Staff

Natasha

Natasha

Studio Owner & Director

Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Palm Desert, CA, Spring 2009

I began practicing Bikram Yoga in January 2008.  I was out of shape and had  barely worked out in the months leading up to my first class.  Working a desk  job had rendered my body inflexible, my mind tired, and my self-esteem in need of a major boost.  I always liked the heat and I heard it was a great work-out, so I figured I’d try Bikram Yoga.  I’ll never forget my first class…I walked in wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt, with no idea what to expect. After the longest 90 minutes of my life, I emerged from the studio: sweaty and stunned.  I hadn’t  brought a change of clothes, so my soaking sweatpants nearly froze on the walk back to my car. Two days later, I went back and tried again.  My muscles were so sore from the first class, I could barely reach my toes.  It was a tough start, but I could feel my body getting stronger and more flexible every time I practiced.  My mind was more focused at work and I was starting to make positive changes in my life.  I knew I wanted to teach Bikram Yoga and I decided that I would figure out a way to get to the 9 week teacher training program.  With my life completely rearranged, I headed to California for the training.  I started teaching as soon as I came home and haven’t looked back since.  Words cannot describe how great it is to teach this yoga. I truly urge you to give it a try if you haven’t done so already…like Bikram always says, “The most important thing in your life IS your life.”

 


 

Brenda

Brenda Gallagher
Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Acapulco, Mexico, Spring 2008

“How I ended up at Bikram yoga and loved it!”
I was a runner, I owned a restaurant and I was in a bad relationship.  I loved to run but when I did, my knees hurt, my back hurt, my neck hurt…it was really taking a toll on my body. I was extremely stressed out; I needed to find some other form of exercise.  I’d heard many good things about yoga, so I went to the studio down the street from my restaurant and took a beginners’ class.  It was “OK”, but I needed more.  I tried gentle yoga, power yoga, hot yoga, everything!  They were all fine, but then my best friend told me about this really crazy Hot Yoga called “Bikram”.  She said, “you have to try it!”.  So I did.  Right away I loved it!  It was so hard, so hot, so intense…I was hooked.  After just 5 months of doing the yoga, I felt calm.  I sold my restaurant, got out of the bad relationship, and my body felt better too.  Shortly after, I went to teacher training and now I’m very proud to say I am a Certified Bikram Yoga Instructor. The training is no joke – 9 weeks of very intense, highly disciplined yoga.  Attending the training is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I get so much gratification from teaching everyday.  When students say, “I went off my high blood pressure medication, you have helped me so much!” or, “Oh my god I REALLY needed that class, thank you!”,  I know exactly what they mean.  We all need it!  They don’t even realize it, but just by coming to class they did it all on their own.

 


 

Abbey

Abbey Gagnon
Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Los Angeles, CA, Fall 2011

Truth be told, I came to my first Bikram Yoga class entirely by accident. One of my girlfriends had sent me a text inviting me to yoga….except it was intended for someone else! I soon discovered the text wasn’t for me, but for some reason I tagged along anyways. Though I was excited to see my friend, I was not, to be honest, all that excited at the prospect of doing yoga. I had tried different styles of yoga a few times and I always felt out of place. It seemed too “new-age” for me.  I figured it just wasn’t my thing. I must not be the “yoga type.” Little did I know, my life would be changed forever in that one class.

My first class was certainly one of the most challenging things I had ever done; but I noticed the teacher was not asking me to do anything that I considered spiritual or strange. Honestly we were not even doing any crazy pretzel yoga I had seen in other classes I had taken. The postures were simple and explained clearly. If something was too much for me, I could stop and sit down. Leaving that first class I felt exhilarated; my mind was calm and my body felt energized yet relaxed. I went back the next day, and the next, and then almost every day after that! Since that first class I have come a long way. My fast paced mind is much more calm. My body is much more strong and flexible. The acne I had developed in my twenties has disappeared. Neck and shoulder pain is gone. I am much more comfortable with, and in, my body.

