I walked into my first Bikram Yoga class in 2000, one year after a car accident that broke my pelvis in four places. This practice gave me my life back by helping me manage chronic pain, heal from PTSD, and regain range of motion.
Yoga makes you more you. The gift of learning to manage my focus, reserving awareness for my breath, learning proper mechanics for living. The benefits of practice are endless.
It is always a privilege and pleasure to walk a class through the 26 & 2. Bikram Yoga is the most effective preventive healing modality that I’ve ever experienced. Nothing beats pure and simple Bikram Yoga class. All of our classes allow for improved proprioception and stabilization. Bikram Yoga increases your flexibility by providing THE MOST THOROUGH flush of circulation to your whole body. Inferno Hot Pilates combines the best of sports medicine techniques to improve cardiovascular fitness, core strength and ramp up your stabilizer muscles (which all ages and ability levels continuously need). Baptiste Power Yoga will bring a renewed sense of vitality to your life on and off the mat.
What unites our team and community is the love of Bikram Yoga, Inferno Hot Pilates and other mindful, heated classes.
I started practicing Hatha yoga and meditation in 1994. After nine years of independent study of the therapeutic applications of various styles of Hatha yoga, I was certified at Bikram Teacher Training Fall 2005. I trained with Gabi Walters (Inferno Hot Pilates) in 2016, and Baron Baptiste (Power Vinyasa Yoga) in 2017.
Traci has seen changes in her body and mental outlook as a result of practicing Bikram Yoga. She jumped at the chance to enhance her fitness when Inferno Hot Pilates was added to the class offering at BYMP. Originally a group fitness instructor in the 1980s, Traci quickly fell in love with Inferno Hot Pilates and attended teacher training in June 2016. Traci brings the fun to every class she teaches.
Bikram Yoga has given me patience and options to deal with stress. I know I can use my breath, I can take a break from situations. I can think about things differently. I can concentrate and meditate. I can keep my body and mind strong and healthy by practicing on a regular basis. Getting to know myself and learn about the yoga and share with others.
Students are doing good things for themselves and their life by practicing. They can change their lives and be in control and be happy and strong. I want them to feel they have had a good workout and a new feeling for things. A clear head with new focus.
Certified at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Spring 2014
I remember my first Bikram Yoga class as an over the top hot and humid, good experience. I was able to do most postures to some extent. My wife Catherine attended with me.
Bikram Yoga has taught me a better understanding of myself and a broader understanding of my individual potential. While practicing Bikram Yoga I work constantly on breath control with slow deep breathing. Learning to control my breath in the hot room and practicing postures to my ability the correct way truly aids in managing symptoms that arrive on a daily basis. Striving to improve any aspect of life that may be challenging can always be a struggle.
Bikram Yoga brings all the toxins out from within-the real dirt and the body is worked completely, every muscle, joint, organ, tendon, ligament and nerve. What other type of cleansing does your body need?!
Seeing practitioners continual growth and development is such a reward. I enjoy helping practitioners connect with themselves. Allowing them to know their own individual strengths and weaknesses.
Certified at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Spring 2014
Certified at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Spring 2005
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The Internationally Recognized Senior Teachers of Bikram Yoga
These individuals are fonts of knowledge, with decades of committed practice and application of the therapeutic aspects of the Bikram beginner series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Highly respected in the international Bikram Yoga school and authorized by Bikram Choudhury to represent his lineage. Each senior teacher values the precision of the Bikram Yoga method.
Born in Kolkata, India in 1965, Rajashree started her yoga training at the urging of her parents at age four. She was a five-time winner of the National Indian Yoga Championship from 1979 to 1983 and holds Certification in Hatha Yoga Therapy for chronic diseases and disorders.
With over 15 years in the East and 25 years in the West, Rajashree’s special focus has been on the emotional side of yoga and how yoga balances the energy of the human body and impacts not only disease, but also affects the body/mind/soul connection which constitutes vibrant health. She conducts seminars on yoga and personal development worldwide. She also teaches her highly-acclaimed Pregnancy Yoga Classes.
Rajashree has appeared on many national television programs in the United States and abroad doing seminars worldwide promoting the countless benefits of yoga. She is the founder of USA Yoga. Most recently her mission is to help women in crisis of all ages and nationalities. She has been active in many charitable organizations over the years including Karma for Kids, dedicated to helping children with cancer, Uprising yoga, helping child victims of sex trafficking, and Parikrama, educating slum children in India. She is a member of the Yogin'it Family.
"Born in Latvia sometime before 1960, Emmy Cleaves is Bikram's most senior teacher. She began studying under Bikram in July of 1973, and currently teaches Bikram's Advanced Class to senior instructors at the International Headquarters. As a practicing yogini for over 40 years, Emmy brings a priceless combination of knowledge, experience and expertise to her classes. Widely traveled and internationally recognized, she holds a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Bonn in Germany."
Jeff Renfro Jeff has been teaching Bikram Yoga since the 1990’s. He’s been an integral faculty member at teacher trainings and has run his own studios (along with his wife Lynn Whitlow) in the San Francisco area for over 18 years. Jeff and Lynn are well know for running the most established teacher development programs for certified Bikram Yoga teachers in their own network of schools, and for making major contributions to the many independently owned Bikram Yoga studios around the world.
Jeff is masterful in fine tuning modifications of the Bikram Yoga postures for everyone, especially those students who are older or have injuries or disabilities. Jeff has first hand experience managing his own injuries, physical issues, and chronic pain with yoga therapy for over 20 years. And he helped organize and competed in the first yoga competition in the United States in 2002.
