Youíre never too old, never too bad, never too late
and never too sick to start once again.
Our mission is to: Improve clients' health, both mentally and physically, through the practice of Bikram's highly effective yoga, in a welcoming and friendly environment.
We are committed to providing you with quality instruction of Bikramís beginning yoga course in a safe and healthy environment. Nothing has been added to or taken away from this tremendous sequence so you can receive maximum benefit. All teachers have completed Bikramís Teacher Training course, an intensive training led by Bikram & Rajashree Choudhury and several senior staff members of the Bikram Yoga College of India. In addition to this initial training course, all teachers are required to attend a recertification seminar with Bikram every three years in order to remain a Bikram Yoga teacher in good standing.
Spring 2000What brought you to your first class?
A friend of mine became certified as a Bikram yoga teacher, I was trying to be a supportive friend.What kept bringing you back?
Relief from chronic lower back pain and the stress-reliefDo you still have tough classes? How do you get through them?
Every class is tough for me! Physically, mentally, and often both simultaneously. The longer I practice, the easier it is for me to embrace the struggle. I get through them by taking care of my body and what I put into it. I've cut back to one cup of coffee a day from two/three-a-day habit. I stay away from sugar as much as possible. I maintain a pretty healthy diet, and I take some nutritional supplements. I am a big fan of coconut water and Elete to replenish my electrolytes and make-up for the cup of coffee I drink each day. I am an ex-smoker and I drink alcohol very rarely. The 90 minutes in the hot room have taught me not to take my health for granted and that's very motivating when I feel like giving up. I still eat things that may not be so great for my yoga class the next day, but I accept the consequences and realize I brought it upon myself. I know I won't die in class, but those classes are probably THE WORST!!!How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
In 2005, for my birthday, I went to a 3-day seminar given by Rajashree Choudhury, Bikram's wife. I did 2 classes a day, and my whole weekend revolved around Bikram yoga. I decided then I was going to commit myself to a regular practice for the rest of my life and consider becoming a teacher.What's your favorite Bikram saying?
I can't pick just one! My favorite one at the moment is: "If anyone can steal your peace away from you, you are the loser" or this one: "Just kill yourself"What do you do when you're not teaching?
Practice, eat, sleep, hang out with friends and family, and lots of other secret things :-)What's your favorite Brooklyn hangout?
Bikram Yoga Bay Ridge, of course!What is your advice for new students?
ANY BODY can do this yoga. As a beginner, please don't be discouraged if you cannot do much at first. Learning yoga is like learning how to walk when you were a baby, except that as adults you have developed an ego, which can get in the way of learning.
Accept that it will be hard and trust that the teacher and every student in the room knows exactly how you feel and is rooting for your survival.
Come everyday during your intro offer and see how dramatic the change from your first class to your 7th class can be because of your hard work and open mind.What's the best thing about Bikram Yoga?
EverythingWhat else should we know about you?
I hate to exercise and i used to be revolted by sweat, mine and especially everyone else's. For the last 5 years I've planned my life around my yoga practice. I try to practice 5/6 times a week and I sweat more than most men. Bikram yoga changed the way I live and I hope to share my love for these 26 postures and two breathing exercises and the benefits of this series with everybody who walks into the hot room for the rest of my life.
She's a Philly native who considers herself a New Yorker after 13 years in the city. She lives in Park Slope. Claire first tried Bikram in 2006. She had never tried any kind of yoga before, went with a coworker and had no idea what to expect. She thought it is was crazy but really liked it. She practiced about once a week for a few months and that was it. But a few years later she was living close to a studio in Brooklyn and decided to try it again. "You have to be ready. I wasn't really ready for it in 2006." But she was in 2010 and decided she really committed to it. Claire didn't really thnk about teaching for about a year still. "It was a crazy thought I had and when I started looking into it I said no. No I will not do that. 2 classes a day for 9 weeks?! No no no. But as the months went by I just had this gut feeling, I knew that it was something I had to do. I really love this yoga, it has helped to change my life, and I want to share it with as many people as possible."
