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Bikram Yoga NYC Turns 17

Dear Bikram Yoga NYC Community –

17 Years ago this week we opened the doors to New York City’s first Bikram Yoga studio and what an amazing journey it’s been! We would like to take a moment to thank all of our students for their incredible dedication, perseverance and strength of will over the years. It’s been humbling and very inspiring. Thank you to our incredible group of instructors, managers and cleaning staff as this journey wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Thank you all for chosing to make Bikram Yoga NYC a part of your life and we hope to see you again very soon!

Warm regards,
Donna Rubin & Jennifer Lobo Plamondon
Bikram Yoga NYC Co-Owners

To celebrate the occasion we are offering $17 single classes through August 31st. PLEASE NOTE: While you may purchase as many of these as you would like, they are not valid for use after August 31st. Any unused $17 Single class purchases may be applied as credit toward a new page after 8/31. 

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Teacher Feature: Maura Duignan

I started practicing Bikram Yoga in February 2009 after struggling with a hip injury from running the NYC marathon.  I instantly fell in love with the practice.  The combination of the heat with the 26 postures and two breathing exercises worked very well for me.  After practicing regularly for three months, my hip improved dramatically. That was one of the many changes that occurred in my life.  I also improved physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Both my personal and professional life changed for the better. I reconnected with myself on several different levels.  This practice helps me each day to be the best person I can be and I try to find out something new about myself each class.

I decided I wanted to share my love for this yoga with others and help people gain all the benefits this practice can provide. I decided to go to teacher training in spring 2012 and I am so happy that I did. Teaching brings me tremendous joy and I love connecting with all my students and helping them to change their life for the better.  The energy my students give me and seeing their hard work and dedication is very inspiring.  Being a Bikram yoga teacher and helping people achieve their goals pushed me to follow my dream to go back to graduate school to receive my Master’s degree in Social Work. I am so thankful to be part of the Bikram community and am excited for what is ahead!

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

I went to training in spring 2012 (in Los Angeles) to become a Bikram yoga teacher so I could help others gain the benefits from the practice and help them improve their lives.

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

I love my schedule and having recurring students. I am able to develop a connection with the students in my class and I find joy in seeing their progress as students.

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

Several postures are challenging for me. When I first started practicing I had very little patience with myself. I work very hard today to be in the moment and focus on the posture that I am doing at that moment. I focus on alignment now and performing the posture the correct way. It has been 7 years and there are certainly days where I let my ego creep in and forgot about being in the moment and my mind wanders. But each day I try my best

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

I work for a Wealth & Asset Management team at a bank, I go to school part time to receive my Master’s in Social Work, I teach bikram yoga, I practice bikram yoga, I do something active every day, I am trying to get better at tennis, I love going out to eat, I am getting married in September, I love to travel to new places, I try to cook a new recipe each week, and I spend as much time with my family and friends as I can! Bikram yoga helps to keep me calm and centered to do the things that I love.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or saying?

“If you don’t mind, it don’t matter” – my father. I say this to myself a lot when I feel myself getting overwhelmed or frustrated. I also like the saying “no worries mate”.  I went to Australia last year and try to keep that carefree attitude with me (not so easy in the Big Apple, but I try).

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I read a lot for school. I am currently writing a research paper on the impact of physical activity and depression among adolescents. I love listening to music – Ray Montagne, Ben Harper, and James Morrison have been soothing artists for me lately.

Any final words?

If there is a will, there is a way!

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Teacher Feature: Melissa Porricelli

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

I finally went to training in the fall of 2008.  I started practicing Bikram in 2002 and knew after a few short months of practicing that I wanted to go to training.  I loved the yoga so much and as teachers would talk about the training I knew that it was something I had to experience.  The thought of practicing this yoga 2 times a day and learning from senior teachers that have been a part of the series since as early as the 70s sounded so exciting.  I did NOT know however that I wanted to be a teacher.  I had a full time job that I really enjoyed but I thought it would be a great adventure and learning experience.  After going through 9 weeks of the intensive training I was so inspired that I knew I wanted to share this yoga with the world.  When I returned to NY I taught full time for a few months.  It was an amazing experience however I eventually returned to my job in the medical field and balanced my time between that and teaching 4 classes a week.  I luckily still maintain a daily practice which I know helps motivate me to inspire others the way I was first inspired!