Finally, the most exciting part of this yoga journey came when I decided that I must become a Bikram Yoga teacher. In the past, I never understood people who claimed that they felt called to do something professionally. In my way of thinking, a job was for making money and that’s it. It was a necessary evil. Well these days, I feel called to teach Bikram Yoga; and I am so excited to instruct new students in the greater Hartford area!


Caitlin

Caitlin McCarthy
Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Los Angeles, CA, Spring 2012

I began practicing Bikram yoga in 2010 because I was simply looking for a new form of exercise. In the past, I could never get myself to work out consistently because I dreaded going to the gym. When I first started yoga, I immediately loved the way I felt after class, the challenges it brought, and the abundance of information I was learning each time going. In the back of my mind I still thought that sooner or later I would get bored and stop going. That was over 2 years ago and I continue to love it more and more everyday. Bikram yoga has become much more than just a fitness regimen. I love the discipline it provides and the mind-body connection that you begin to develop. Finally, I decided I wanted to make Bikram yoga a bigger part of my life by going to teacher training. I love my new life as a Bikram yoga instructor and am so happy to be able to share it with other students, old and new!


Rhom

Rhom Saunders
Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Los Angeles, CA, Fall 2012

My first Bikram Yoga Class as a student was in June of 2011. I had dropped my daughters off for their last day of school (a half day) and needed to kill 3 hrs before I picked them up. I drove over to the studio and signed up for a 10 day intro, knowing full well that with summer vacation just hours away for my girls, and their mom away on business for two weeks, that this would be a one time deal, at least for the time being.
The instructor told me to “just breathe and stay in the room” I smiled politely and thought to myself “how hard can this be”? After all I had been an MP officer in the Army, basic training and all of that stuff…..Half way through the class I was screaming to myself “don’t you dare walk out of this room”!! It was “the ultimate in suffering” I loved it!! In the next 10 days, remember my trial??? I went 8 times.
When I entered the studio for the first time I was on a high dose of blood pressure medication both from genetic inheritance and a 13-year career in corrections after my service in the US ARMY & Persian Gulf War. I took Ambien for sleeping and Prevacid for long-time acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. Today I take a low dose of blood pressure medication and a baby Aspirin to humor my cardiologist and nothing else. My general practioner was taking my distal pulses last year during a physical exam and exclaimed “what do you do”?? When I asked him why, he said “your distal pulses are booming, its amazing!! I’ve never felt anything like it”! I told him about my Bikram Yoga Practice, 90 minutes, 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. He laughed…told me I was crazy….said I was in impeccable health and told me whatever it was I was doing, to keep on doing it and come back in another 2 years. I turned 49 this year and feel better physically and mentally than I did when I was in my 30′s.
A life change and a one-time window opened for me to go to Teacher Training in the Fall of 2012 and I jumped on it. Im glad I did. If you’ve never tried Bikram Yoga and wonder if its for you??? Stop wondering…its for everybody. Come take one class, it could change your life forever.
I’ll look forward to meeting you. Namaste.

Chris

Chris

Chris Altmeier
Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Los Angeles, CA, Fall 2012

The first Bikram Yoga class I took challenged me in ways that I had never experienced before.  I have always been athletic, but found the class to be so hard that I didn’t think I would ever go back.  After class I talked with the teacher who said, “Don’t judge it on your first class.  Come back at least one more time!”  Well, I went back and gradually began to love the physical challenge and the mental focus that each class demanded.  Not only did I start noticing how great the practice helped me to feel physically, but I also became more confident, patient and disciplined that ever.  The class is never “easy” but I always finish the class feeling more alive and better than ever.  Beyond the the personal improvements I’ve seen, I have also grown to love the community of people who come to class.  I love that Bikram Yoga brings people together from different levels of experience & physical ability, to different background & culture and different age & ethnicity from all over the world into one room to struggle side-by-side and inspire each other.


Linda

Linda Hewins * Honorary Staff Member
Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Los Angeles, CA, Spring 2005

How did you come to find Bikram Yoga?
I was looking for and reading about different ways to relieve stress and
ways to help with general health issues.  I always loved the heat, so someone told me about a hot yoga studio nearby.  From the first class I took in January  2004 I knew I wanted to become a teacher someday.  In April of the following  year, I went to teacher training.  I got there just in time for my 41st birthday and I’ve never looked back.  The more I teach, the more I love it.

