Practitioner Bikram Yoga

Kho Kusuma Dewi, 28, is a Bikram hot yoga practitioner who runs administrative support and sales at Yoga @ 42Ëš. She lives with her mother and sister in Denpasar and shared her day with The Bali Times

” My favorite thing about practicing Bikram yoga is that I can eat whatever I want. “

I wake up at 6:30am to prepare breakfast. We all run on different schedules at home so I usually have breakfast by myself.

My mother is 51 years old and my sister is 22. My mother is retired now, and my sister works at Studio 5, a beauty salon in Legian. I also have a brother, who’s studying and working in the Netherlands. My father passed away four years ago.

After breakfast, I go to work. I usually drive a motorbike to Yoga @ 42Ëš, which is a Bikram yoga studio that just opened, on March 3.

I work closely with Mony Suriany, the owner of the studio. Mony opened her first Bikram yoga studio three years ago in Jakarta.

At the request of her Jakarta clients, she decided to open up a sister studio in Bali. Many of her clients in Jakarta travel to Bali over the weekends so they asked Mony to open up a studio here so they could take classes while on holiday.

The classes at Yoga @ 42Ëš are usually taught by Jack Farris, who is from Melbourne. But we have a new instructor, from Canada, who will join the studio soon.

Mony is also an instructor, but she usually works at the studio in Jakarta. When she’s not in Bali, I’m in charge of the studio.

The first time I did Bikram yoga, I felt dizzy and wanted to vomit. The room was too hot for me. The next morning I felt sore all over my body.

Now, though, I take a class every two days. The moves have become a lot easier for me, and I’ve learned to adjust to the heat.

The room is kept between 38-42Ëš C. Everyone sweats in the class. We turn the heater on two hours before classes start.

We also don’t allow participants to leave the room after they’ve started class in order to keep the room at an even temperature. If they can’t stand the heat, we suggest they stop doing any of the positions and just lie down on their yoga mats.

During class, my heart thuds a million times a minute. I feel like I’ve been running even though all Bikram yoga involves is stretching.

In class, women wear as little clothes as possible. Usually we wear a swimsuit or a tank top with shorts. I don’t feel shy in the class because even men just wear their underwear sometimes. Everyone is dressed the same: skimpily.

There are 26 positions in Bikram yoga, and we do each position twice during class. My favorite position is called the camel pose. In the camel pose, we have to kneel down first. After kneeling, we slowly recline backwards until our backs are parallel to the floor. Our hands then slide behind us to reach the bottoms of our feet, and our heads rest back until our eyes can see the back wall. The camel pose stretches the lower back.

Ever since I started practicing Bikram yoga, I’ve felt stronger, and I’ve been able to focus more. It’s helped me to tone my body.

The extra fat in my body has turned into muscle. My favorite thing about practicing Bikram yoga is that I can eat whatever I want. If I have chocolate early in the day, I don’t feel guilty about having eaten it since taking a single Bikram class can burn 600-900 calories. Although I haven’t lost weight, my body somehow just feels lighter.

I’m not the only fan of Bikram yoga in Bali. So far, we have about 50 members at the studio. A mix of tourists, locals and expatriates participate in our classes.

Our members are from all over – from Holland, Japan, the United States, Russia, Australia, Germany and Indonesia.

On a normal day, I work at the studio until 5pm. If I’m not too tired, I usually go out with my friends and have dinner or go shopping.

When I am too tired after work, I just go home and sleep.

Filed under: One Day

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