Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Gym Project

I have been very quiet with my Gym Project lately. It does not mean that I do not exercise. I am just using the same passes that give me access to the same gym more than once, therefore, I actually go to the gyms I have already rated.

This week I had my first experience with the very famous “hot yoga” class, commonly known as bikram yoga or prana power yoga. Unless you have some experience in yoga, don’t even think about it! You basically practice intermediate level yoga in a heated room. My initial curiosity was easily satisfied but not fulfilled. I entered the super heated room just five minutes before the beginning to get used to it. It wasn’t really fun, I have to say. The promotional copy on their website: an experience that leaves you feeling awake and aware, energized and revitalized, and cleansed and calm, can’t change my mind. After 90 minutes, I felt exercised but also too hot and dehydrated. I was feeling fine the following day with some tight muscles in my stomach.

Prana Power Yoga school. Address: 862 broadway st 2nd floor (at 17th st)new york ny 10003, phone: 212.460.YOGA, 212.460.9642. email:

Score card

: 5/10. The space is small. The reception hall is also a changing room (you can also change in the exercise room). There are only two toilets and NO showers. This is unacceptable. After spending 90 minutes in a room with 20 people and in 95 degrees, you definitely need to take a shower afterwards. Not to mention that you have to pay for the use of the mat, the towel and the bottle of water! The class costs $17 and you add $1 for each of the above. Is that a good deal? No!!!

Variety of classes: 8/10. This is a specialized school so all classes are the same. The only thing that changes is their duration. You can get a 60min, 75min or 90min in the mornings, afternoons or evenings.

Rate of difficulty: 9/10. Although I don’t have a reference point because this was the very first class (and last one), I find it challenging and uncomfortable. I don't see the point of it. Doing power yoga in a heated room (95F), it's a very weird experience. You sweat a lot and feel dehydrated. And you don’t want to go back again. At least, not me.