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Teacher Feature: Georgia Balligian

Georgia Balligian has been practicing Bikram Yoga since since January, 1971, a total of 45 years next month.

Georgia graduated from New York University in 1970 with a degree in Film and TV production. Post graduation, she traveled through the South Pacific and ended up out of funds and in Hawaii. Soon she was waitressing in the Wailana Coffee Shop in Honolulu.  As fate would have it, Bikram Choudhury, newly arrived from Tokyo, was teaching his yoga in a small studio in downtown Honolulu.

Georgia’s first class was about 2.5 hours long and had a total of 7 students in it. Everyone was working hard, getting a lot of laughs, encouragement and lots of “tough love.” At the end of class, Georgia tells us, there was the “unforgettable moment.”

Bikram looked at Georgia with an intense, but kind gaze and said “I don’t know what you did in your past life” (yogis believe in reincarnation). “You have no strength, no flexibility, no balance, but, I can fix it. You have to take class every day for 2 months and I will fix you, I will change your life if you trust me.” Georgia went to class every day for nearly 2 years, Bikram “fixed” her, and the magic continues to this day.

Since 1997 she has been teaching non-stop for Bikram Yoga NYC, averaging 9-10 classes a week and we’re so incredibly fortunate to have her amazing spirit and presence at the studio. In closing, she wanted us to pass along this quote:

You’re never too sick, never too old, never too bad, to start from scratch once again. See you in class!

Please take a moment to visit Facebook to see this post, and share a comment with Georgia. We are collecting them all, likes and shares included, and printing out a list for her as a surprise!