All the teachers at Village Yoga are certified personally by Bikram from Bikram’s Yoga College of India.
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*More photos and profiles on the way
I took my first Bikram Yoga class in San Francisco in 1997 and felt so amazing that I knew I wanted to practice yoga for the rest of my life!!! Bikram yoga has had a profound effect on my physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. A consistent, dedicated practice has allowed me to get off of daily medications for asthma that I had taken throughout my childhood and well into my 20s. Ahhhh, being able to breathe deeply is a real treasure!
Importantly, my practice has helped me navigate my way through the ups and downs that life presents while maintaining a deep sense of hope and peace. The mental, physical, emotional and spiritual strengths that this practice gives me are priceless gifts; I cherish these gifts deeply and practice to embody them. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for this practice, for how it has changed and shaped my life, and most importantly for the amazing friends and family that it has brought into my life. I love being at the studio and truly feel that it is an honor to share this yoga and its many gifts with all of those who come to class. See you at the studio!
At 24, after 21 years of dancing (ballet, modern, jazz, tap) I needed a new way of stretching my body. I was perpetuating bad habits and felt stuck in my progression. I found myself in a hot, sweaty yoga class at Global Yoga in San Francisco. I never looked back. I thought I would incorporate both dancing and yoga but it took me several months before I could. The yoga wiped me out at first and at the same time left me feeling alive and peaceful. I knew I just needed to let the yoga alone work it’s magic in me. When I went back to dance class, I was stronger, more flexible, had great stamina and I felt better than ever.
For me working with my body has never been just that. It has always been a way to connect with the spirit of joy and connect with my soul. The 26 postures are like coming home. They allow me to be who I am, they give me comfort, they challenge me, they make me honest, they make me grateful and most importantly they show me how physical well being and the states of balance, peace and love take constant vigilance. Now, I just dance with my kids.
When I was 16, I began feeling an unexplained pain in my hip and right leg. It became difficult to walk or sit up. After an initial misdiagnosis, I was told I had a bulging disc and began physical therapy. I healed, then 3 months later I sneezed and found myself on the floor in excruciating pain, unable to move. This episode ended with me in the ER and a shot of morphine to release the muscle spasms. This scenario repeated itself several times until at 19 an MRI revealed my disc between L3 and L4 had burst into my spinal canal and taken up 70% of the space where my nerves reside. I could no longer move my right toes as my nerves discontinued to respond. I had back surgery within a week. A year later I had knee surgery on my right knee from a torn ACL and a complete reconstruction of my medial meniscus. I was 190 lbs. from 4 years of inactivity. Something needed to change. I was 20 years old and never having been physically active, I threw myself into physical therapy and through this path, I found Bikram Yoga. Our bodies are the temples of our mind and spirit. My experience taught me never to take for granted the health of our bodies. To cultivate the mind, body and spirit in 90 minutes, everyday, opens my heart to appreciate every precious moment we are given and have earned.
My life was a mess and I was constantly confused, I wasn’t really sure I had any strength at all. Then one day a friend of mine said I should go with her to this yoga class, a Bikram yoga class! At this point I had just started hearing about yoga and didn’t think I had it in me to pull through. I was hesitant and unsure of my ability to stick with 90 minutes of yoga in a heated room when I pretty much knew nothing about yoga. My friend took me to this class and immediately I was hooked. I called her the next day and asked her when we could go back. I never knew I had the patience in me to stay on my mat and look at myself in the mirror for that extended amount of time. When I started practicing Bikram yoga, I didn’t feel as though I had much. I soon dedicated myself to a diligent practice. I found myself in that room three to four times a week until it turned into everyday. I worked hard, I focused, and stayed in the room, on my mat, until I knew I could do this.
It wasn’t long until I realized I wanted to go to teacher training, to find more of an inner strength. I wanted to know that I was strong enough to do anything, and that is exactly what Bikram yoga has done for me. Being a teacher has given me the gift of knowing I can handle the uncomfortable moments both on and off my mat. I know that on any given day, I can get up and do what needs to be done. I now know that with patience, diligence, focus, and determination, anything is possible. Bikram yoga has moved me through some devastating life experiences. If it wasn’t for the yoga, I don’t know how I ever would have done it. Bikram yoga has given me an inner strength that is hard to put in words. It has also given me love, community and way of finding peace.
I grew up in Corralitos with a hippy mom and a redneck father. As a kid, I spent most of my time on a horse or a dirtbike. Even as a young teen, my hips and shoulders were very tight; not only from physical patterns, but also from holding on to emotional burdens that I didn’t want to share with others. I was a senior in highschool when two friends and I tried the locals special in Soquel. Shortly after, I moved out of town to study math at UC Davis. During winter and summer vacations, I looked forward to practicing Bikram’s method. During school I took Vinyasa classes to occupy my yogic curiosity. I was enthused to learn that a Bikram studio was opening in Davis! I eagerly awaited the Biki Palace and saw the seedling studio grow to a strong community. The owner encouraged me to go to training. At the time I found this dream very unrealistic. But then I realized that I’d already been dealt all the cards I needed. I’ve experienced and witnessed the blossoming beauty this yoga brings. My practice continually forces me to trust myself and not to fear flexibility. I’m learning to graciously accept and share the blessings bombarding me. I am exponentially thankful for those who have illuminated my path.