Training was a fantastic, left changing thing for Claire. There were days that it took so much to just get out of bed, have an orange and go down to training. The rigorous schedule, study, two a days could be so draining. But she met a best friend in the form of her roommate and met so many amazing people. There were so many breakthroughs and amazing moments and she knew how important and rare it was, especially for a New Yorker, to take a whole 9 weeks to focus on self and something you're passionate about and love. "When I came back and actually taught a class I was blown away, all the hard work and dedication and late night study sessions all come together and it works, it's the BEST FEELING EVER!"
Claire loves how the practice is difficult and unforgiving. Two words not usually associated with happy thoughts and good times. But that's the point to Claire. She talks about how important and powerful the mind is and how the body can do so much if you can become stronger mentally. "When you enter the room you can't control the heat, you can't control the sequence of postures, but you can control your reaction to it. This yoga will build your strength, determination, patience, courage and most importantly LOVE!" She thinks the tools learned in the room can and will benefit anyone, in a big way, outside of the room.
Claire loves sharing her passion with others. And seeing breakthroughs. When a student comes and says something just clicked after her class that changed the way they practiced. "Don't get me wrong, I'm just the messenger, the students are the ones doing the work and the credit goes to them. But it's such a privilege for me to be a part of their practice. It makes me so happy, this is the best job in the world."
Claire's favorite posture? "Hmmm.... I like both standing bow and floor bow, and I like triangle. All 3 are a big challenge, so there's always something to work towards."
And finally, ending with yummy food. There is nothing like the electrolytes and hydration of fruits and veggies. Claire just loves fruits and vegetables after class.
I started in July 2002 at Bikram Yoga Minneapolis.What brought you to your first class?
I was training for my 10th marathon (and what turned out to be my last!) and my knees were suffering from bursitis. The studio was on my bike route home from work and I thought I'd give it a try to help my marathon training.What kept bringing you back?
At first, nothing! I didn't come back after my first class! I don't think I enjoyed it. It just seemed weird. I came back because I knew my class card was expiring (they have no intro week at BYM and so I bought a 5 class card at the start) and I wanted to use my classes. Then I went to Sydney, Australia to run the marathon and when I came back I had one class left on my card so I came in and used it. Something must have started clicking because I bought a 10 class card after that and within a month I think I was on the monthly unlimited and practising 5-6 times a week. Within a year I wasn't running anymore and only doing Bikram Yoga. It had taken a while but I knew this was breaking down stuff and opening me up like no other healing modality I'd encountered.Do you still have tough classes? How do you get through them?
Oh boy, do I ever! I get dizzy a lot and I overheat easily. After 8 years I've learned that the dizziness is exacerbated by rainy weather, my diet in the previous 12 hours and my emotional state. I have to be hydrated before class else I won't set foot in the room. I put 15-20 Elete drops in a big bottle of water and drink that in the 90 minutes before I take class. That helps tremendously. Also I try to avoid drinking water during class until we're out of Spine Strengthening series and only have about 20 minutes to go. I try to avoid sugar in the 12 hours leading up to class (good luck with that!) FInally if I know it's going to be a really tough class I tell the instructor (or anybody who will listen!) and just by telling someone it seems to help lessen the severity of the class that follows.How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I don't think I did. One of our senior New York teachers, Georgia Ballagian, told me I should do it. I was tired of working for a big multinational company and being unhappy. The combination of being nudged by one of Bikram's senior teachers and being miserable in my job was what did it. It was sort-of unconscious on my part!What's your favorite Bikram saying?
Oh this is the easiest question so far! Hands-down without question my favourite Bikram saying is "The darkest place in the world is underneath the lamp".What do you do when you're not teaching?
I come up with reasons why I shouldn't practice Yoga today.What do you like best about Bay Ridge?
My bathroom. It has an unobstructed breathtaking view of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. I'm the cleanest kid in the neighbourhood because I'm always in the shower!What is your advice for new students?
