Bikram brings hot yoga to Jamaica
Cathy Risden, Lifestyle Intern
If you like your yoga hot, then you are in luck as Bikram Yoga Jamaica officially opened its doors at 17 Latham Avenue on Wednesday.
Specially invited guests, yogis, prospective yogis and supporters were excited and anxious about what the facility had to offer. Rafael Viega, Keila Velon and Jamaica's first certified Bikram yoga instructor, Yolande Lloyd-Small, all found peace and refuge in yoga, and want to spread that experience across Jamaica. Bikram yoga, otherwise known as hot yoga, is done in a humid room of about 105 degrees Fahrenheit to safely work deep into the muscles, tendons and ligaments while releasing toxins and congestion from the body.
With over 600 Bikram yoga studios across the world, the first and only one in Jamaica came through scarifies and commitment. Lloyd-Small noted that she could not have done it on her own and thanked the individuals who helped her along the way as she contemplated giving up law for an in-depth study with yoga masters Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury in Carolina. Lloyd-Small, who is now ready to impart her knowledge and make her contribution to Jamaica, dedicated her studio in memory of her parents of whom she said would have been extremely proud of her.
Spanish Viega and Velon are very excited to be in Jamaica. Passionate about the art, they encouraged everyone to try the classes with an open mind. "All it takes is just one class to feel the difference, it will not be easy, but it is worthwhile," encouraged Velon. Rafael noted that it is not something that can be expressed verbally; it has to be experienced.
The evening included a studio tour and healthy-tasting treats such as rich pumpkin soup with coconut milk, ackee and vegetable patties, escovitch chicken, chick peas balls, and a delectable spread of sweet treats, which included sweet potato pudding, vegetarian cake and walnut rum ball. This was complemented by a line of all-natural juices that included honey ginger beer and cucumber punch with ginger honey and lime juice.