 What is your favorite thing about being a Bikram Instructor?

My favorite thing about being a Bikram instructor is seeing the positive changes it brings to so many people’s lives.  Whether is curing chronic back and knee pains, changing bodies and weight loss, healing old injuries (both mental and physical), or simply helping people feel better it always still makes me so happy when I see a student first realize that change.  It is an amazing feeling when a student comes up to me and tells me how Bikram has helped them.  Over the past 8 years of teaching at BYNYC I have witnessed countless examples of this change.  I love being just a small part of this amazing community.

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

The most challenging part of class for me is definitely the spine strengthening series.  Physically, it is not that bad… but mentally, I really struggle with it.  I know it is an integral part of class and a healthy strong spine is imperative but those 5 to 10 minutes seem to last forever.  I used to skip a set of one of those postures here and there, or even tune out, but that only seemed to make it worse.  What has helped me tremendously is focusing on just the task at hand.  Listening very carefully to the set up and hyper focusing on everything I am doing allowed me to “tune in” to the posture even if I was exhausted.  I would tell myself, ‘just set it up and see what you can do’.  When I focused this way, I realized that my spine strengthening postures greatly improved and the entire series was over in no time at all.  My best advice to anyone struggling with any part of class is to take away the pressure of doing it “perfectly” and tackle it head on by focusing on the set up, the alignment, and even the benefits.  When you start approaching a posture or part of class this way, not only does it go by much faster, but before you know it, it may be your favorite part of class!

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

Anyone who knows me well knows that one of my favorite things to do (no matter where I am) is start my day with Bikram.  Outside of yoga however, I love all sports and activities.  I still love to run every week.  I love to snowboard (despite how much I detest being cold).  I also love the beach and the ocean (which is why it is hard to find me anywhere else in the summer). 

As far as special projects go, one of the things I am most proud of is my volunteer work at the VA and with nursing homes.  There, I teach yoga to veterans and senior citizens.   Although the series is obviously modified it is inspiring to see what this community can do and extremely rewarding to be a part of! 

Any final words? 

Just get to class!  It does not matter how long you have taken off, how “out of shape” you think you might be, how much you have going on, or how badly you may feel… Just get here!  You always feel better after the 90 minutes.  I have been fortunate enough to have been practicing for almost 15 years.  Although I have practiced all around the world I could not imagine my life without Bikram Yoga NYC!  Not only are the classes amazing, the teachers the best, and the facilities great, but the community at the studios is inspiring.  Miracles certainly do not happen overnight, but if you can just get to class you will be well on your way!   

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Teacher Feature: Justine Kay

I plunged into the hot room and committed to my first 30 day challenge at a time in my life when I had let my guilt of things past and fear of moving ahead keep me running in circles with severe back pain and a job that paid my bills but did not fulfill my passions.

On the surface everything was fine. I was a hard-working artist in a loving , healthy relationship and I felt lucky to be living in one of the most diverse and forward-thinking cities in the world. But I felt stuck in my chosen career path and finally my body forced me to pay attention to what was happening deep inside.

Sciatica had reared its ugly head in my lower spine and with it came crippling hip pain that forced me to pay closer attention to how I was treating my body, mind and spirit. I knew there had to be a way to heal that was natural and addressed the root of my condition, not just its symptoms.

I didn’t have health insurance so I had to find another way outside of the traditional medical system here in the US. I found some relief with community acupuncture & a compassionate chiropractor, but those were just temporary fixes. I knew I needed to do something more proactive. Something that would not only heal the pain temporarily, but prevent it from recurring repeatedly.

For years I had flirted with all different kinds of yoga, including Bikram yoga, but never maintained a frequent practice. It was at this time that I knew I had to make a commitment, and I knew it had to be Bikram because no other class had ever made me feel as good, mentally, emotionally and physically. In fact, I found I often aggravated my back in other classes. So after I took the plunge with that first 30 day challenge, I maintained a regular practice, 3-4 times a week.

It was never easy, but I was determined. I asked my instructors a lot of questions. I came to class even when I really didn’t feel like it and was still feeling some pain. I took it easy when I had to, but I continued to practice regularly. After one year of dedicated practice, I didn’t have to visit the chiropractor or receive acupuncture anymore. I was truly healing and truly amazed.

