Starting May 12th – 8pm at Bikram Yoga NYC Upper East Side – we’re introducing “Around the World” classes taught in a variety of languages on the 2nd Thursday of every month. These classes will be a fun way to experience the practice you already know so well (students must have completed 10 classes prior to participating) in a foreign language. First up – Spanish! Please note that corrections will be made in English.

Bloquear la Rodilla!

What year did you attend training? Why did you go?

I attended teacher training in Summer 2004. 

At that time in my life I was searching for a career in a field that was relevant to my education. However, I also believed (and still do) that when we work in a field that we have passion for, only then can we experience true success.

I chose to attend teacher training because, in a conversation with a friend of mine on this subject, he told me that he had never seen me speak as passionately about any other subject as when I spoke about yoga, particularly when I was trying to convince someone to try it. I think that is still true of me today.

oliviaanselmo1What is your favorite thing about being a Bikram Yoga instructor?

The thing I love most about being a yoga teacher is that I am able to create the space for people to feel good. I have immense respect and gratitude for each student who comes into the room, because no matter what the exact outcome, we are all there because we want to feel good. When we feel good, people around us feel good. 

Tell us about your own practice. Which posture is most challenging for you and how do you get through it?

After practicing various styles of yoga for 14 years, I have come to a place where I am getting a lot of fulfillment from WHY I am practicing – using the asana to therapeutically create and maintain body, mind and spirit balance. 

(see above, I practice to feel good :))

Outside of Bikram Yoga NYC, what projects are you involved with? What do you do for fun?

I am co-founder of ‘Corinne & Olivia present’. Corinne and I have been leading workshops and retreats together for 5 years. This December we will be doing our 4th annual retreat in Central America. for more information 

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or saying?

“Nothing can be achieved without practice”
– Yoga Sutras of Master Patanjali’s 

More than just a quote, this is the foundation of the entire art and science of yoga. More than yoga, I use this as the foundation of living life. 

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I have been listening to Carole King’s Tapestry a lot lately. I just recently started singing lessons and I am working on one the songs from that album. 

Please don’t expect that I will break out in song during your final savasana…let’s leave that to the professionals, people!

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When did you start practicing at Bikram Yoga NYC, and why?

I started practicing at Bikram Yoga NYC seven years ago because I just had this mysterious sense that I would connect with the practice. I had taken a few “regular” yoga classes before, and although I loved the feeling of opening entirely unfamiliar parts of my IMG_6914body, I was craving a higher level of intensity — basically, if I was going to do an activity for an hour or 90 minutes, I wanted more to show for it. Bikram yoga did exactly that, and from the first few moments of my first class, I was hooked.

Who are your favorite teachers and why would you recommend their classes?

I tend to gravitate towards teachers who find deeper meaning in each of the postures and employ creative ways of connecting the yoga instructions with life, rather than those who just spout off the dialogue. Also, being a musician, I find vocal cadencing very important: some teachers very clearly indicate the pacing of the postures through the intensity and pitch of their voices. Georgia brings such positivity and grace to her classes, and she is always the teacher that I recommend first and foremost to any student, new or experienced. I also love Kathryn, with her regal presence and soothing spirituality, and Paul with his own set of creative instructions to accompany each posture. I also used to absolutely adore Mary Dillon, but unfortunately she no longer teaches at Bikram Yoga NYC.

What is it about Bikram Yoga that keeps you coming back?

I can tell when I haven’t been to a class for a while — the toxins that I usually sweat out in class begin to back up in my body and noticeably cloud my mood. I am positively addicted to the clarity and energy that comes at the end of each class, as well
M12_9-91-1280x1704as the feeling being able to fully disconnect from the outside world in order to move through a beloved series of postures for a full 90 minutes. It feels so luxurious, productive, and inspiring. Bikram Yoga has also profoundly affected my violin playing and performance career — in fact, I devoted an entire page on my website to yoga and the merits of a consistent practice as related to classical musicians. You can read more here:

Favorite posture? 

It completely depends on how I’m feeling from day to day. Whichever part of my body is feeling tight or neglected might crave a certain pose — for example, if my lower back is feeling crunchy, rabbit will stretch it out; if I really need to flush oxygen through my system, prana yama breathing makes me feel completely rejuvenated… it really depends on how I’m feeling on any given day.

