Our friends at the Yoga Factory in Annapolis Maryland are hosting a Teacher Training program for the 26+2 hot yoga posture sequence. One of the only East Coast Teacher Training programs this year, Annapolis is just a 3 hour train ride from Manhattan!
YogaFactory provides the premier medically integrative training for the world famous 26&2 hot yoga sequence by uniting a highly qualified core group of teachers from the hatha yoga community to train others in the method.
They provide training for aspiring hot yoga teachers who wish to learn to teach with compassion in a nurturing environment. Through thousands of hours of training, teaching, and running successful schools, Yoga Factory has refined the process to provide an exemplary teaching curriculum.
Yoga Factory 300 Hour Certification will include:
Philosophy of Yoga & Teaching Anatomy of Yoga & Integrative Health Ethics of Teaching Business of Teaching & School Owning Teaching Techniques, Methodology & Practicum Practice – 2 classes per day
Upon completion of this six-week teacher training, new teachers will be able to:
Speak clearly and teach the sequence confidently in a public setting Correct students appropriately and compassionately Encourage a dedicated hatha yoga practice Greet students professionally and converse with students in an auspicious manner Speak intelligently about the mental and physical benefits of yoga Maintain and grow a continued awareness of their personal yoga practice.
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
What year did you attend training? Why did you go?
I went to Teacher Training in Acapulco, Spring 2008. After a few years of a very uncommitted practice – and stretches of time where I simply felt – lets just very bad – I committed to the 30-day challenge. By day 15, I remember walking home from the subway and my feet barely touched the ground. Before the 30 days were over I had signed up for teacher training.
At the time, I thought I was going so that I could have a meaningful job when I wasn’t acting – the “bread and butter jobs” were depressing. It wasn’t until post training that I realized that that was only partially true. In a huge tennis court converted into a hot room at the Princess Hotel in Acapulco practicing two times a day for two months with over 200 hundred people I had the most amazing catharses of my life to date. I shed toxins I had no idea were paralyzing me. Heaviness from my past, my family’s past, the present and fears for the future.
Maja dancing with her Pop
Not to mention, I had danced from the age of three. At some point I gave it up cold turkey. Taking for granted that I had been processing my whole being, through movement, my whole life. Bored by exercise for the sake of exercise, I became physically inert and my mind and body started to backfire. I now know I went to training to heal. The saying is true: we come for vanity and stay for sanity. When I returned I felt myself lighter. Yes, I ultimately lost about 20 lb. and began to look better then I ever remember looking. But the lightness was in my heart. I had committed to something with no agenda other than to improve my person. My mind, body and spirit.
Suddenly there was space in my life. Within a few months, I found myself rehearsing for the Off-Broadway production of Irena’s Vow that was then moved to the Walter Kerr on Broadway.
What is your favorite thing about being a Bikram Yoga instructor?
If you become a teacher by your pupils you’ll be taught … every class I lead I learn. About the postures, the practice, life and myself. Being an instructor enlightens me. Putting my attention on others puts my personal “aches and pains” into a beautiful perspective. Our community is invaluable to me. The day to day exchange with like minded people – people who are working at being their best self – has become my daily dose of inspiration.
Tell us about your own practice. Which posture is most challenging for you and how do you get through it?
Every posture is challenging for me. I am a struggler (giggle). My ego and emotions like to get in the way of every single posture. If I don’t keep myself in check, I can fluctuate between being a tragic Chekhovian heroine and performance monkey before I even start my set up.
These days Standing Bow on my right side is most maddening. I am still twisting my hips ever so slightly – due to my love affair with getting my leg way the heck up there – and I have a funny collapsing arch in my left foot lately – which when I actually use my mindfulness to engage my inner thigh by bringing my body weight forward and square my hips properly instead of focusing on “getting high” … seems to miraculously behave itself! AHHH the tangled web we weave. Pranayama Breathing is my favorite.
When I practice I feel good when I don’t practice I get wonky. The practice keeps my anxieties at bay. For example, I travel frequently to spend time with my elderly father. Caring for an elderly parent can be a challenge. During my visits I practice everyday at Bikram Yoga Detroit – its 10 minutes away from my Dad’s house! The practice refocuses me. The challenge transforms itself into the joy of spending time together.
I have a way to go in my practice. And in my life. My practice is my best friend. I love my best friend.
Outside of yoga, what projects are you involved with? What do you do for fun?
Still from The Immigrant. Photo: Anne Joyce
There is no such thing as “outside of yoga” for me. Yoga is part of all I do. That having been said: I am an actress, signed with Bret Adams Ltd. Always auditioning. majawampuszyc.com. Recently I was in a play called Lady Macbeth and her Lover, by Richard Vetere, which I have since optioned. I am raising money for an early 2017 off-Broadway production directed by Austin Pendleton.
Do what you love and you never work a day in your life. I’m lucky that way. I never work! I love yoga. I love acting. And I love how together they make me expand. They are my way of putting something beautiful in the world. That to me is the greatest fun! But we can add to the mix: swimming, walking, biking, I enjoying wishing I loved running LOL, traveling, SINGING, my friends and family (particularly my Pop), dancing, live music, dressing up, finding a new route in a daily routine, sometimes I paint and write poetry. Going to the beach. Drinking my morning coffee in bed! I could go on and and on – I’m NEVER bored … now that I think of it I kind of find the fun in everything!
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or saying?
There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. – Anthem by Leonard Cohen. It is based on Rumi’s: The Wound is the Place where the Light Enters You. I love how Cohen spins it in Anthem.
What are you currently reading or listening to?
Reading: Borowski (it is the darkest of dark).
Listening to: I am really into silence these days.
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.
After 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.
Here are two links to her writing and one of her amazing photos below:
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Today, we are taking a moment to remember the day we opened our first Bikram Yoga NYC location in Manhattan’s Theater District. Back then, opening a yoga studio was a bit of a gamble. There was not a single Bikram method studio in New York and we wondered if people would appreciate the practice as much as we did. But we went with our gut instincts and opened our Midtown studio on August 7th, 1999.
Fresh out of Teacher Training in LA and in the best shape of our lives both mentally and physically, we were confident that sharing the practice with New Yorkers was the right path for us. As classes at our little studio began to fill, we saw our students lose weight, and they told us they were less stressed and felt better. We were thrilled!
Since then, we have been blessed to open 3 additional locations and are humbled to report we recently topped 3 million visits since opening (that’s 78 million postures!). We are grateful for every single new student that walks through the doors because with each visit, we know students are getting healthier, and that was the goal from day one.
Since that low-tech age of 1999, we have embraced many of the things that make talking a yoga class easier. From selling apparel and accessories, to fresh juices, to online booking (no one had heard of an app in 1999!) and locker room amenities. Expanding these offerings, and our locations, have helped us be on the forefront of the launched the “boutique fitness” movement in New York.
We are truly blessed to have met so many wonderful people at the studios. We have seen many of our students meet their future spouses in class and make long-lasting friendships. Many of our students have become teachers, managers and or go on to open their own yoga studios around the world. Our Bikram Yoga NYC family aims to be a community for you, to provide a safe and welcoming environment, with knowledgable teachers and and friendly managers to enjoy the yoga and the benefits of a consistent practice. We thank you for bring your positive energy to the studio space and share that energy with others.
A truly heartfelt thank you to our long-time students for your ongoing commitment to both Bikram Yoga NYC and your own well-being. To our newer students, welcome to the studio and we look forward to having you be a part of the community for a long time to come. We have many exciting announcements in the works, starting today with the launch of our new website, our new Rewards program and shopping channel. We are constantly learning and evolving and are always appreciative of your feedback.