However, just as I was starting to experience some long term benefits and was ready to celebrate my one year anniversary with another 30 day challenge, it became very difficult for me to afford classes. Fortunately my home studio offered a work study program in exchange for classes. I enrolled and the studio owner quickly recognized my diligence and strong practice. She invited me to attend their advanced classes and I began practicing postures that only a year earlier would have brought me pain just thinking about them. It blew my mind.

As I was practicing and healing in the studio, I also found the courage and confidence within myself to pursue an artistic project of my own in India and Nepal. I created a Kickstarter fundraiser and received full support for the project, which combined photography and meditation with travel and the art of observation. In order to see the project through from beginning to end, it took enduring patience, determination and faith in my ability to persevere and succeed against the odds. All things I had improved with my Bikram Yoga practice.

justinecamelAfter one year of advanced practice I competed in the USA Yoga Regional Championship in New York City. I choose to perform a posture that had me bend my spine so far back that I was able to grab my heels with my hands, elbows on the floor, while touching my face in between the soles of my feet. I was convinced. This amazing, healing practice, was something I needed to share with others. So I made another commitment to myself to make it to teacher training, however possible, as soon as possible.

It took quite a bit of sacrifice, but six months later, in Fall of 2013, I made it happen. I could never have done it without the support of my family and the advice and encouragement of my many teachers and mentors. Two and a half years after making that first serious commitment to healing and growing with Bikram yoga I became certified to teach it. Now after over two years of teaching, I can say for certain that it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.

The transformational power of this practice is evident to me, not only in my personal life, but also as I witness it improve my students’ lives and from the multitude of stories I’ve heard from other practitioners. Over time, the extraordinary physical results are accompanied by genuine mental and spiritual growth. A dedicated, consistent Bikram Yoga practice can truly help build the foundation for a healthy mind, body and spirit.

Justine is also a photographer.

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Teacher Feature: Lesley Klose

This week we’re thrilled to feature Bikram Yoga NYC General Manager and Instructor, Lesley Klose!

Lesley has been a New Yorker since 2002, but didn’t discover Bikram Yoga until 2007, when a friend suggested she give it a try.  Knowing that she came from a theater/dance background, he thought it might be “right up her alley.”  Reluctantly she came, but has been hooked ever since.  The rest, as they say, is history.  She started managing for the company in 2010, and finally made it to Teacher Training in the Fall of 2013.  Needless to say, she is thrilled to be part of the BYNYC family!

Here’s a short Question and Answer session we had with Lesley recently:

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

I went to training in LA in the fall of 2013. I wanted to be a Bikram Teacher almost right away after I started practicing. I fell in love with this practice after my first class and knew shortly thereafter  that I wanted this to be a big part of my life. 

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

Being able to create relationships with clients and watching them change and grow, physically and spiritually with the practice.

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

This has shifted a lot for me over the years.  It is hard to just give one posture.  What was hard for me when I started, is different now and has changed more since I had a baby. Postures that were easy before I was pregnant are now more difficult. I think that’s a big part of the practice. Every day it is different. One day I can do something, the next day I can’t. The key is to just be in the moment, trying my best the right way, breathing through it,  and excepting what it is for the day.

4) You are a new mother. How do you balance being a Bikram Yoga NYC’s General Manager, a mother and wife, with your practice?  

It’s hard. I’m not going to lie about that. I have learned to cherish the time I get to practice and teach as well as my time with my family. It is important to do both. Being a mother has made me more patient as a teacher and has taught me so much, while my practice is making me a better mother. It really does work hand in hand.

5) Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or saying?  

This shifts for me quite frequently as well.  Right now, it is a quote one of the staff members at training used to say. “Trust the process”  This works on so many levels.  In the hot room, it is trusting the practice and the teacher, not worrying about whether it is too hot or to cold.

It also works in life.  The universe has a way of throwing different things at you, so sometimes you have to just trust that things will all work out. I wont say that I always follow that way of thinking, but it is a good thing to try. 

6) What are you currently reading or listening to?

Lots of kids books, kids TV shows, etc. With my new little man at home that is where my focus is these days.

7) Any final words?

I am just so thankful for this practice.  I come from a dance/theatre background and I didn’t know if I would ever find something that I was as passionate about, until I found this.  It really is amazing.

