Yoga >Bikram's Yoga College Of India
841 Broadway Ste 608, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.734359 -73.991058
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Greenwich Village
Great Classes – Bikram Yoga at Union Square is great! I try to go at least once a week. Did you know that buywithmeNYC is offering a one month unlimited pass for just $45 right now? You can check out the deal here: ://bit.ly/cq0dKJ Enjoy!!
Owner is a nightmare! – I went to this place off and on for about 2 years. Somehow I never landed in Otto's class (the owner) until very recently. The experience was enough to make me walk out of the class mid-way through it and never return to this place. I have taken Bikram Yoga in almost every major city (I travel for work) for close to 8 years and I have NEVER walked out on a class. He is very negative, belligerent, angry, insulting, and overall just rude. He took what is meant to be a peaceful, inspiring, spiritual, cleansing practice and turned it into a negative and stressful experience. I would have just avoided his classes from that point on but then found out he was the owner...?? Unbelievable! Which explains 1 or 2 other instructors that I found to also be rude. He is setting a HORRIBLE example for his instructors. I am surprised that Bikram Choudhury would allow this person to represent his name.
Great studio, If you are new then just avoid otto's classes – I love this studio. It's bikram so you either like it or you don't. Most every teacher is terrific. It's very clean for what it is and it's not too stinky. My complaints would be about the overcrowding at some classes and about classes taught by Otto (the owner). It's not the instruction or the additional time he takes that I find problematic, it's his tendency towards despotism and demoralization. It takes away from what could be a good learning experience. Overall though, this is a great studio with fantastic teachers and it's clean.
Clean and organized – I realize Bikram Yoga is not for everyone. Especially, if you have a preconceived notion about what yoga should be, or if you are perfectionist. What I mean is that you need to find a way to rise above the negative elements in your environment (heat, sweat, voices, light, lightheadedness) and find strengths to focus on the moments. And you really don't "get" this until you take classes at least 10 times or so. Once you learn to focus on your moments regardless, you can learn to appreciate how heat actually relaxes your muscles and prevents injuries. And how sweating is not a repulsive phenomena but an end result of improved circulation. The union square facility is very clean and organized. Cleaning staff are constantly wiping, cleaning and washing! Most instructors are good, although some instructors preach too much during the poses, making it hard to concentrate. But even those instructors have good intentions (even though you want to tell them to stick to the instruction!) Some instructors have high-pitched shrilling voice that comes across harsh over the microphone. They should learn to lower their tones when they speak through the microphone. One thing to keep in mind is this facility is very strict about Bikram yoga protocol (not drinking water during poses, not leaving the room, resting in a certain position.) But none of these protocol is unreasonable if you are disciplined. In fact, there are good reasons behind these protocol. Some instructors are not good at explaining the reasons, so you might feel like you are personally attacked (especially when you are already feeling like fainitng!) Personally, Bikram Yoga did wonders to my body and my mind. So I hope more people get over the initial shock and leap the benefits.
Impressions – I have studied yoga at many of the great studios in NYC throughout the years, but I never tried a Bikram class until a week ago. I was inspired to try Bikram's method after reading his latest book. I decided to take advantage of $20 for a week of classes offered at the Union Square Bikram Studio. The following are my impressions of my first visit to this studio. First, I was immediately impressed by the professionalism of the front desk staff and the simple beauty of the studio. The mens locker room was kind of small, people had a hard time moving around or finding a spot to sit, but there were enough lockers and three showers, which was great. Overall, the facilities and staff were very good. Now to the classes and instructors. .. okay, I knew Bikram called his classes Bikram's Torture Chamber, but damn! Hot yoga doesn't quite describe it! It was more like Bikram's crockpot! I have never sweated so much in life! I liked the sweating part though, but somewhere around the 20th posture I broke down! I had no more juice though I hydrated reasonably thoughout and before the class. I never felt that way before. I almost retched three times and passed out twice! When I got up to leave the class in the end, I almost fell over. I wasn't the only one. Several people attempted to leave the class because of nausea, but were singled out and made to feel like they were giving up. The instructor actually criticised a student for hydrating at one point! It was simply rude. Anyway, I know this style is supposed to be tough, but it's not for everyone. If you body can handle the heat, go for it! There are benefits. After class, my knees felt great and my eye sight seemed to have improved! However, it took me two days to completely recover from the dehydration and mineral depletion. I can see why some people love this style of yoga, but I would take many precautions when beginning to study it or avoid it if you have to many adverse reactions. It's not for everyone.
Hot 'n Sxy Yoga Time – I discovered this studio about a year ago after doing a sample testing of all the bikram studios in the city. This is by far the most well-organized and clean studios out there. The instructors are great. I would like to point out to those that find fault with any "fat instructor" should consider that those who hurl insults are often the most insecure and could benefit from some counseling (or more yoga!). Namaste!
Don't believe the negativity! – I have been to many a Bikram Yoga studio around the city, and I can attest to the fact that this studio is the best in the city. It is immaculate, and extremely well run. If you want to relax and be coddled, then go elsewhere. Bikram yoga is not for you. Yes, Otto's classes are long and can be long winded, but he has the students' best interest at heart. He only wants you to do your best, and learn how to improve. All the teachers are excellent, and have varying styles from militant to soft spoken. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the frying pan! I do not go to Bikram yoga to be coddled or to be spiritual. It is a healing, physical and mental work out for the soul. Yes, the classes can be crowded, but really... you don't need that much room! And for the person complaining about having 5 inches between mats... that's a ton of space! As Becca said "whatever!"
Becca, Corrine, George, Ben, Noa, Kiyoko, and yes Otto all changed my life and body. Thank you guys!
Stay away from this studio – Otto the owner is a fat, arrogant, self righteous, egotistical, bloated, judgmental, hypercritical mess. Not exactly what you would hope to find in an owner/instructor. Corinne (teacher) is great and she?s hot. Stay the hell away and go to the Chelsea studio. It?s stained and stinky but the owner and the teachers rock.
Worst yoga studio ever... – I have been doing yoga since 1992 all over the United States. This is by far the worst experience I have ever had. The teachers and people who work there are rude. I told the teacher of an injury I had and that I was not able to do a certain pose before the class started. When the time came for that particular pose I was berated by the teacher in front of the class who said: "What are you just not into it?" Oh and don't measure the 6 inches between your feet with your fists like they do at every other Bikram studio as you will be berated for that and told "We don't measure between our feet here." If you have to leave the room at all for restroom or overheated, well "then you're done for the day" as they put it very rudely. I called and complained to them as I feel like they really need to reexamine what their goal is in teaching yoga. The rest of life is hard. Yoga should be a place of retreat, relaxation, and to recharge. I shouldn't feel like I need to take a valium or xanax after leaving yoga because I have been stressed out so much by the rude, nasty teachers and the treatment I got from them.
I have been to almost every other Bikram yoga studio in the city and didn't have this experience anywhere but Bikram Yoga Union Square. Trust me, avoid this place at all costs!
avoid otto's class. – I have never experienced the negativity and bad vibes that i got from otto's class and i've tried almost every bikram studio in the city. he ranted, yelled at us, berated certain students, and generally rambled on about irrelevant things while we were at our most sweaty and vulnerable. maybe he was just having a bad day but i avoided his classes like the plague after that, making it hard for me to take advantage of my intro week to the fullest. the other teachers and staff were great, while i found the space a little sterile.
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