1. Have fun. 2. Breathe. 3. Come back.What's the best thing about Bikram Yoga?
It is a powerful agent for change. The most powerful I've ever encountered.What else should we know about you?
I don't like eggplant parmesan. Am I still allowed to live in Bay Ridge?
Spring 2005, I think...What brought you to your first class?
My wife brought me, but I honestly can't remember how she convinced me to go. Must have been a bribe...What kept bringing you back?
Initially, nothing did. I felt right away that it was great for my body, but I really hated the heat. That kept me from forming a regular practice for a little while.Do you still have tough classes? How do you get through them?
Yes, all the time. For a long time (and sometimes still) I would try to figure out what was making it tough. Was it what I ate earlier? Did I not drink enough? Is it a full moon (really don't want the transformation during yoga)? Now I just remind myself to breathe and take the whole class one posture at a time. No expectations!How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
There was no AHHA! moment... I had been thinking about it for almost a year before finally deciding. I wish I could point to something that pushed me over the edge. At some point I just knew that I should go to teacher training and help spread the yoga.What's your favorite Bikram saying?
"If anyone can steal your peace, you're the loser!" What a different world it would be if no one let anyone else steal their peace!What do you do when you're not teaching?
I still do contract software development sometimes and work on my own software projects.What's your favorite Brooklyn hangout? or What do you like best about Bay Ridge?
Besides the studio? I like walking my dog, Violet, around different blocks, admiring the crazy Bay Ridge architecture. I also love some food spots in Bay Ridge. The home fries at Pegasus are awesome!What is your advice for new students?
Stay calm and breathe throughout class. Also, be ok with not being a super yogi/yogini. People spend years practicing this yoga and still struggle. It takes time, sometimes lots of it. Just stick with it, and you'll see changes.What's the best thing about Bikram Yoga?
It really helps with my anxiety. There are days where my mind is going crazy and I think "What is wrong with me?". Then I realize that I haven't taken class yet, and that's the problem.What else should we know about you?
I make a mean eggplant parm.
I took my first Bikram class in a studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the fall of 2003.What brought you to your first class?
I went to my first class because I had already been practicing by myself in my little geo-dome for about two years.What kept bringing you back?
I keep coming back because I love how good I felt! I love sweating, I love being strong, I love being flexible. My mind was still for 90 minutes at a time. I knew right away that I could practice for the rest of my life.Do you still have tough classes? How do you get through them?
I always have tough classes. Isn't that what I paid for? There are a few things that get me through my really tough classes. I focus on my breathing and the words of the teacher. If I am focused on what I am doing in the moment I have no time to enage in the crazy thoughts my mind has. "oh it's hot, I can't do this, I feel sick, why is the teacher so hard, why didn't I drink enough water, my elbow itches" I also think of my students. I don't want my students to give up, so I won't give up. I am strong for them, i try to be a good example. I give my energy to the people around me in class so they can keep going too. I know that everytime I do something that is more than I think I can handle I become a better person.How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I just knew I was going to teach Bikram yoga. Then I met Bikram at a seminar and he asked me when I was going to come out to teacher training. Easy choice.What's your favorite Bikram saying?
My favorite Bikram saying, so hard to decide, " you have nothing to lose because you had nothing to begin with"What do you do when you're not teaching?
What don't I do when I am not teaching? I am currently into swimming for Team New York Aquatics and taking pilates lessons. I love reading, being with my family and listening to punk rock music on the subway.What do you like best about Bay Ridge?
My favorite Bay Ridge hangout is Bikram Yoga Bay Ridge. I get to do advanced with Nancy and Caroline on a regular basis. It is awesome.What is your advice for new students?
Come as much as possible. Consistancy is the key. Take care of yourself. The class won't change, you have to change. Lock your knee.What's the best thing about Bikram Yoga?
The best thing about Bikram yoga is how it makes you be you.
2001What brought you to your first class?
I was looking for an alternative to weight lifting.What kept bringing you back?
