Anne Hayes, Director-Certified Fall 2006
I like to recall saying that I would “try” yoga when there is nothing else I can do! One Wednesday morning of May 2003, while on my train commute to New York City, a New York Times article about Bikram Yoga really caught my attention because of the challenge it described and entailed. While fulfilling an active lifestyle of playing beach volleyball and running – along with moving from my home country of France to Long Beach in 1986, raising three amazing and beautiful children, and working full-time – often left my mind, spirit and body “exhausted” and in pain. I attended a Bikram Yoga class the next day; it was “love at first sight”, and I am still in love! A certified Bikram Yoga teacher since the Fall of 2006, I am delighted to bring Bikram’s healing message of self-realization and my passion for students to my American hometown.
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.