Bikram Yoga is often one of those things that you’ll give a go as long as your friend comes along too! Not always of course but more often than not I see and hear of that! So is it a good thing?
As a first timer to anything like this, often a student will feel more comfortable if they bring a friend along with them – just to walk into a new environment and a new type of activity can be a bit daunting so in that case it can be great. It can also be something you can both /all share at the time, talk about afterwards, compare notes, and even have a laugh about! It can even be a social occasion in many ways (before and after class of course!) However there can be some “drawbacks” too!
The practice of Yoga and the benefit it brings is such a personal journey and can be affected by another’s experience and / or opinion in the early classes. Each student can be very different in their approach, their physical ability, their attitude, their level of concentration, or even their willingness to try new things. One of Bikram Yoga’s many benefits is to increase focus and determination as the class is challenging and hardworking and is practiced in a heated room. It therefore demands the attention of the student on themselves in order to progress with the postures, feel more comfortable and be more open to receive the many benefits that are on offer. This is harder to achieve if the attention is on your friend! Every body is different, every mind is different, no too people will have the same experience in one class!
So what is the answer? Well it is whatever you choose of course but an idea maybe to come with a companion and then make an effort not to stand directly next to each other in class. This will allow for the comfort of knowing you are not the only new person in the class, at the same time allowing you to personally experience the yoga for YOU. Once you have a few classes under your belt you will probably relish that 1.5 hours of “alone time”!
So what if you want to come to class and your friend doesn’t? Personally, I think that would be the perfect scenario! You will truly be concentrating more on you, gaining that personal body/mind connection, have nothing to compare it with and therefore start a very rewarding personal journey that is difficult to put into words!