I used to look forward to the painful poses, the repetition and even the pungent smell of my twice-weekly Bikram yoga class, where, for 90 minutes in a room kept at a sweltering 105 degrees, I would be perspiring through pores I didn't know I had. Once I became a more sporadic visitor, though, the sessions left me light-headed, sore for days and wishing I could stay in child's pose forever. I still craved heat during yoga to keep my body limber and my heart rate up, but I needed some sort of Bikram compromise. Luckily, I just found two new studios that fit the bill.
Big Apple Power Yoga in midtown Manhattan is devoted to Baron Baptiste's popular "flowing" practice and is done in a challenging but manageable 95 degrees. And while visiting my family in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I discovered Jai! in Narberth, PA, where students have it both ways. One side of Jai's upstairs studio remains at 74 degrees while the other is heated to the balmy range of 85 to 95 degrees, letting Vinyasa and Ashtanga devotees choose just how much they want to sweat.