The challenge and the idea that the yoga was a practice, and not a perfect.Do you still have tough classes? How do you get through them?
To this day, I have tough classes. I get through by not putting pressure on myself to perform.How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
Being that from my first class I could immediately feel this yoga working, I knew I wanted to show others.What's your favorite Bikram saying?
You have nothing to lose because you never had anything to begin with.What do you do when you're not teaching?
I'm a NYC firefighter, I go to a lot of concerts, and I practice the yoga.What are your favorite places in Brooklyn?
Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope (the red eye is super powerful), the firehouse, all the food in Bay Ridge.What is your advice for new students?
It exposes your strengths and weaknesses and gives you the opportunity to make your weaknesses your strengths.
Meet Mark. He is a Texas boy born and raised. He literally grew up on a ranch. But he is very much a New Yorker as well. A Brooklynite for the last decade. He lives in Ditmas Park. Mark first learned of Bikram in 2007 when his friend arrived at his apartment for their Theater Company meeting. He couldn't help but notice the glow she had on her face. He asked her why and found out she had just come from a Bikram class. He inquired about this Bikram and she said, "The first two times you'll think you're going to die. The third time, you'll think you've seen God."
Mark still didn't go to class for several months but it was on his mind. But then something triggered it into action. "It was a crisis in my romantic life and I was fed up with it and realized I'd been starved emotionally in NY for the five years I'd lived there. So. Yoga." When the time came Mark wasn't nervous. Why? "Because I needed it so bad."
Mark was a student and didn't think seriously about becoming a teacher until the last couple of years. Being an actor and writer isn't easy in the city. Mark did some jobs he didn't dig (to say the least) to pay the bills, as many artists do in the city. But his life changed as he practiced and he wanted to share the yoga. "Parts of my life have really undergone major transformation for the better thanks to my serious Bikram Yoga practice. I have a real drive to work hard in this practice, to be disciplined. That's been such a revelation to myself, that it only makes sense to share that, to help spread Bikram Yoga's positive vibes out into the world."
Training was a beautiful experience for Mark. "I loved it. I met so many truly awesome people, with such great minds and hearts. Everybody really needed their Bikram Yoga practice. It was so inspiring to my work."
Mark's favorite posture? "I'm enjoying Standing Bow a lot, lately. Since training my practice of it has improved a lot. Same goes for my Standing Head To Knee, except I really hate that posture. But it's improved a lot. I'm strong, not flexible, but with my increased practice, those two things are trading off in some interesting ways. I'm working hard to keep up with it. My Triangle Posture is very strong, on the left side, specifically. All-Time Favorite Posture: Awkward Pose, Utkatasana."
We all love food. And food, along with obviously hydration, is important with the practice. So I wanted to know what Mark likes to put in his body. Mark is a vegan who loves cheeseburgers. And by that he means he loves vegan food but isn't a vegan. He likes to eat right after class and goes to his favorite little vegan spot.
Feb 2005. In Los Angeles, CAWhat brought you to your first class?
My friend, a fellow high school Math teacher, had been going to Bikram Yoga and I had been going to a different yoga studio. So, we tried out each others' studios and I couldn't believe how different Bikram Yoga felt -- the heat was truly amazing.What kept bringing you back?
Well, to be honest it really wasn't love at first class for me. It was SO HARD! But, somewhere inside I knew that it was good for me; it was what I needed. So, I kept dragging myself back into the hot room. Once I started seeing my body shape change, and feeling better about myself, I developed a more regular practice and was hooked.Do you still have tough classes? How do you get through them?
