This undated photo shows Bikram Yoga NYC’s original location, Midtown (797 8th Avenue) before our signage went up.
2) Later that year Lynn Redgrave produced “Women at Risk”
Part one of a two part series produced by TV and Film icon Lynn Redgrave features interviews with owner Donna Rubin, former instructor Nancy Cronkite (daughter of the late Walter Cronkite) and Dr. Oz.
3) Prior to opening, Founder Donna Rubin was in Phantom of the Opera
Donna payed Meg Giry in the Toronto version of Phantom of the Opera during it’s 10 year run from 1989 to 1999.
4) In 2000, Bikram Yoga NYC Expanded to our Original UWS Location
We opened an outpost on West 72nd street, but not at our current location, a block West of where we are now. Fuji TV came to visit in 2006, just before we moved in 2007, and here’s the story they filed.
5) In 2001, Jennifer Lobo joined as co-owner
Jen is the proud Mother of 3 boys and practiced Bikram Yoga during all 3 pregnancies. Not only that, but she practiced the day before birth all three times! This photo of Jen in Camel pose was taken in 2015. Looking great Jen!
6) Georgia Balligian, having practiced Bikram Yoga since 1971, became one of our first instructors
Georgia’s amazing life story is briefly covered in the 2015 interview video below. Notably, she was one of Bikram’s very first students in Hawaii in January 1971.
7) In June 2004, the Flatiron studio opened, with only one floor
2004 saw Bikram Yoga NYC expand downtown to 182 5th Avenue, directly across from the Flatiron Building. The following year a class led by John Salvatore was filmed by Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
8) In 2006 Bikram Yoga NYC expanded to Manhattan’s Upper East Side
New York’s Upper East Side neighborhood was without a Bikram Yoga studio until 2006 when Bikram Yoga NYC opened our first eco-friendly outpost there. The studio was complete with environmentally friendly bamboo flooring, EnerJoy heating panels and side by side studios. In 2014 SELF Magazine came by with a couple of comedians and filmed this segment “Girls vs Sweat.”
9) In 2012 we led the largest ever Bikram Yoga class with over 3,000 students
In 2012, Donna Rubin, Jen Lobo and Rajashree Choudhury led what was (and still may be) the largest Bikram Yoga class every produced. With over 3,000 students practicing yoga at the cross roads of the world, the event made headlines and continues to be talked about to this day.
10) Also in 2012, we co-produced the National Asana Championship with the United States Yoga Federation
Nearly 200 champions representing every region in the United States gathered in NYC in early March of 2012. The 3 day event, attended by thousands at the Hudson Theatre on 44th street, is often referred to as the best produced in the event’s 13 year history.
Have you been reluctant to try Bikram Yoga and want to start off slowly? If so, this is the class for you! These new clinic-style classes offer will introduce you to the 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in a Bikram Method class.
In this slower paced one-hour (moderately heated) class, the instructor will guide you gently through the series with simple, concise instruction and demonstration. You will learn tips on how to prepare for a regular class, take care of any injuries, and ultimately get the most out of your Bikram Yoga practice. We want to make sure that you achieve your goals, whether you’re striving for weight loss, stress relief, injury prevention or just improving your overall quality of life!
As this class is only offered 3 times per week, we suggest registering online to secure your spot (see below). This class is recommended for first-time Beginners , however first-timers are more than welcome in all classes should these three offerings not fit into your schedule.
I’ve always been the girl who tried a lot of things but never stuck with any of it. I would join a gym, work out for two months, then quit. I would take up running, and four weeks later, hang up my sneakers.I would sign up for kickboxing, and allow other commitments to take precedence over attending class. I knew I desperately needed to incorporate consistent, preferably daily, movement into my life, but it had to be something that was sustainable. I decided on Bikram yoga.
I had already taken classes before [I did a 30 day challenge the 30 days leading up to my 30th birthday in 2013, and pretty much stopped going once it was over] so I was familiar with the practice. I hadn’t practiced in a long time (8 months) so it was still considered a new activity. I love to be barefoot and I always sweat when working out so it seemed to be the perfect environment. When I was doing my 30 day challenge, I stumbled upon a blog about a worldwide 101 Day Bikram Yoga challenge. 101 days?! This would definitely be a challenge. I set the intention and I selected a start date: New Year’s Day 2015.
