Bikram Yoga and Me: No Use Crying Over Spilt Eggs.

Via Rachel Steele
on Feb 16, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

Screen shot 2010-02-16 at 12.10.26 PM

There’s no use crying over spilt eggs. But I did.

Or rather, the eggs were used, eaten, gone. They were organic and from an Amish farm somewhere in NY state. One of my roommates ate my last two eggs. Or maybe he threw them at a puppy. I don’t know exactly what happened; I only showed up for the aftermath. I intern for a living, and as a result oscillate between broke, and really really broke.

When someone eats my food, and no, this wasn’t the first time, I can’t always replace it right away.  I should add that I’m moving to LA in 10 days, so rather than confront them and try to make a better living situation, I am just going to deal with it. It’s not just eggs. One of my roommates is really misogynistic (I’m one of those “this is what a feminist looks like” people), one is rude, and the other, well, he’s fine, except he left water soaking in my cast iron skillet overnight, discovered in tandem with missing eggs.

Yes, I’m venting.

The funny thing is, I maintain a yoga practice, so that these things, the things we can’t control, like Craigslist roommates, don’t leave you crying in the kitchen on Tuesday morning when you were supposed to leave for work 10 minutes ago.

I have been going to Yoga To The People, but I heard that Bikram Yoga in Union Square had $20 for one week unlimited yoga, so I thought it might be a good place to practice for a week.  Last night, I left class feeling more agro then I went in. Maybe it was what Bryan Kest calls “If you bring your sh*t to yoga, your yoga becomes sh*t,” or maybe it was being yelled at for 90 minutes to go deeper, lock my knee, etc.  I think it’s a combination of both, making both worse.  Also, I know it’s good to push your body once in a while, but I also know when to push and when to respect my limitations.  Let’s just say the yoga teacher and I were at some odds when it came to certain poses.  To be fair, everything that I’ve disliked about Bikram Union Square is what I liked about Bikram Yoga on the Hill in Boulder.  Rasa Zubukte, who owns the studio, once said, try any pose you don’t feel like you can do for three breathes, and then if it’s not working, come out.  That I can live with.   But I’ve never found another Bikram studio that echoed her approach.  But for me the real test came this morning.  All the reserve and calmness I normally have when I have a consistent yoga practice, it wasn’t there.  I started crying, I called my mom, bitched to my brother and his girlfriend on Gchat, and complained to my friend and fellow contributor Kelsi, on facebook.  And then the moment I needed came.

I asked Kelsi if it were possible that doing Bikram was making me more aggressive than calm, and she said “I don’t know… that whole yoga series is founded and copyrighted by a douche bag, so it only makes sense that one,  you also must be a douche bag to enjoy Bikram or two, if you are not a douche bag, it will make you feel like hot hell.”  And I laughed.  That’s what I needed—laughter.  The best yoga teachers and the best yoga practices teach us to be humble and to laugh at ourselves.   I am not getting that from the Bikram Yoga at the Union Square location, so it’s not for me.  To be fair, I know it’s for some people, and I don’t think only douche bags practice bikram, and Kelsi doesn’t either, but her snowboard got stolen yesterday at Snowmass, so she thinks everyone is a douche bag right now, and I don’t blame her.  Luckily we both believe in karma, and hey, maybe it was my karma that led to my roommates eating my eggs.  The great thing about karma is that we don’t have to figure it out to learn from it, we can just try to put good out there.   So I deleted my facebook status about my rude roommates, and I am going to heat up the homemade chicken soup my brother’s girlfriend made for me.  Ironically, when she handed it to me, she joked, “Here’s some chicken soup for your soul.”  Turns out she was right.

Screen shot 2010-02-16 at 12.10.18 PM

Maybe the universe wants me to go vegan? Photos for this article found by the lovely Kelsi Coia.


About Rachel Steele

Rachel Steele originally hails from Charleston, SC, but schlepped all the way to Boulder to play in the mountains and study at the University of Colorado. She graduated with a degree in in Political Geography in 2008 and then briefly traveled in India and was certified as a yoga teacher in 2009 at Holy Cow Yoga Studio. She has since returned to her mother's ancestral home of Brooklyn, NY and is proud to call the Williamsburg area home. Despite what her mother recently said, she doesn't think she's become a hipster. She does wears many hats, including a fedora with a pin of Lindsey Lohan on it, but the one that is most important to her is that of a feminist filmmaker. She also loves live music, enjoys cooking, and is happiest when rabble rousing. She does miss Colorado, but feels very connected to her college home when writing for elephant. Her personal blog can be found at and on imdb.


8 Responses to “Bikram Yoga and Me: No Use Crying Over Spilt Eggs.”

  1. Rasa Zubkute says:

    Hi Rachel, I am sorry you had a bad experience at the Union Square LOCATION. That is exactly what I want to emphasize – the studio you visited and the mentality that the studio lives by. I have been to the studio a few times and… experienced the same. I am a Bikram yoga instructor and I did not agree with a teacher leading the class when I practiced. But at the same time, I will always say: do your yoga, don't let a teacher ruin it. It is a fine line, but that's what I love about Bikram yoga – the discipline, and not so much the physical aspect of it, but mental. Can you surrender? And guess who is going to win? Don't let anyone steal your piece, Miss Steel. And do not give up Bikram yoga! 🙂

  2. Kaushik says:

    Yes, douchebagginess abounds, and the founder doesn't seem to embody the yogi, but I have to say that Bikram Yoga is what got me started with yoga. There is discipline and the heat makes me more exhausted than the yoga, but the practice was nevertheless good for me..

  3. Yay, we love Rasa! Thanks for contributing your comment.

  4. Laura says:

    Thank you for making me laugh. D-bags, eggs and Bikram who knew how funny that could be.

  5. Hi, Rachel.

    Thanks for making me laugh. I really enjoyed this.

    Bob Weisenberg

  6. Mary says:

    I can't find the appropriate article to provide my inquiry but I did Bikram for the first time today (in Fort Collins) and was wondering what yoga studios did to offset their energy usage. I tried a quick google search and was surprised at what little results I found. I'm sure Elephant has addressed this before so maybe someone can lead me in the right direction?

  7. […] have practiced a few styles, and while I don’t have a favorite, it is definitely safe to say, I don’t like Bikram. I figure, I’m 22 now, and I plan on practicing for the rest of my life; so I just practice […]

  8. Absolutely written subject material , thankyou for selective information .