The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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I heart Park Slope Bikram

March 16, 2011 ,

I love Park Slope Bikram. To me, right now, it’s one of the best places on earth.

The studio is actually diverse which is incredible. I mean, it was here, for the first time in seven years that I’ve had a yoga teacher of not just one color, but a few different colors. And it’s not just the teachers, but the class as well. Theres all different shapes, sizes, and colors. And while the teachers still yell (like they did at Bikram NY) and the room is way to hot and crowded, the instructors all bring their personal touches to the class which is a welcoming and warming thing in a practice that is such a simple yet complicated thing. And when I go into class, I can physically feel my heart lift with the different energies people bring in. Most of the time when I’m laying on my soggy mat thinking “this is BULLSHIT” I think about the girl beside me or the big fellow practicing behind me and how they haven’t given up so why should I?


I’ve been practicing yoga off and on for almost seven years. I was a dancer through high school and when I started yoga, it was the only thing that gave me the same peace. I started during one of the high peaks in my weight during 2004, two years after college graduation, managing a coffee shop, hopeless but full of beer and BBQ. I would walk the four blocks to and from the gym in downtown Decatur, Georgia about 3 times a week. I would leave emotionally wrought. I never really told anyone how much it affected me in the beginning but I was a mess, often spending half of my classes holding back sobs while the teacher would periodically rub my back. Afterwards I would just go home, shower and dive right into whatever beer I had missed out on while I gone. It wasn’t one of my proudest years.

After surviving the car accident that ricocheted me to New York, yoga pulled me through what could have been serious back problems. After that going to yoga gave me something to do when I thought, “Maybe life really is just too hard.” And it turns out, doing the crow position is sometimes harder than making it through a day, and takes way less time to try. It really puts things into perspective. And after that it pulled me heartbreak, hangovers, loneliness, muscle ache and even the common cold.

It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve let’s say “upgraded” my practice to Bikram. And now, I’m hoping it will help me deal with my serious anxiety about turning 30. Yes, I’ve heard that 30 is great! That’s when “things fall into place.” “You know who you are, FINALLY.” “It’s the new 20!” UGH, I don’t want to be 20 again. And what if, I’m the one person where things don’t start to “fall into place”. I mean, while all of these words of encouragement are great, it’s also a lot of pressure. Because, what if it just doesn’t happen?? What if, when I turn 30, things spiral out of control? I get a cat and let my hair get frizzy? Maybe I quit my job and … wait maybe that last one isn’t a bad idea. Anyways, you get the point.

This is not me. Photo via yogadvd

These are the types of things going through my head in a 105 degree room. These are the types of things pouring off of me in 45 percent humidity as I try to lift my leg over my head. And these are the types of things making me dizzy, nauseous, and out of breathe as I try to fold myself into a “Japanese ham sandwich.” But about 45 minutes through class, it’s these types of things that start to fade away. Just a bit. Sure they come back but it’s always a little less than before. And that’s enough to make me take the hike up Flatbush instead of down 4th Ave. to Mission Delores.


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