It’s yoga in a sweltering “steam room,” but with a twist. There was Wonder Woman in a Standing Bow pose, the Black Swan doing the Balancing Stick, and Captain Jack Sparrow in a Toe Stand posture. Even Miley Cyrus and that naughty foam finger dropped by—to teach the class, no less.
That’s right. The Halloween spirit also descended upon the sacred grounds of yogadom, to the delight of many devoted yogis.
“This is a fun day for everyone. The challenge is they should still look good after the class inside a hot room,” said Olay Aninion, laughing. Aninion, who came as the controversial Miley Cyrus, is the studio director of Bikram Yoga Manila Makati branch (15/F, 88 Corporate Center, 141 Valero cor. Sedeno St., Salcedo Village).
That meant waterproof makeup, comfortable, breathable fabric and not much on the head such as wigs and headdresses—if they could help it. Some, however, dared to test their limits.
The young Tanya Tanoy dressed as a lady pirate and came wrapped in heavy, warm velvet she bought in Baclaran. Her costume last year was no less warmer—as Yellow Bird from the popular Rovio Entertainment video game Angry Birds.
Ellen de Roca dressed as a princess in gown by wearing a Middle Eastern-inspired ensemble of light velvet fabric. It was a dress she bought on one of her travels abroad.
Nina Ongpin, who came in as Natalie Portman’s dark Black Swan from the movie of the same title, was anxious to see if her costume would hold up through the 90-minute ordeal, er, class. (It did. And she snagged the Best Female Halloween Costume award.)
To achieve the Black Swan look, Ongpin fashioned a black tutu from a tulle wrapped around her waist, then attached ribbons and feathers on her laced top. “I was nervous at first,” she said. “I thought I would be the only one in costume here today. But now I see everybody is dressed up and so game. I’m so happy now.”
Tessa Jacomina said that had she known about the Halloween Costume Class and party a month ago, she would have come as Marie Antoinette, complete with a wig and layers of clothes. Instead, she showed up as Marie Antoinette’s “long-lost cousin,” a showgirl—a character she made up by donning a Victorian-inspired choker, a pink feather headdress and a pink lacy dress embellished with ribbons.
“I’ve always been fascinated by that era, how the women dressed up and looked so feminine,” Jacomina said.
The Best Male in Halloween Costume award went to Igo Gan, who came in the most comfortable Captain Jack Sparrow costume he could find. The dreadlocks and Captain’s hat that he never took off in the entire class must have given him the workout he needed before the Halloween party that followed.
“There was a time I came in as Superman. All that tight clothing was really way too hot,” said Gan, who has been attending Bikram yoga for six years now.
The winners took home travel kits from Ralph Lauren and toiletry kits. Yogi Lynette T. Mesa judged the participants based on creativity, effort (holding the poses) and durability of the costumes. And, in the spirit of the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treat, Aninion gave away lollipops to students who were able to hold their postures while in costumes.
“From New York to Milan, just about almost everywhere in the world, Bikram yoga always has a special Halloween costume class. It’s something different. And everyone is really here to have a good time,” Aninion said.
Bikram yoga is a 90-minute class consisting of a series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises (pranayama), executed in a 40- to 50-degree heated room. All postures, save for the last one, is repeated twice.
“Pranayama opens up the lungs, warms up the muscles and opens up your senses,” said Aninion.
Aninion took over the helm of the Makati studio three years ago when its founder, Tristan Choa, decided to retire. The Halloween Costume Class is an annual event in Bikram Yoga.