Anne Hayes, Director-Certified Fall 2006

Year of your BY Teacher Training: Fall 2006, LA
What compelled you to become a BY teacher? Six months of consistent practice completely healed 15 years of sciatica + life events + my mother’s inherited desire/goal/passion of being of service.
Favorite Asana. Why? Standing Head to Knee. Requires every milligram of breath, strength, focus, determination, patience, willpower, balance. I am in the zone, that soothing, calm, quiet, underwater place.
Most challenging asana. Why? Half Moon & Standing Separate Leg Stretching. Spinal works of art in very slow progress!
What you say a lot in class: Super long giraffe neck. Relax your teeth. Oohlala!
What do you drink during class? De l’eau
Favorite food after class: String beans, lettuce, spinach, gummy bears, dark chocolate. Watermelon juice!
Favorite place: Forked Lake, Adirondacks NY and Hossegor, France
What motivates you to get to class? Curious to see who I am. The heat.
Memories from first BY class: Tears, puddles , on my mat. Instant, powerful emotional release. Joe Sarcona, kneeling next to me, “You’re going to be ok”. A stranger, talking to me? Thank you, Joe. Will never forget.
Quote that you draw inspiration from: “Watch your Thoughts, they become words. Watch your Words, they become actions. Watch your Actions, they become habits. Watch your Habits, they become character. Watch your Character, for it becomes your Destiny.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


Colleen O’Rourke, Director-Certified Fall 2008

Spinal surgery that ends up with having two rods placed on either side of my spine was a pretty good reason to hang up the exercise routine that I loved so much. But I didn’t. It only opened my eyes to the importance of improving my flexibility while increasing the depth of stretching all the muscles above and below my spine. Bikram Yoga has allowed me to understand how the body can push beyond the limits of the mind. It has enabled me to forget about the rods in my back and the limitations imposed by them. “I can’t” does not exist in the hot yoga room nor does it exist in me. Having benefited from the yoga for over 7 years, I quit my full time job and went to Teacher Training in 2008. Through sharing my energy and knowledge every day, I am continuously inspired to be the best for my students and help them explore to their full potential.

Edward Cox, Teacher-Certified Fall 2002

Attended my first class in 1999 in the back room of my chiropractor’s office. Had heard a little talk in the gym the doctor also owned, so I gave it a go. Wasn’t exactly love at first class but it was a tremendous workout. Moved to Long Beach in 2000 and began practicing at BYNYC. After recovering from a knee injury and returning to work within a few weeks, I began to truly appreciate the 26 posture series Bikram created. Attended Bikram’s Teacher Training in the fall of 2002 and was among the first to teach on Long Island. Recently re-certified in Sacramento, CA with Bikram’s wife, Rajashree, it is now with great honor that I am able to teach in my home town of Long Beach. I look forward to see all your “happy, smiling faces” in class!

Charlotte Hayes-Certified Fall 2010

My Bikram Yoga practice was born in 2005 out of curiosity for a “hot room” my mother had been raving about. I was a ballet dancer, a volleyball player, an asthmatic – flexible, yes; strong, NO; looking for a challenge, always! My first few classes were torturous. I didn’t understand how to breathe, how to be still, or how to listen to my body. After several months of patient practice though, everything just clicked! Besides feeling stronger and more in control of my breath (my asthma virtually cured), I felt euphoric after class: fireproof, sweat proof, bulletproof, and incredibly happy. As a Peace Corps volunteer in subtropical Paraguay for 27 months, I continued to practice the 26 postures in my one-room brick home, where the temperature would often reach 110 degrees (an oven indeed!) My practice, always evolving, has shown me fortitude and brought me serenity in times of hardship. Upon returning home in July 2010 after 6 months backpacking through South America, this “happy wanderer” felt a bit out of touch and aimless. The hot room was again a place for me to reconnect and rebalance. I completed Teaching Training Fall 2010 in San Diego and feel blessed to have met such unique and inspiring people from around the world. Bikram Yoga allows me to transform more each day into the person I strive to be – and I invite you to feel the same power and peace.

Judy Appell

Chris Bayiokos

Debbie Franzese

Sandi Gershowitz

Steven Gonzalez

Brian Lenihan

Chris Olstrom

John Reyes

Aviad Sasi

Marc Schwartz

Riji Suh

Kent Wilkinson