Even though my goal was 101 days of yoga, I was afraid I wouldn’t accomplish it so I told everyone I was just doing a 30 day challenge. The great thing was that I met other yogis who were also doing challenges and that motivated me to continue to show up every day. 30, 60, 90, 100 days passed, and I reached my goal of 101 days on April 11th. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I’ve done anything for 101 days straight. The best part was that I had no desire to stop. I think when Bikram says ‘Give me 60 days and I will change your life’, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all circumstances will change (i.e. I will have lost X number of pounds, quit my job, found love, etc.) Sometimes, it just means I’m no longer counting down the days of my challenge; now I’m embracing a new lifelong practice.
In the 365 days of yoga, I have found space in my body and clarity in my mind. I’ve experienced an increase in strength and flexibility, I have a greater ability to focus, and I’m becoming more disciplined. Most days, this was the hardest thing I did, but I was dedicated to showing up every day and doing the hard thing, because that’s where the greatest reward comes from.
This hasn’t been an easy journey, but I remind myself that there is a higher purpose to this practice. What that purpose is isn’t fully revealed right now, but I trust that there is something happening. Growth is definitely happening. My muscles are growing. My flexibility is growing. My mental strength is growing. My emotional stability is growing. My spiritual growth is growing.
To encourage other yogis who may be considering a daily challenge or anyone who wants to embark on a new journey, I’ll use a quote that our dear instructor, Kathryn Leary, often shares during class:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. – Goethe
2016 marks a unique year for Bikram Yoga NYC. We are thrilled to bring so many new classes, workshops and events to our students and wanted to provide a roundup of everything going on.
The 90 Minute Miracle
We call this class the “90 minute miracle.” This traditional 90 minute class is designed for the stiffest beginners to the most flexible of yogis. Appropriate for all skill levels. > See all 90 Minute Classes
The Effective 75
Slightly abbreviated version of the classic 90, moves with a bit more tempo, more concise dialogue and less instructor demonstration. Please be punctual, starts promptly on time so it can end on time. > See all 75 Minute Classes
60 Minute Maintenance
This one-hour class moves through the traditional series with tempo and flow and is specifically designed to maintain your regular Bikram Yoga practice on the days that you just don’t have the time. >See all 60 Minute Classes
New Workshops & Clinics
Monthly clinics and workshops from guest and resident instructors cover a wide array of topics. Recent 2.5 hour Master classes compliment upcoming backbending workshops, clinics that help you go deep into your practice and those focused on Women’s health. > Read about this weekend’s Clinic
Class is led by the teacher in the front of the room with no verbal instruction, other than an indication as to when to go in and out of the postures. Students must have taken at least 10 classes and have knowledge of the sequence of postures. We are currently offering 1 silent class a month, 5pm on Sunday’s at Upper East Side, with Lisa Hecht.
Currently a monthly event called Chillax led by Chrystine Cooper, this 90 minute Bikram Yoga class is accompanied by music for a fun and unique Bikram Yoga experience. Expect an expanded music series in the coming months. > More about Chillax
Around the World Classes
Starting in April Bikram Yoga NYC is going to be offering a class that is led in a different language on the 2nd Thursday of every month. To date we have commitments from instructors who speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Lithuanian and German. > More info coming soon
Intro to Bikram Method
This clinic-style class will introduce you to the 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in the Bikram Method class. In this lightly heated one-hour class the instructor will guide you gently through the series and offer tips on how to prepare for class, take care of any injuries, and ultimately get the most out of your Bikram Yoga practice. > More info coming soon
Earn points by purchasing packages, taking class and referring friends. Use those points to redeem Rewards from our network partners for items like salads and massages, creams, flowers and more from partners like Aveda, Just Salad, Bikram Yoga NYC, Inday, Vitamix, Meatball Shop, and many, many more. > Go to Rewards site.