Least favorite posture?

Probably half locust. Intellectually I know this is one of the poses I need the most — as a violinist, my arms are bent in a strange way for much of my day, so to have the opportunity to iron them out is really a privilege, but I just… ugh. It’s unpleasant.

IMG_6916Has being a regular practioner of yoga helped your work life?

Completely. My muscles feel infinitely more responsive, I can work through my nerves on stage with deep, flushing breaths, I know how to root my feet into the ground when I’m feeling wobbly, and in general I feel so much more free to let my music flow through my body and out of my instrument.

What would you say to someone new who’s unsure if Bikram is for them?

Try it! The worst that’ll happen is that you’ll lie down and take a very pleasant nap, like in a sauna. 

 Follow Elena on any or all of her social channels:


Facebook: Elena Urioste

Twitter: @ElenaUrioste

Instragram: @elenaurioste

Rock landscapes Photo Credit: Brittany Bartley


What year did you attend training? Why did you go?

Spring 2010 Las Vegas. I had been practicing for 2 years, but I knew within a year I wanted to teach. I did work-study program, worked overtime , and became extremely aware of my spending habits. I knew going to teacher training was going to be transformational for me and my long term goals. The truth is the transformation happened even before training. During the process of saving, eating cleaner, taking yoga everyday to prep for training I became a better  human being. 

What is your favorite thing about being a Bikram Yoga instructor?

  1. The people. We have a special Bikram yoga community!
  2. The ability to travel and teach anywhere.
  3. It is an honor to say I trained for 9 weeks for something I whole-heartedly believe in.

Tell us about your own practice. Which posture is most challenging for you and how do you get through it?

My bikram yoga practice and I have such a special relationship. We go through so many ups and downs! I like to push my body in other areas of fitness so I go into the hot room to heal. I heal physically from the high impact workouts and emotionally from – life. So at the moment I have to say Standing Head to Knee is challenging for me. Yes, physically because of tight lower back and hamstrings.

But also emotionally …the ego loves to creep in on me in the posture. Sometimes the voices in my head are reminding me that I am a teacher and that I SHOULD be killing this posture every time, or that I did the competition in 2014 and it is a disgrace that I am having trouble even grabbing my foot now. I IMMEDIATELY interrupt those DISCOURAGING and sabotaging comments (in my head) by smiling, or just repeating ‘I am doing my best today and my best is enough.’

I silently remind myself that forcing will only hurt me, and it is more POWERFUL to recognize what my body needs and listen.  I also remind myself whatever challenges I face on the mat will allow connection with my students and help me be more compassionate.  And that’s it. I mentally make a deliberate shift in perspective. 

Outside of yoga, what projects are you involved with? What do you do for fun?

I love running, weight lifting, and  I teach intenSati (high impact class with positive affirmations) 

I lead workshops on resilience, and how to become your own “wellness warrior” 

I LOVE to travel. I am leading a retreat in Australia in Feb 2017. 

I have a “Soul on Fire Wellness” Program that helps women become their own wellness warrior so that the can have the courage, confidence and vitality they need to pursue the life they truly desire. 

Making Motivational videos are part of my daily routine!! I go live on Periscope M-F at 8:15am to motivate and help my tribe have a powerful day. 

Working out, reading, attending seminars on self-improvement, dancing , travel, teaching, and Grandma (her food in moderation)  are all things that truly fill up my love tank!! 

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or saying?

“I am safe in the universe all life loves and supports me.” – Marianne Williamson

It comes in handy when fear comes up or moments of doubt. 

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I am reading The Enzyme Factor by Hiromi Shinya, MD and I the one before was Power vs. Force by David Hawkins (game-changer). 

I am ALWAYS listening to motivational videos by Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Eric Thomas. For my workouts I mix up my playlist with all types of music or I go to youtube and search for “motivational workout music” or “bodybuilding motivation music” … they have hours and hours of free music! 

You’re a performer, can you tell us what you’ve worked on lately or when your next gig is?

