“You are a car. Your energy is your gas. Bikram Yoga is your gas station, filling your ‘tank’, allowing you to go further distances without ever running out of gas.”

Before you skeptics decide to move on to the next article and chalk Bikram Yoga up as another New Age exercise fad, ask yourself these questions:

Do you need more energy and vitality each day?

Do you spend too much time sitting, whether it is at your desk, in your car or on your sofa?

Conversely, are you on your feet all day, putting strain on your joints?

Would you like to feel faster, younger and more alive?

Could your regular exercise regimen – surfing, running, biking, swimming – use a boost?

I first came across Bikram Yoga while living in New York City. After hearing a friend tell me about the 90 minute, 105 degree class, I was eager to see if the reality lived up to the hype. I was also admittedly looking forward to the opportunity to sweat out the copious amounts of toxins that were undoubtedly invading my system as a result of living in the big city. Five minutes in, I wanted to escape. 20 minutes in, I felt great. 45 minutes in, I wanted to escape again. My mind continued to yo-yo back and forth until shavasana (the best and conveniently the most important part of class where you lie completely still on the floor). It was at this point that I realized Bikram had certainly lived up to the hype.

Fast forward four years later to Ocean City. Unlike Manhattan, where yoga studios are as prevalent as Starbucks, Ocean City has been slow to catch onto the yoga frenzy. I was thrilled to see YogaVibez on Route 50, providing me with a chance to keep up my vinyasa practice in a hot yoga setting, and I was beyond stoked to see the Bikram Yoga sign pop up on 611 a few months ago.

Bikram Yoga Ocean City is the first Bikram studio for the resort town, officially opening its doors last week, February 5. Of course I signed up for class as soon as I could, having been away from the practice for far too long. 90 minutes later I was in shavasana, completely drenched in sweat and loving every minute of my misery. The class was a mix of yogis and beginners, men and women of all ages. The instructor was equal parts tough and encouraging, inspiring and humorous, helping us bend, sweat and mentally crawl our way through the practice. The owner of the studio, Aviad Sasi, was not only at the door to greet everyone and introduce himself, but he also grabbed a mat and joined us for class. Aviad is an Ocean City native, typically found with a surf board in hand when he’s not at the studio. After turning to Bikram to improve his surfing, he decided to attend the fall 2012 Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles before ultimately making the decision to bring yoga to his hometown of Ocean City.

So what to expect besides intense heat and sweating? Well for starters, every class is essentially the same, with 26 poses to be held for extended periods of time. Bikram is practiced in a heated room to promote cellular metabolism, detoxification and suppleness of the muscular system while preventing strain and injury. Each posture is considered a beginning posture, which means anyone (yes that means you too) can try. While it may seem stale to keep doing the same poses each class, that’s the beauty of Bikram, each class builds on previous classes, giving you a deeper understanding of yourself and the posture. It’s pure, natural mind-body exercise.

If you’re not sold yet, check it out for yourself. Bikram Yoga Ocean City is currently offering classes at their studio – located at 9748 Stephen Decatur Highway #110 – seven days a week. Check their website for more details on time and pricing and look for the ShoreBread ladies around the studio!

“Never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again” – Bikram Choudhury.