Tonight I learned a new thing about Bikram: that repetitive monologue they call the dialogue, the one that stops you from retreating into your own space, the same words (many of them nonsensical — “pulling is the object of stretching”) every single day… they have a purpose beyond instruction. It’s part of the magic trick. By constantly yakking at you, the teacher makes sure you don’t get a chance to think about anything else, even once you have acclimatised to the heat, the humidity, the postures and the glaring overhead light that bounces off every sweaty angle of your body in the mirror.

I hate noise — I’m addicted to ear plugs, I feel like crying when motorbikes thunder past, and I would happily stab anyone on the tram who talks too loud or listens to music. So it’s fascinating to me to understand — well over 2 years after I first discovered Bikram — why I have fallen for the loudest, brightest, sweatiest yoga you can find.


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