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Teacher Feature: Lynn Zinser

Lynn started practicing Bikram yoga in 2009 as a way to recover from a back injury and, feeling relief in the very first week, never stopped showing up in the hot room. Despite being an athlete her whole life, the yoga gave her a level of strength and a feeling of power over her own health that nothing else did. Wanting to share that experience with others, Lynn attended Teacher Training in 2013 and balances teaching with a full-time job as an editor at a non-profit journalism site.

Q&A with Lynn:

1) What drew you to Bikram yoga?

Back in 2009, I was struggling with a chronic back injury. I had a desk job as an editor for the first time after years of being always on the go as a newspaper reporter. I would sit at my desk and my left hand and foot would go numb. Doctors couldn’t figure it out and physical therapy was useless. So I started investigating ways to heal myself, and a retired judge I know in Los Angeles, Charlie Lee, told me about Bikram yoga. I gave it a try.

2) Was it love at first stretch?

Heavens, no. In my first class, I was a mess. I couldn’t come close to touching my toes. The postures seemed approachable, but like most first-timers, the heat felt like a crazy thing. The only thing I really learned from that first class was that I needed to come back tomorrow to really understand it, and after I slept like a rock that night, I decided I would. The next class was totally different, my body dealt with the heat so much better and within a week, my back was feeling better. I loved that every class was a challenge. I was hooked.

me3) How did you decide to become a teacher?

Well, the only reason I stuck with the yoga was because I had an amazing set of teachers who cared about me and helped me understand it. They led me through a bunch of injuries (my back, pulled hamstrings, temperamental knees, a broken foot) and believed in me even on the days I didn’t believe in myself. They inspired me to pass along the same kind of love to help others through their challenges.

4) What was teacher training like?

I went in the fall of 2013 in Los Angeles, and was so happy to be roommates with Lesley Klose, our lovely Bikram Yoga NYC manager. But I was 47 years old, with lots of injuries in my past, so it was a huge physical challenge to do two classes a day. To top it off, I came down with a case of vertigo in the middle of the nine weeks. But, persevering taught me so much about myself and the feeling of accomplishment after the final class was the most amazing feeling. We ran around like we had just won an Olympic gold medal. It was that exhilarating.

5) Now you teach and balance that and your practice with a full-time career as a journalist. How do you do that?

It’s more of a question of how couldn’t I do it. My practice saves both my body and my sanity, it is 90 (or sometimes 75 or 60) minutes a day just for me. Teaching is my joy. It’s the part of my day in which I am not thinking about myself for even a second because class is 100 percent about the students.

My career is a big part of who I am, and I am lucky to now work as an editor with a fantastic group of people at a journalism non-profit, InsideClimate News. It is important work. My colleagues there won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2013. We have our fingers crossed for another this year for an investigative series we published in 2015. Root for us!

I am beyond blessed to have a truly patient and devoted husband (who also practices!) and a puppy who reminds me to always live in this moment, just like she does.

6) What has teaching yoga taught you?

It has taught me mostly how to put my whole heart and soul into something without expecting any particular result. You face a whole class of students and you have no idea what’s going on in their lives, what happened in their day. So you just give them everything you have, and you have no idea what’s going to stick, what’s going to resonate with them. You just give it and trust it finds its way through. If you see their postures improve or their concentration get better, great. If not, that’s great too.

7) Do you have any favorite inspirational quotes?

One of my favorites is from Ernest Hemingway:

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

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Teacher Feature: Pejman Akbari

Pejman (PJ) Akbari began practicing Bikram Yoga in 2007 when he was suffering from back and neck pain due to years of office work, stress, and misalignment. At that time, he was a full-time professor of Aerospace Engineering in New York City.

After observing so many physical and psychological benefits, PJ quickly evolved his Yoga practice to a high degree and decided to switch his engineering career to become a Bikram Yoga teacher and share this unique practice with other people who are suffering from physical and mental discomfort.

When I am at work, I might not be the best one among my genius colleagues and sometimes I feel vulnerable, but when I am at my mat doing Bikram Yoga, I know I am the best because I am doing the hardest thing in the world!

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Teacher Feature: Jennifer Lobo

We sat down with our very own studio owner Jennifer Lobo for a Q&A session about yoga, life and being a busy Mom!