Message To a First-Time Student?
Try to have fun!  It’s just a yoga class!
What’s Your Favorite Posture?
My two favorite postures are Standing Bow and Bow Pose.  They both require balance, strength and flexibility.  Some days I’m almost there and some days I’m nowhere near…it’s always a challenge.  Bow pose gives a tremendous release of tension in my back and all the energy running through my spine feels so good!

Germaine

Germaine

Germaine Neal
Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Los Angeles, CA, Spring 2013

My first Bikram yoga class was in April of 2011 and I will never forget it. It felt so HOT and challenging. And, although it wiped me out completely, it also left me feeling alive and peaceful. So it came as no surprise that I fell in love with it immediately and started a regular practice right away.

It wasn’t long until I realized I wanted to go and train as a teacher so that I could help others and myself find more inner strength. I wanted to explore and test my limits, and that is exactly what Bikram yoga has allowed me to do.

When I do this yoga, every emotion–insecurity, negativity, joy, excitement–is reflected in my practice. Through this process I’m able to gain new insight and clarity on how to transform my weaknesses and how to better appreciate my blessings.

Bikram Yoga is a powerful vehicle which has the ability to bring healing, strength and growth to those who are willing to commit to it. When I teach, this is my hope for every student: that each and every one of them can find a way to gain health and healing through this practice, and cultivate all the positive qualities innate in all of us.

I’m thrilled to be part of this wonderful yoga journey as a student as well as a teacher!

How did you come to start practicing Bikram Yoga?

I got introduced to Bikram yoga by my boyfriend. This was the same year I had decided to make getting into shape my New Year’s resolution.

After having experimented with the gym several times and having had the outcome always be the same, I decided to stop wasting my money. It just wasn’t for me. I was a former dancer so I tried to get back into ballet. But unfortunately, even though I loved the classes my body was not cooperating and I kept injuring myself. As a last resort I said, why not try yoga. Over the next few months I introduced myself to various schools of yoga, but nothing really engaged me or kept my interest. It was at that time that my boyfriend, who had done Bikram before, brought me to my first class. I was immediately attracted to the rigor, the heat, and the no nonsense style. I haven’t looked back ever since…

What is your favorite posture?

My favorite posture is Standing Bow Pulling Pose. I like it because it is such an engaging posture that it forces me to concentrate. I get such a sense of focus that my surroundings literally melt away. I also find its final form to be very beautiful. I tell my students the determination and strength it takes to do this pose, will carry forth into every part of their life…


Tracey

Tracey

Tracy Abbate
Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified in Los Angeles, CA, Fall 2013

My first Bikram yoga class was in December of 2008. A friend of mine convinced me to go and promised I would love it. I have always been an athletic person and I was definitely looking for a change in my regular exercise routine. I was also at a point in my life when I wanted to meet new people and try new things. I was skeptical, at first, because I had never gotten a strong work-out from a yoga class in the past. My first class was so challenging, that I was instantly hooked! I told myself, “I am going to work to get good at this, because it just kicked my butt!” After that day, I never looked back, and have since been practicing almost daily. It has become so organic to my daily routine, like brushing my teeth!

There are so many things that keep me coming back for more in the hot room: the friends I’ve made, the detoxifying sweat, the heart-racing workout, the strength and flexibility I’ve gained, and the beautiful meditation of the practice. I am always working on ways to improve my practice, whether in postures or those little things in between. The most important thing that this yoga has done for me, is my ability to stay more calm in stressful situations outside of the yoga room.

In 2012, I was honored to have the opportunity to compete in the New England Regional Yoga Asana Championships. I placed second for the state of Connecticut and moved on to compete in the National Championships in New York City. This experience was so wonderful and I look forward to participating again.

After championships, I knew I needed to be an even stronger member of this yoga community. I wanted to give back to what it has given me. I decided to go to Teacher Training in the fall of 2013 and it was the best experience of my life. I love being able to share my love of Bikram yoga with my students and to continue to grow as a yogini.