I am the star IN THE NEWEST HIT ROM-COM called “What if it works out” It is about this Bronx born Puerto Rican raised by a single mom who refuses to settle. She goes for what wants fearlessly all in the name of love. Instead of living in fear and not taking risks … she takes on the challenge and reminds herself… “What if it works out” 



I AM a performer in life just dancing , playing and doing the best I can!! ;0)

I would love to see you in Australia:

AND if you want to hear my full story feel free to checkout some of these videos: 

Awaken the Warrior within You:

Soul Camp:

Any final words?

Bikram yoga changed my life. 

This practice has been there for me during the good, bad, and the ugly. 

I say this from the bottom of my heart… all you have to do is SHOW UP with an open heart. 

Show up on the mat for you, your heart, your mental and physical health. 

Honor yourself with 90 minutes of self discovery, awareness without judgement, and love. 


Natalia Maldonado’s Social Channels

instagram: @nywellnesswarrior

twitter: @nati_curlygirl

periscope: nywellnesswarrior

Facebook: New York’s Wellness Warrior 

Youtube: New York’s Wellness Warrior

A very special 3 hour workshop, designed especially for women, that will lovingly explore self-care and how the Bikram series resonates in a woman’s body. We begin with a full 90-minute class, using dialogue infused with information about how postures uniquely affect the female body. This will be followed by a 90 minute workshop that explores hormones, emotions, intimacy, fertility and holistic self care for a woman’s body. Achieving a deeper awareness of the female body’s unique needs and strengths can elevate one’s practice and one’s life to a whole new level of vibrancy, lushness and joy.

Saturday, May 21st – Upper East Side
1pm-4pm | 173 East 83rd Street

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Kathryn Leary Vsits Jamaica

Class is now over and your body is absorbing the effects of the practice and beginning to change – refreshing, revitalizing and reorganizing itself in every cell and molecule.

3 Tips for Final Savasana

  • TAKE IT! This is where your body, mind and sprit can relax and fully assimilate the benefits of your practice. As busy New Yorkers this may be your most challenging posture. Learn to embrace it. While teachers  allow students to leave after a two minute Savasana, it is recommended to stay 10-15 minutes to calm the nervous system and promote equanimity in the entire body. 
  • Scan your body for tension. Mentally run through all the parts of your body and allow them to sink into the floor. Be cognizant of tension that often accumulates in your jaw, shoulders, forehead and hips.
  • Breathe normally, find a comfortable position on your back (there’s no real form here, unlike the Savasana between standing and floor series) and close your eyes. While your body might be fatigued and amenable to relaxation, your mind can get in the way. Focus on your inhalation and exhalation to calm your mind. Avoid thinking about outside factors and future plans (what’s for dinner?). We know, we know, easier said than done!  

This last breathing exercise strengthens all the abdominal organs, increases the circulation and stimulates the digestive system. It makes the abdominal wall strong and trims the waistline. It also allows the body to release toxins through the respiratory system.

4 Tips for Final Breathing:

  • Keep your stomach relaxed and draw your belly in on the exhale. The inhale happens automatically.
  • Your spine should be straight; think of your arms like brackets holding you up (more than your abdomen and back). Elbows locked.
  • Avoid bouncing or any movement in the chest, shoulders, head. Just your belly moves on the exhale. 
  • Your mouth should be open, jaw relaxed. Avoid pursing your lips or tensing your face.

Now through April 30th, we are offering the chance to buy a 50 class card for only $699. The best part is there is no expiration date, so take as much time as you need to use them!

Want to share this package with a friend? Here’s how it works:

  1. Person A needs to purchase the package in it’s entirety
  2. Person A can then call or visit Bikram Yoga NYC and ask that the package be shared with Person B
  3. When Person A or Person B then comes to visit and take class, they will both be deducted from the class card

NOTE – Person B MUST have an account with Bikram Yoga NYC before you are able to share a package with them.

Questions? Give us a call at any of the numbers listed at the bottom of this page. Or, drop us an email.

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What made you want to become a Yoga Teacher?

