I went to Bikram Yoga St. Louis excited to experience Bikram yoga in my hometown. The 90 minute heated yoga class sounded intense and challenging. I walked into the studio with an open heart and mind, prepared to sweat and learn something new. Unfortunately, my experience was disappointing. First impressions are incredibly important and I was really surprised to see how this yoga studio made no effort to greet its clientelle as they walked through the door. I was completely ignored for 5 minutes while the front desk staff chatted about their plans for the evening. They noticed me standing there but decided their conversation was much more important than registering me for class. When I was finally addressed, one of the front desk girls asked if it was my first time at the studio. I replied yes and what followed was the rudest and worst customer service I’ve experienced in a long time.
With a high and mighty tone to her voice, the girl declared that in order to take the class I had to be 15 minutes early since I was new to the studio. I looked down at my watch…I had 10 minutes before the start of class and I had already waited 5 minutes in the studio before being acknowledged. When I mentioned this, the girl’s face showed no sign of friendliness or flexibility. She told me to leave and come back later, as if I had 2 hours to wait around for the next class to start. This is not the way to run a business, especially one that promotes yoga, meditation and wellbeing. What a stressful experience!
The staff at Bikram Yoga St. Louis take their jobs way too seriously and I’m not the only one who thinks so. I did some online research and found tons of bad reviews related to their customer service. It didn’t stop there. Locals and visitors to St. Louis alike complained that yoga instructors were like demoralizing dictators in class. In reviews, people were turned off by the laundry list of do’s and dont’s and all commented on the extremely damp and smelly carpeting in the studio. A friend told me that she went to class with her brother and they were forced to move to opposite ends of the room. It’s a rule that you can’t be positioned next to someone you know. Their rules are set in stone—making this studio NO FUN! Whatever happened to feel good workouts? You can’t even leave the Bikram studio unless you feign cardiac arrest. You’re stuck there for 90 minutes and peeing your pants is a better option than raising your hand to use the restroom. Seriously, don’t make waves here. The Bikram Yoga St. Louis crew is not a forgiving bunch.
If you’re into cruel and unusual punishment, then you might enjoy this bikram studio. Make sure to arrive 30 minutes early to avoid any pitfalls. Expect the standard in hot yoga—26 positions, heat-induced flexibility and stinky neighbors. My opinion is that Bikram Yoga St. Louis is a hot mess and I’ll never go back. Don’t waste your money, I recommend taking bikram yoga elsewhere. If you’re looking for a pleasant yoga experience without the heat, check out The Pilates & Yoga Center of Saint Louis. I recommend Pam Schulte and Tarraugh Flaherty—they’re awesome. They understand the value of building up your confidence throughout your yoga practice. You’ll be smiling and feeling yoga-licious all day long. The Wellbridge fitness club in Clayton offers excellent yoga instruction for beginners and advanced students (take Nate’s class—she’s a seasoned and nurturing yogi).
To Bikram Yoga St. Louis, I say GET A GRIP. Fitness soothes the soul but not at your studio.
The Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis: www.pilatescenterstl.com
The Wellbridge Club of Clayton:http://www.wellbridgeathleticclubandspa.com/locations/Clayton/Home_Page.aspx