Posted by: kerryalina | 17 April 2012

Challenge Class 56: Foot Massage and Scented Towels

Just when I’d resigned myself to enduring a truly suckful week… I went ahead and had a kickass class.  (Dear Kerry.  Remember – NO EXPECTATIONS.  Love, Kerry).  And it came complete with a personal first: a foot massage from the teacher during Savasana.  So so so so so (so so so so so omg SO) good.  Words cannot describe.

I’ve been so jealous reading all the American yoga blogs.  Head massages?  Scented towels?  Essential oils for your mats?  Eye pillows after class?  What is this “Hot Yoga” you speak of???  I mean, over here we occasionally burn a stick of incense in the reception area to cover the worst of the stench.  That’s totally the same, right?  And massages probably just distract you.  Also, I’m sure that eye pillows encourage weakness and dependence.  Real yogis can keep their own eyes closed.

But now.  Oh dear god.  I went from struggling to blissful in 2.7 seconds.  I don’t know if I can go back to class tomorrow, knowing that we’ll have a different teacher and there’ll be no foot massage to look forward to.  How did I live before this?  And now that I know the difference a ten second mid-class massage can make… how can I live without it???

The only remedy I can see: I might just have to move to America – land of the foot massage and home of the scented towel.



  1. Oh my gosh! Tell me where these studios are in the U.S.! This certainly does not happen at my studio. The closest I’ve come is if someone has bumped my foot or dropped a towel on my head. But I could possibly be willing to relocate cities for a bikram studio like that :)

    • Oh no, really??? I had just about decided America was the promised land for Bikramites! But if it’s only for the chosen few, I might have to reconsider my emigration plans :)

  2. Right? The closest I ever came to an eye pillow was at a yin workshop at my studio but, ugh, yin. Although sometimes I’ll score a back rub during a forward fold, and yeah, it’s amazing what it does for your mind. So I guess….Philly is the magical land up touchy yoga?

    • Oh! A back massage! I hadn’t even thought of the potentials for back massages! GO PHILLY!!!

      *looks up plane tickets*

  3. haha yes at my studio back home (i’m from upstate new york), during Savasana our instructor regularly puts scented oils right on our third eye – they smell delicious – and one of the best things she does is lower back massages when we come out of Bow. OH and one time while i was in Reclining Hero she came and stood on my thighs and it was the greatest massage/press i think is possible ever.

    • Oh my god jenn, I am so insanely jealous right now!!

  4. I’m with Amy – I’ve studied at three different Bikram studios (and attended a couple of others) and have never been touched or had oils/incense/etc. introduced in class. I wouldn’t like that at all, so I’m glad I haven’t run into it yet. However, when I first discovered yoga, years before taking up Bikram, my teacher led a mini kirtan session at the beginning and end of class, and I really dug that.

  5. This does not happen at my studio. At my studio, the instructor will bring you over a box of tissues. Usually you have to ask. I did practice once at a studio while traveling (in the U.S.) that gave everyone cold river rocks during final savassanah. It was the best! I came home raving about it but no cold river rocks have yet to be offered to me at my home studio.

    I have read reviews where people complain because a studio doesn’t give out eye pillows, or cold towels, or whatever. I think you’re right though that they become a danger. We risk becoming attached to them, and they really are a distraction.

  6. Foot massage??? Scented towels???? WTF are you talking about???

    No teacher has EVER massaged my feet. JEALOUS!

    • ZOMG it was AMAZING. She draped a towel over my feet during belly-down Savasana and gently stood on my soles, moving her weight back and forth. BLISS.

      • Well, I am OUTRAGED at the lack of foot massages and foot standing in my life. This calls for a strongly-worded letter. To whom? No idea.

  7. Wow scented towels and cold river rocks!! Insane. Hmm let’s all practice detachment here ladies, we shouldn’t need anything but ourselves and our breath in our practice ;-)

    In saying that I have had a few AMAZING back rubs in Half Tortoise to help stretch my hips down. This is only given by experience instructors to other instructors (with consent first). Bikram’s policy of NO TOUCHING ever in class rides well. Unless you are a qualified/insured masseur don’t go touching people & not in a Bikram class. Sorry to be a party pooper…

    • Totally harshing my buzz here, Kat ;) We shouldn’t “need” the instructor to open the door and let a breeze in during Triangle either, but let’s face it… it’s awfully nice when it happens!

  8. Ah yes, the unexpected breeze. It is nice when it happens!

    • Unexpected breezes are my favourite! My least favourite is when the teacher opens the door… and then stands in the doorway. I just want to cry: “You’re blocking the breeze! You’re just a big, teacher-shaped door! Mooooove!!!”

  9. one of the vinyasa classes I take regularly the teacher does this magical head massage at the end of class. I swear it is simple but magically makes everything in my life better.
    Not gonna lie, I definitely put my mat in a specific spot to make sure I don’t get cheated outta my head massage!

    • Ahahaha love it! I totally want to set up a massage+yoga studio now. “This side of the room for head massages, that side for foot rubs, back row is for the full treatment. Sorry, no happy endings!”

      • it would be so convenient, get all my pampering done in one location!

  10. Hi there!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my post :) Great job on your bikram journey. I tried it once and boy, was it ever intense! Enjoy your yoga.

  11. Unbelieveable but true – I went to a bikram class in London on Tuesday, and had the teacher do the same thing in that class. It was a first for me too, and was just one of the things that made the session extraordinary. The routine and discipline I find in this practice is a source of great strength, but sometimes a deviation from this can move mountains! Good luck with your challenge!

    • Love this: “Sometimes a deviation from this can move mountains!” So, so true.

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