When and why did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

When I was living in San Francisco in the 90s I was doing a lot of Marathon running, as well as skiing and playing soccer.  Two friends of mine, Sara and Mary Corpening, suggested I try Bikram Yoga as a good way to cross train.  I was hesitant because I had tried yoga many times and found it a little slow for my athletic background.  But after much encouragement, I took my first Bikram Yoga class. I remember the teacher saying “see you tomorrow” when I walked out and I thought she was crazy. But then, about a half an hour later, I felt like I was walking on clouds and my body had never felt lighter and better. So I went to class the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Bikram Yoga became part of my weekly routine and my running became easier and my Marathon times became better. In fact the last one I finished, I felt like I could run another 3 miles, and I was doing more Bikram Yoga than Marathon training!

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

This is an easy one and I would say that most of our teachers would say the same.  The best thing about teaching this yoga is the satisfaction of seeing so many people heal injuries, change their bodies and also witness the new calmness that overcomes them in and outside of the room.

Tell us about your own practice

I love taking class as often as I can and I always enjoy class. There is no other time in my life that I can have a period when I do not have to talk, and can just listen and get deep into a moving meditation.

I am not a naturally flexible person so I have worked for every inch of my flexibility and I am a million times more flexible than when I started. I know that I am never going to be the person doing a standing split in the bow pose, but the benefits that I have gained from this practice are incredible, both mentally and physically.  I can now touch my toes easily even with 5 inch heals on with no problem!

This is why I push people who say “I can’t do yoga because I am not flexible.” HOW DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO GET FLEXIBLE IF YOU DON”T DO YOGA?!?!? People cannot stay on an exercise diet of pounding, running, weights, cycling, etc, without incorporating yoga into their routine. It is not healthy and sustainable as people age, especially in this age of technology and increased use of computers and smart phones.  We can’t hunch all day without some backbends!

You are a mother of three boys.  How do you balance being a business owner, wife and mother with your practice?

This is also an easy one – when I do not take a yoga class, I am not as good a wife, mother or business owner.  After I take a yoga class, I am able to be more efficient in my work, think more clearly and make better decisions.  As a mother and wife, I do not “blow my lid” when things get tough if I have taken a class that day.  From the moment I walk in the door to the time the kids go to bed, it is total chaos.  Then there are soccer practices, hockey games, basketball games, playdates all in between!  If I am about to yell or “lose it” I literally give myself a 1 minute “time out” and walk in another room and do a few pranayama breathing exercises. It really works!

So I make my yoga practice a priority in my life and make sure to try to get 4 classes in during the week. Weekends are reserved for kids’ sports!

What are you currently reading or listening to?

Unfortunately, at this very moment I am not deep into a great novel but hoping January will be a good time to start one.  I have been reading a lot of “The Week” to at least keep myself up on world events and news.  It is a great magazine that summarizes the major events for people who don’t have time to read the paper! For music, Ben Harper is always one of my favorites. I also still love the Grateful Dead and when I hear their music it takes me back to a time of much less responsibility so it’s a great way to relax!  Recently, an Uber driver turned me on to Vis a Vis – great stuff!

Favorite Inspirational Quote –

“You only live once” – so work hard and play hard.

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Make 2016 The Year of You

Happy 2016 Yogis –

Thank you for being a part of our family in 2015 and we look forward to seeing you at the studio in 2016! With the new year upon us, we’d like to outline some of what to expect in 2016 at Bikram Yoga NYC — from the yoga itself to our amazing staff that teach it, from the state of the studios to exciting events and more.

The Yoga

In 2015 we held more than 13,200 classes. While nearly all of them were the traditional 90 minute method, on October 1st we rolled out 75 minute classes, followed by a 60 minute class offering that started in November. All of these classes feature each of the 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises that make up the Bikram method, taking into consideration the busy lifestyles of our New York City area students. Haven’t tried one? Head over to our schedule.

Our Staff

Our knowledgeable and seasoned teaching staff are the finest group of Bikram instructors on the planet, bar none. With all of our veteran instructors remaining on staff from 2015 to 2016, we added several new faces to our staff in the last year. As always, we encourage you to take class with as many of our instructors as possible to find the one that’s right for you. Our staff is as unique as our students, each offering a style and personality unmatched by another. Head over to our instructors page to meet them and challenge yourself to take class with a handful of different teachers this year.

