OH. MY. GAWD. My jaw dropped weeks ago when I saw a sign and banners come up out of nowhere in my neighborhood. My neighborhood! Hooray!! There’s a bikram studio is open in Astoria, Queens! I couldn’t believe it. The studio is just a short walk from my house!! Now I will know what it feels like to simply walk to my studio rather than commute to one via subway, which I do now.
I think the opening of this studio became a major reason for participating in the bikram 101 challenge. While it is easy to get to my regular studio in Manhattan during the week because of work, it is a bit of a hassle on the weekends when I don’t need to go into the city. Now, I can easily practice on the weekends without having to worry about a 25 minute commute. It is often longer on the weekends because the subways get re-routed or delayed.
I learned that the owner/director is Jim Kallet, a senior bikram instructor who owns a studio in San Diego. From the online schedule, I saw that he was teaching the 10am class so I went. He happened to be running late so class started with another instructor. By time we reached awkward pose, he took over. He was a great teacher; encouraging yet calm. After eagle pose, he took the time to explain to us what it means to lock the knee. He stuck out his right leg and straightened it while explaining that his leg was not locked because the muscles above his knee were slack. Then he pointed to his kneecap and said, “Watch what happens to my kneecap when I lock my knee.” And ever so slowly, he tightened his quadricep and his knee cap rose as if in slow-motion. His thigh muscle became more defined. It was so beautiful watch as I have never seen a teacher so clearly demonstrate what it means to “lock the knee”.
By the time we got to the right side of triangle, he kept encouraging me to keep rotating my torso and my neck so that the profile of my face faced the mirror. Afterwards, he asked if I had a tighter right side. I nodded my head. During the spine strengthening series’ savasanas, my neck muscles always feel tighter when I put my right ear on the floor. Left ear, no problem. I guess he also heard from Nancy, the studio manager, that I was doing the 101 challenge and confirmed it during class. Then he talked about the benefits of doing bikram for 100 days straight and how this yoga is the “Key to the Kingdom of Health”.
You’ll definitely be hearing more from me about this studio as I intend to practice here on the weekends!
Bikram Yoga in Astoria, Queens
32-03 Steinway Street (at Broadway)
Astoria, NY 11103