Of course I still have tough classes! Often I'm just dying inside! When I am having a hard time, I talk to myself: "I'm going to be okay." "Everything is going to be just fine." "I'm not really dying." "I can breathe." "There's plenty of air in the room." Some combination of those usually gets me through class. I try to avoid thinking things like "Why did you have to eat that pizza?" "Why doesn't the teacher just open the door?" "Isn't there some emergency in the lobby? I should really leave the room to check on it." You know, my mind likes to play tricks on me just like anyone else's. My determination to finish class and stay strong has greatly improved over time and practice. I have learned that I'm usually much stronger than I'd like to give myself credit for -- I can choose to keep going, to not give up.How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I was a stressed out Math teacher, and my daily yoga class after school was the best part of my day. I didn't ever want to stop doing this yoga -- it was making me a much better person. So, I decided to make a big commitment to it, and become a Bikram Yoga teacher.What's your favorite Bikram saying?
"Take it easy, honey. KILL YOURSELF!"What do you do when you're not teaching?
I'm rarely allowed outside of Bay Ridge. ;) BUT, when I do have some free time, I like to hang out with my little pup, and my little nephew... they remind me that there's more to life than just work work work. (Although, I do enjoy my work, it's just a bit much sometimes!)What's your favorite Brooklyn hangout?
Bikram Yoga Bay Ridge, of course! (Did you read my response to the previous question?!?)What is your advice for new students?
The results -- it works, plain and simple. Whatever you need, you can get here.What else should we know about you?
I have received more from this yoga than I ever imagined possible. I grew up the sickly asthmatic kid who didn't have to participate in gym class... I feel like I have a new set of lungs, a new spine, and best of all a new positive outlook on life (for the most part, you know, I'm still human.) It's truly amazing.
March 2010What brought you to your first class?
I was always passionate about yoga! I wanted to try something new, challenging, inspiring, and just for me.What kept bringing you back?
The fact that I smiled the whole way home after my first class and each one after that.Do you still have tough classes? How do you get through them?
Of course, we all do. I try to focus on my breath and really listen to the teacher so my mind doesn't wander. Allowing their words to control my movements really helps to calm down my thoughts.What do you do when you're not working at BYBR?
Taking class at BYBR! Or dancing to Bob Marley.What's your favorite Brooklyn hangout? (or What do you like best about Bay Ridge?
BYBR, duh.What is your advice for new students?
Hydrate before and after class, lock your knee, and smile.What's the best thing about Bikram Yoga?
I can't choose just one thing. I love absolutely everything about it. It's breathtaking! ;)Anything else you'd like to tell us?
Doing Bikram Yoga will be the best thing you will ever do for yourself. You won't regret it, I promise. And, I cannot wait to go to Bikram Yoga teacher training!
I started doing Bikram Yoga about a year ago.What inspired you to start Bikram yoga?
I am an exercise-aholic. I had worked out at the gym for the past 20 years. I wanted more of a challenging workout. Also recently, I was starting to have lower back pain. I tried Bikram Yoga with a friend and I love it.What are your favorite things about practicing Bikram Yoga?
I love the heat even in the summer time. Bikram Yoga teaches me to have inner peace. At the beginning, I had to force myself to go to yoga. Now, I am happy to practice yoga and have more patience to practice my poses.When you started, what was your biggest challenge in class?
The biggest challenge in class was just to go to the studio and doing the poses correctly.What changes has doing this yoga brought to your life?
I am less stressed mentally and physically. I am more flexible. The most important thing that I learned is to stop doubting myself and just do it.How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I had never imagine myself as a Bikram Yoga Teacher. After some consideration and nudge from my husband, I decided to take the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in California. I would like to learn this powerful healing yoga and spread it philosophy to help others. After some soul searching, dedication and determination, I have finally made it. The rest is history.What's your favorite Bikram saying?
My favorite is "You want suffering 90 minutes or suffering 90 years" and "Never give up".What do you do when you're not teaching?
I mentioned that I am an exercise-aholic. So, you can find at the gym when I am not teaching.
How do you motivate yourself to keep practicing when you're tired or just don't feel like it?
I have a strong "Mindset" to motivate myself to keep practicing even when I'm tired or just don't feel like it.
Any advice to someone thinking about trying Bikram Yoga for the first time?
Don't give up so early - slow down and be more patient. Try a few classes, make friends and talk to the teacher.