Colin Farrell's doing it. So is Hayden Panettiere. Oh, and Ashton Kutcher, Jenny McCarthy, David Beckham and George Clooney.
No, not acting. Yoga! Bikram yoga, specifically, which is best known for being done in a heated room.
Middletown Patch sat down with Jennifer Brown, owner of the city's newest yoga studio in River View Center, on the lower level. She explained to us what's so different about this type of discipline.
Jennifer Brown: Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 Hatha Yoga postures and two breathing exercises practiced in 90 minutes in a heated room. We practice the same postures in the same order for each class. The postures are designed to create balance and health within the body and maintain it.
Middletown Patch: What sets it apart from other yoga styles many of us have encountered?
Brown: Bikram Yoga is quite different from other forms of yoga in many ways. We practice our postures with control and focus, working deeper and deeper into the body. We are interested in gaining normal range of motion back within our bodies. Normal range of motion is the motion you have as a child. No deep inversions and headstands here! To change our bodies we practice our postures in a heated environment the most gyms and health clubs cannot maintain. We control the heat — 105 degrees — and the humidity 40 to 45 percent with specialized heating system to ensure safe stretching and a healthy sweat to release toxins from your body.
There are other differences and the best way to see what they are is to come and practice Bikram.
Middletown Patch: To take advantage of free classes Friday and Saturday, how should we dress?
Brown: Dress as lightly as you are comfortable. You will sweat, so a cotton shirt and sweatpants get very heavy!
Middletown Patch: Can we expect to see the benefits in body as well as spirit?
Brown: Because every body is different, everybody will receive different physical benefits according to their need. In general, however, most people experience a feeling of well being as they increase their flexibility, balance, strength, focus and self-control. It amazes me the people that come... some are completely out of shape and some are in super shape and yet still lacking, not balanced. Bikram balances! As for the spiritual benefits, they come to each person differently as well. All is one. All is connected. So when you change your body with Bikram Yoga, you change your mind, your life.
Middletown Patch: Tell us how you first became acquainted with Bikram.
Brown: I began Bikram about five years ago. I was a runner and enjoyed swimming and other forms of exercise too. I had never done any yoga. One day I read in a runners magazine that yoga was beneficial for runners. As I had recently been injured from running too much, I looked up the closest studio which happened to be a Bikram Studio. I did no research and had no experience.
It helped me greatly and made me feel so much better. I still run...not as far...but enjoy it much more now as my body is less tight and prone to be injured. Many people use Bikram Yoga to keep themselves healthy in order to do what they are passionate about, i.e., running, biking, etc And then many give it all up and just do Bikram Yoga! Either way, Bikram Yoga is so beneficial and healing.
We are currently running a 30 days of yoga for $30 intro offer. It's a great way to try Bikram Yoga.
So, stop by Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday 8 a.m.,10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. to take a free class.