He has studied with all of the yoga masters, most notably Bikram Choudhury, and BKS Iyengar and has traveled to India to study at his Institute. Jeff serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Iyengar Institute.
He has a unique perspective on teaching due to his parallel study and practice of Bikram Yoga and Iyengar yoga for over 20 years.
Lynn Whitlow Lynn studies exclusively with Bikram & wife Rajashree, is on the faculty of the Bikram yoga teacher training and serves as a judge for International Yoga Competitions. She is sought by teachers and students around the world - She is also a TON OF FUN!
Additionally, Lynn is the founder and operator of the world renown and most successful Bikram studios; Funky Door Yoga studios. Teaching Bikram yoga all her adult life, she currently lives just north of SF directing her studio in Petaluma California.
When she is not traveling the globe doing yoga seminars or extended retreats sharing her extensive knowledge with as many yogis as possible, you can find Lynn in her 'spare' time assisting Bikram with his teacher trainings, teaching regularly at her studio, eating sprouts, downing green juice and simply enjoying the good life of with her amazing husband and awesome dogs!
“I took my first Bikram yoga class in 1985 with my original teacher Madelyn Mederois. I knew from that very first class that this yoga would be part of my life forever and that I would teach it. I began teaching the yoga shortly after I learned it and long before teacher training. There were no Bikram certified teachers in Massachusetts at that time. I did many practices on my own or with groups of people as I taught them.
Bikram started his certification program in 1994. I rearranged my life and went to his second training in January 1995. There were only 30 people in my training. I felt an instant connection with Bikram. In posture clinics I was taught directly by Bikram how to read bodies (when to correct, how to correct, how much the individual body is capable of doing), how to teach people with positive outcomes, and how important this yoga is to the human body, mind, and soul.
I am committed to teaching Bikram yoga the very same way I was taught. I continue my study of this incredible series...
I am grateful to my teachers and especially to my students who help me to continue to grow.”
"Craig Villani is a passionate student of life. He began speaking publicly at age six and won national awards for writing before graduating high school. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, he entered into the developing field of health and fitness as a wellness consultant.
Craig has been teaching yoga since 1999 and served for nearly a decade as International Director of Education and Teacher Training for the Yoga College of India. Throughout his tenure, he guided thousands of yoga instructors and facilitators through what was widely considered one of the most challenging and successful hatha yoga training programs in the world.
He has led thousands of classes and hundreds of seminars, workshops, lectures, conferences, and retreats throughout the world, focusing on yoga therapy, mindfulness, and integrative health. Internationally recognized for his expertise in professional development and leadership, Craig’s practical and accessible teaching style is grounded in efficacy, precision, and a somewhat irreverent sense of humor.
Throughout his travels, Craig has had the privilege of teaching and consulting exceptional people from exceptional careers, including health care professionals, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, salespersons, professional athletes, military personnel, stay-at-home parents, educators, firefighters, and law enforcement officers. Based out of Los Angeles, he has counted many luminaries of the entertainment industry among his regular students.
Fortunate to be afforded a wealth of unique opportunities, Craig is trained in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness practice, martial arts, transcendental meditation, raja yoga, holistic health, yoga therapy and philosophy, competitive athletics and weightlifting, nutritional counseling, integrative healing, business administration, physics, psychology, and poetry.
Craig believes that education is freedom and focuses his energies to support organizations that share his conviction. He is grateful to assist Plan International USA in their mission to improve the quality of education for all children of the developing world; Uprising Yoga, which brings yoga to the Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall; the Kokua Hawaii Foundation in their support of environmental education in schools and communities throughout Hawaii; and A Glimmer of Hope, which lifts women and children out of extreme poverty through health and education.
A singer/songwriter and big fan of lazy Sundays, Craig is confident that Self-realization can be attained in a shady hammock on a warm beach with an old guitar, a cool drink, and a good friend. He has taught yoga in India and even knows a few Sanskrit words. Born in New Jersey, Craig resides in Los Angeles, CA."
Jason Wynn In 1996, Jason Winn was listening to the Joey Reynolds AM radio show while living in New York City. Bikram Choudhury came on the show and was only supposed to speak for 15 minutes, but ended up talking about Yoga for more than five hours. Jason was intrigued by Bikram and his claim to be able to take you to "cosmic consciousness." He signed up for Bikram's seminar in NYC – and said he'd never found anything more physically challenging in his life – and this was after many years of competing in triathlons, marathons and ocean swims. Jason was hooked on Bikram Yoga! He graduated from the teacher training program in the summer of 1997 and studied with Bikram and Emmy Cleaves in Los Angeles, leading Bikram's advanced class at the headquarters. Jason later went on to host seminars and retreats all around the world to ever-growing popular demand. His studio in Laguna Beach, which he opened with his sister Melissa, was known as an oasis for yogis who travelled from all over the world to take class from him.
A teacher who lead by example, Jason was wise and strong enough to give correction to posture exactly when needed – objectively, encouragingly and always from his heart. During recent years, Jason dedicated time to the US Yoga Federation on its journey to the Olympics. He was the shining star in the Bikram Yoga community and will be deeply and sadly missed by anyone who was blessed to have met him, inside or outside the room. Bikram was teaching a seminar in NYC and Joey Reynolds was in attendance on May 22, 2010 – the same day Jason left this earth.