Shop the hottest in yoga apparel and accessories in at Bikram Yoga NYC’s OMSHOP. Choose from over 750 designs from more than 15 designers including LalaLand, PhatBuddah, YogaBela, ButterElixr and many more. > Shop Now
Bikram Yoga NYC is a full service studio with a variety of amenities including multiple showers in every location in each locker room. Organic body soap, shampoo and conditioner can be found in the showers and cotton balls, q-tips, hair dryers and towels can be found in the locker room. > See More Info: Flatiron, Midtown, Upper East Side, Upper West Side
Every week Bikram Yoga NYC shines the spotlight on one of our instructors in a series we call Teacher Feature. Get to know your instructors, see what they’re reading, what they’re doing outside of the hot room, see a few more pictures and even book a class. > See Teacher Feature Archive
We’re lucky to have such a strong and dedicated student body at Bikram Yoga NYC, many with incredible stories to share about weight loss, disabilities, improved focus or how the yoga has helped them heal injuries. Read some of their stories by visiting our Student Stories Column
Posture of the Week Series
Over the last 5 months we’ve made it though nearly all of the 26 postures in the Bikram Series, each posture coming complete with tips and tricks for help mastering the series. > See All Postures of the Week Here
Healthy Living Series
Certified Nutrition expert Ania Dunlop has a monthly series about Healthy Living outside the yoga room, offering guidance on everything from getting your hydration though food, to 5 ways to boost your immunity, to keeping weight off during the holidays and much more. > See All
Bikram Yoga NYC has a presence on a variety of Social Channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Goolge+ and Reddit. See more about our social presence over at our Staying Connected page
Yoga Shorts Parodies
#YogaShorts is a series of short films we’ve made over the last several months that dub yoga dialogue over popular culture TV show, Movies and events. To see the films, head over to our Facebook Page
Having launched our first mobile app in February of 2012, version 1.0, we’re now please to offer a sophisticated mobile experience on both iOS and Android platforms for free – now at Version 3.8.1. > Download a free copy today
Redesigned in late 2015, our website now offers dynamic real time one click booking from any page on the site. Simply login using our LOGIN|REGISTER link and then anytime you come back, hover over “schedule” and pick any class.
When did you start practicing at Bikram Yoga NYC, and why?
I started there after I had begun practicing vinyasa and kundalini I loved the heat, and the sweating and the wonderful high 20 minutes after I’d finish.
Who are your favorite teachers and why would you recommend their classes?
Upkar – her incredible energy and her true believer enthusiasm, Eddie Marco for his dry matter of fact delivery, Patrick Lynch because doesn’t play the diva card although he could, Christine Cooper for her constant elegant care, Omri for his curls and casual yoga evangelism, Jonathon Stewart because he is voting for Bernie Sanders, too, and can get you through Pranayama painlessly, and Dionne who manages to watch me like an invisible and unobtrusive hawk, John Mabry gently worrying and confidently leading, and Dionne – you can do it, she just knows it; I’ve missed several, and they all had something to share; forgive me.
What is it about Bikram Yoga that keeps you coming back?
I just feel so much better after a class. I have Multiple Sclerosis and the heat is rough me some days, but it quiets down the constant static my nerves give me. My neurologist says if it makes you feel better, go, every patient is different.
Least favorite posture?
Poorna Salabhasana (Full Locust Pose).
Has being a regular practitioner of yoga helped your work life?
When you take ALL the time we take to breath those 2 sets of Pranayama in the beginning, you begin to realize that being aware of the breath is a lead into the meditation aspect of the yoga. I often find myself reminding myself to breath, and outside yoga I now am more aware of my breath. When I start of feel anxious, I take a couple of breath, and calm myself. Listening to my breath makes me listen to everything a little more closely.
What would you say to someone new who’s unsure if Bikram is for them?
Try it. If it clicks for you, you have found something to take with you for years.
Do you live by any inspirational quotes?
Listen more, talk less.
What is one thing you love about Bikram Yoga NYC?
The work studies, who care for the students and the studio, and the efforts the owners place on providing a clean and quiet place to enjoy some yoga in community with others.
The managers are real professionals. It can get pretty crazy, and they are problem solvers. The Bikram yoga experience starts with the managers.
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:
Through Sunday night, take 15% OFF a gift card of any denomination. We offer preset values of $50, $100, $250 and $500 or you can choose your own price. 15% off equates to the following discounts for the cards we listed above:
This Friday, 8pm at Bikram Yoga NYC Flatiron, we will be celebrating the life of the legendary David Bowie! 90 minutes of non-stop David Bowie tracks spanning 6 decades lead by Upkar K. Chana and Charly Seamon. Let’s practice. “Let’s Dance!” Music arranged by Nick Graham!
Bikram Yoga NYC Flatiron Friday, February 5th – 8pm 182 5th Avenue – 212.206.9400 Open to anyone with a package! Feel free to purchase a single class if you don’t have a current package with us.
Through Sunday, January 31st, pick up 20 classes for $295.
NEW and notable for this sale — THIS PACKAGE DOES NOT HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE! Each class with this package averages to $14.75 and is a great fit for any student, particularly those who travel in and out of town frequently.
Please note this package activates after first use, NOT the date of purchase. Pick up this deal before this Sunday, January 31 and activate it at anytime. If you have a current package with us, this package will remain unused until your current package is finished.
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!