When i started practicing Bikram Yoga, i had absolutely no yoga experience. I remember struggling tremendously every single class, mentally and physically, it was such an amazing challenge unlike i’ve ever tried before. A lot of what helped get me through was the encouragement and advice of my teachers, I loved how l learned more about myself and broke through hurdles every single class. I became a work study at the studio because it helped me commit to the practice, and a year and a half later i became the studio manager. I got to know students a lot better, and i decided that since i was looking for a change in my professional career, becoming a teacher would allow me to do something i love, and give an opportunity to to inspire people to achieve the same sense of accomplishment that i felt through the practice. Since then, sharing my passion has been a great love of mine and and a big source of fulfillment in my life.

omri3What makes being a Yoga Teacher Amazing?

Being a yoga instructor allows you to connect to people. I’m an introvert by nature, and the teaching made me comfortable interacting more freely. I also love the fact that my students come from all walks of life, and there is a wonderful exchange of ideas and impressions about pretty much anything between us, from which i learn a lot as well. We share our knowledge and our passion, and i feel lucky that we get to spend this time together. We help each other become better people.

Tell us about your own practice. Which posture is most challenging for you and how do you get through it?

EVERY single posture in the series has been challenging for me at some point, but the biggest physical obstacle came from my scoliosis. i didn’t even know i have it until i was years into my practice. No teacher I knew at the time could say why my back was hurting unevenly and continuously, and it was a tremendous intellectual challenge to seek out the right teachers to guide me in the right direction. Today i can help students with scoliosis, and i feel that knowing that there’s a reason for their extra struggle, and that it’s something they can work on and get better at  makes them feel hopeful about managing and alleviating the pain, inflexibility and discomfort that are associated with it. My studies into the mechanics of it pushed me to learn a lot about movement, anatomy, and various relaxation and strengthening methods. This coming weekend i’m leading a workshop at Bikram NYC in which i will talk extensively about how to go about overcoming difficulties in the practice.

omri2Outside of yoga, what projects are you involved with? What do you do for fun?

i’m a big fan of wellness in general, especially psychology, sports, and nutrition. I make Yoga Wheels which are called the Mandala Yoga Wheel, a wonderful tool to help with Back Flexibility and relaxation. I’ve always been into cooking and food, i love ethnic and diverse food, and i try new techniques and ingredients often. I love reading about self empowerment, the pursuit of happiness and contentment, competitive nature and overcoming adversity. These days I find myself drawn towards topics of equality and social justice, i believe that now more than ever there is a acknowledgment that underrepresentation of people is unjust and exclusive, and that the future lies in empowerment and the wonderful richness of diversity. I also love trying out new sports. I rock climb, ice skate, and ride an electric unicycle. I like swimming and rowing, and while i’m a relative novice in all these things, i love that the yoga makes them much more accessible to me especially since i was a very un-athletic kid, ridiculously so, and now i get to do everything i want to with relative ease.

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I would love to share three books that have been pivotal to me in the last couple of years, the first is called “Start with why” by Simon Sinek, it talks about the inspiration to our actions. there’s also a TED talk he did about his ideas that i would encourage to watch if you want to know more about it . the second is “Inherit the Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, a wonderful book about omri1empowerment and renewing your faith in your abilities. The third is called “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounces me-hi cheek-sent-me-hi), and it quantifies and organizes the process or becoming passionate. these are amazing books about the workings of the mind and the ability to reconfigure the way you look at things. I’m also a big fan of TED talks and i watch one almost every day. Amazing TED talks i recommend are “The Art of Being Yourself” by Caroline McHugh, and of course the “The power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown.

Any final words?

Finding time to take care yourself and your needs is an important investment in your future. The changes and commitments i made have changed my life dramatically. It wasn’t always clear that they would, i wasn’t always happy or could see it to begin with, but i knew that continuously trying and struggling made me feel as if i was making tangible steps towards something better. If you want to make a change, to make a difference, use the physical struggle and the time in the yoga room to meditate and realign your priorities. Find time to grow as a person, make courageous leaps of faith, and talk to there people about your struggles. I believe people are inherently good in their nature and more often than not will try to help you. they won’t necessarily do the work for you, but they might show you things you can’t or won’t see,and help you move in the right direction. it’s then up to you to keep trying, and not be discouraged by failure. Every failure is a lesson and a step towards Success. Come take class with me, say hi, maybe i can help you move forward.