Our Editorial

In 2015 we made a strong push into publishing and improved communications with our students. We started a weekly email newsletter, usually with 10 features in each edition, that covers everything we offer at Bikram Yoga NYC from workshops and special classes, to teacher features, student stories and more. Think of it as a buffet of sorts, odds are there’s at least a few topics that might pique your interest. If you’re not subscribed, please visit our subscription page and sign up, you’ll be glad you did!

Our Social

We continued in 2015 with a strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. With more than 3.2 million impressions combined last year we reached people in over 75 countries around the globe. Leading the way with the most liked Bikram Yoga studio page on Facebook, we approached it cautiously keeping in mind a golden social networking rule for businesses like ours, 1 promotional post to every 9 editorial, human interest or original content pieces. Notably, in December we launched “Yoga Shorts” – short popular culture TV show clips that have been dubbed with yoga based conversation. Check out Jerry brings Elaine to Yoga, the inaugural episode.

Our Special Events

Perhaps our most well know special event of the year is Solstice in Times Square and 2015 was an exceptional year with June 21st also being the 1st Annual International Day of Yoga. An exciting, but little known fact, is that Bikram Yoga NYC conducted it’s own fact finding mission, meeting with leaders of the Government of India in their NYC headquarters, to determine how the United Nations official event could tie in with the Times Square event.

In 2015 we started a new series of workshops at the studio as well. In addition to our bi-annual posture clinic with studio owner Donna Rubin, we started a series of master classes. First with Craig Villani, then John Salvatore and in January with BridgettAne Lawrence. On Valentines day we have an exciting synergy partner yoga class in the works with Francisco Morales-Bermudez. Announcement is forthcoming, but in the meantime visit synergypartneryoga.com for more information.

Our Studios

If managing nearly 300 classes a week at only 4 locations requires an intricate ballet of well timed coordination and teamwork, then it’s the hard work and dedication of our amazing maintenance and cleaning staff that keep our facilities sterile and hygienic that deserve the credit. Unlike many other yoga studios, we employ paid cleaning staff to insure our studios are as germ free, the rental items are completely sterilized and the flooring maintains it’s certified hypoallergenic status. We made capital improvements too, adding new windows at Midown, new flooring at UWS, fresh paint, new chilewich and many other improvement at all 4 locations. Hats off to our resident maintenance manager Steve!

Our Promise

2016 marks Bikram Yoga NYC’s 17th year in existence. In that time we’ve offered over 200,000 classes and had over 4 million visits. Throughout the years we’ve honed our craft focusing on the most important things: quality of instruction, excellent customer service and the diligent maintenance of our facilities. In 2016 and beyond, we promise to continue our effort to maintain our high standards as they relate to all 3 – and that we put you and your goals at the very top of our priority list.

Thank you for making 2015 great and if there’s anything we can do to help make your experience at Bikram Yoga NYC a better one, we genuinely welcome your feedback.

Warmest Regards,

Kevin Gregor
Marketing Director

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Teacher Feature: Emily Vartanian

Emily stumbled into her first Bikram Yoga class back in 2005, and she has been practicing ever since.  She is truly grateful for the balance the practice has brought her, both mentally and physically.  The same year that she graduated from Bikram teacher training she co-founded a nonprofit dance organization, and the yoga has been an important part of her life while trying to make artistic work in New York.  Yoga has helped her to both heal and prevent injuries from dancing, to focus on long-term goals rather than short-term difficulties, and to learn how to properly rest both her mind and her body.  While many artists wait tables or work temporary jobs, Emily considers herself truly lucky to teach and finds tremendous inspiration from her students.

Beyond the hot room, she has served as a performer, choreographer, as producer on both the east and west coasts. Her most recent adventure, outside of General Mischief Dance Theatre, was dancing for Weird Al Yankovic.

More on GMDC:

Preview of Mischief's upcoming Performance

A preview of General Mischief's most recent show

Favorite random adventure of 2015:  Dancing in a fun stunt for Improv Everywhere

Video 1

Video 2

Emily’s Favorite quote:

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.  –Margot Fonteyn 

Currently reading: “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” by Dr. John Ratey