they feel the need to take more control over a script that flows naturally. I guess they are insecure because they are not Bikram himself.
I tried Bikram Yoga Baltimore Yoga college of India. Only a few miles south of this place downtown. They don't yell at you there or make you feel like a failure, but encourage you. There is a difference between being firm and making someone feel like a failure. Hampden will make you feel inadequate. Make you feel like you shouldn't be there and were foolish to even consider trying Bikram.
I went to Bikram Yoga Hampden 4-7 times a week last year for about 5 months before I moved out of state. I got to know the instructors and the regulars very well. When I first started at BYH, I had a moderate skill level in yoga. I've been going on and off for 11 years. The heat, the poses, the dialog are all challenging at first. At many times I felt like giving up during class, but I made a commitment to myself to keep pushing until I got it right. After just a few stiff and sore weeks later, I was actually able to see the floor behind me when I did a back bend! I could touch my face to my shins without my legs bending! I could do standing-head-to-knee pose without breaking my locked leg! After all the pushing and pain, I started to see these results. That's when I began to know the power of Bikram Yoga. I understood why my instructors pushed me past my comfort level. It's like I had a new body.
For those of you who are apprehensive about trying Bikram Yoga, just remember that it will be a challenge, but it is worth it. Getting yelled at and pushed past your limits is part of Bikram's shtick. And if you think your instructor was cocky, take a look at Bikram himself. It's all part of the technique. It's not for everyone, but it works. I'm a massage therapist and I recognize what is healthy or unhealthy for the body. Even someone with an injury can benefit from the combination of heat and movement. Bikram himself suffered a crippling knee injury when he was young. He was told by many different doctors that he would never walk again. He healed it with yoga in 6 months.
The people at this studio are all kind, compassionate, insanely encouraging individuals. I love them all, even if I think I hate them during class. The excitement is infectious there. The other regular students and I are all Bikram advocates now. We love this place so much we've gotten friends and family members to come too. It's not just the yoga, it's the whole atmosphere. The studio itself is clean, spacious and inviting. They have nonabsorbent, antibacterial rubber(?) carpeting in the studio as opposed to slippery hard wood floors or stinky fabric carpet. The parking is easy. The locker rooms are kept extremely clean, and there's always enough space for everyone to put their stuff. The lobby is relaxing and inviting.
I have been to several other Bikram Studios and they all leave me longing for BYH... They just don't compare. I know every time I go back to Baltimore I'll be stopping in for a class there. Please take the other reviews on this site with a grain of salt. Yes, it can be challenging and sometimes the instructors will push you (mentally) and yell at you, but you don't come here to get coddled and listen to John Mayer songs in the candlelight. You come here to change your body and get in the best shape of your life. If you can make it through your first week, you'll understand. I promise.
01/24/2012Provided by Citysearch -
I have been practicing at Bikram Yoga Hampden for almost three years and I cannot more highly recommend taking a class here and making this practice a part of your life.
As many people say about Bikram yoga, it isn't for everyone. Many people use military jargon to describe the room, which I feel is a little too simplistic. It is a difficult practice that is taught in a very specific way. If you've ever practiced Iyengar yoga, you might have an idea of how this goes. There is a right way to do the postures and a wrong way. Often times, it is easiest for us to want to do it the wrong way. This doesn't mean that we are lazy, but that we must work extra hard to use our mind to change our bodies. The instructors in Bikram give you specific directions and expect you to follow them (like any good teacher should). This is to push you to your limit safely and to get you to leave your ego behind and submit to the practice. As I can see from another review on this site, that is really hard for some people to do without getting lost in the process.
If you can allow yourself to come to a few classes, you will see changes immediately. Your skin, flexibility, well-being, attitude, everything will begin to change. It is an incredible process and one worth giving a solid try.
The quality of instruction I've received at BYH has been outstanding. I've dealt with my fair share of injuries throughout my life and through an open and ongoing dialogue with the instructors, they have been able to help me heal myself. I cannot stress the importance of being upfront with the instructors about your body BEFORE class--it is the only way they can help you succeed!
I love this yoga, and I love BYH and all the people there. I truly consider them a service to the community at large (and a great part of Hampden!).
01/22/2012Provided by Citysearch -
I have been to Bikram only a handful of times, as part of my thirty-day intro month.I have found many of the poses rewarding, and enjoyed being in the hot room, though some of the violence of the Bikram Script (""you want this to hurt, you want to feel a pain sensation""!!!!) has baffled me, and I have no idea what a ""Japanese ham sandwich"" is, or why I would want to make my body into one.
Certain teachers at Bikram Yoga Hampden, even within the entirely scripted Bikram sequence, have revealed an appalling lack of knowledge of anatomy. One teacher told a girl to keep her mouth on the floor in one of the locust poses in order to protect her ""cervix""--quite different from the ""cervical spine""!!!
This morning, Henri opened up his 11 am class by saying ""You only have to breathe. Everything else is optional."" This turned out not to be true! By the time we got to the floor, I was tired, and my lower back was bothering me. Instead of going back down for a Savasana (the up and down to Savasana is aggravating in my back) in between the reclining quadriceps-stretch poses, I held the reclining pose.
""You, you, why are you still in the pose?"" Henri yelled at me sharply, pointing. ""This is not Charm city! You do what I say or you get out!""
I got up, got my mat, and got out.
I will not be back. Ultimately, I would rather listen to my own body than a threatening and megalomaniacal teacher .
12/18/2007Provided by Citysearch -
If you are looking for a beautiful yoga studio with committed and enthusiastic instructors you have found it at this studio. I have been practicing here since I moved to town in October (2007) and I have loved every minute of it. Sarah Ittmann is the owner and she always has a warm smile and a moment to connect with each person who comes to the studio. She has managed to surround herself with a team of equally warm teachers (Ana, Jess, and Dave) who share her philosophy and deliver classes throughout which personal attention or suggestions are frequent. Prior to coming to this studio I had only done Bikram Yoga once many years ago. The teacher made sure she knew my name and helped me learn how to do the postures safely. After class there is always an opportunity to ask questions and the teachers will often congratulate students for doing really well that day. I am not a morning person AT ALL and today I went to the 6:30 am class because it just feels good to be here and do this yoga with these people. I highly recommend it this studio!