I came to Village Yoga shortly after it’s opening in the Spring of 2001. Although I had maintained a fairly active lifestyle, I found Bikram Yoga to be both challenging and very healing. I was confronted by some very different ideas about physical, mental and spiritual well being. The asanas stress the importance of strength, flexibility, alignment and discipline…the very building blocks of spiritual development.
My career as an airline pilot for United Airlines exposes me to the rigors of constant travel. Yoga counteracts the negative effects of a demanding lifestyle and helps restore me to a place of balance and health. Teaching allows me to give back some of the gifts that have been bestowed upon me. I am eternally grateful to Sally, Amy and Bikram for the blessings of yoga and the yoga community.
I grew up swimming and loving the constant challenge of always trying to improve on my times. I had tried different types of yoga and had enjoyed some of the sessions but when I tried Bikram I was immediately taken by the discipline, flexibility, balance, meditation and concentration of the practice.
The teachers at Village Yoga were always warm and encouraging me through my practice to concentrate on what I wanted and to understand that I had to have patience to slowly see it unfold. I learned to breathe. I learned to be calm inside even when I was being pushed to my limits. I started to have more patience with myself and my loved ones and genuinally felt like I could do anything. My swimming improved and I just felt better in my skin.
Teacher training showed me that I could do anything I put my mind to and I left that experience with a feeling that I wanted to share the love of Yoga with ordinary people looking to change their lives.
For me teaching is about challenging yourself to do something that you think you can’t. To learn that with hard work and effort anything is possible. For students to understand that we are all different: backrounds, beliefs, flexibility, strength, balance. For students to understand that they have the power to make changes in their lives just by making a commitment to them. For students to understand that just by showing up to class on any given day the series just might surprise them. Village Yoga is a place to be supported in their quest. It is a place where you can be a part of something bigger, a community of people supporting each other in their journey for change.
About five years ago I announced to the universe that I wanted my life to change. I was tired of feeling average physically, disconnected mentally, and confused spiritually. The universe delivered me to Bikram Choudry's yoga series. I come from a decently diverse physical background and have been exposed to lots of workouts and disciplines; this yoga, for me, resides in a league all its own. I have never seen anything that comes close in its ability to develop FUNCTIONAL strength and balance in the human body AND be available to absolutely anyone who would like to try it.
My favorite thing about this yoga right now is that the benefits (and they are endless) are simply a by-product of a meditation. A 90 minute, active, moving meditation which brings you to a version of your body that you have absolutely no idea even exists. I'm not generally comfortable making such blanketed statements as the one I just made, but in this case I am. If you practice this yoga series with any manner of consistency you will, quite literally, release a version of your body that is lying dormant even as you read this. It wants so badly to come out!! So if you're to the point that you are reading the bios of the teachers of this yoga....it's time. Come on in and let's get this party started. PEACE
Dragged into the old Soquel studio after months of first-timer yoga anxiety, there I was, an out of shape teenager, gulping down my first dose of that sweet yogi ether. It was a love-hate relationship right from the start. I had never felt so alive, yet I was terrified of ever going back!
Again, months later when I did return, it was addicting and IT-WAS-ON. I practiced my heart out almost everyday, leaving many of my young friends (especially the "dudes") suspect of my transformation. I didn't care, I loved it, it was my own thing. It was exactly what I needed that year, after losing my mom to cancer. Soon the layers of the onion began to peel away.
In ways I could never have imagined, Bikram's method nurtured my being. The yoga enabled me find a determination and purpose within. Virtues which have allowed me to stand up to my fears and be confidently guided by my own inner voice. The yoga was a powerful, dynamic prescription for health. I became increasingly strong and fit in my body, mind and spirit. After three years of regular practice I wanted to domino my experience to everyone I knew.
It became clear that it was not just an option to go to teacher training, but a karmic responsibility. Nine weeks in the torture chamber (not really, Hawaii was amazing) was the gateway to sharing my passion for yoga. I continue now to practice and teach at Village Yoga, as it is a vital aspect of who I am. Inside the downtown studio I feel at home with a righteous community of yogis who never cease to inspire. Without fail, I always leave the studio feeling revitalized for life with my spine straight and my head high! I am privileged to be a grain of sand on the beautiful beach of Village Yoga!
I practice Bikram Yoga because it helps me live better. How? Well, it’s a lot like brushing my teeth. No, it’s not glamorous, but I do it because it works. It feels good and curbs the potential for unnecessary suffering. I’m committed to the practice, and the regularity of the routine forces me to continually assess what I’ve got, see how it’s working, or not working for me… I show up, face myself in the mirror and deal with everything that comes up: physically, emotionally, mentally. I pretty much do the same thing every time, so I know the territory well and it’s becoming easier to notice subtle changes as they occur. I may not always feel like doing it, but I’m never sorry that I did. My dentist tells me diligence is the key and I’ve found this advice to be solid. The price of neglect is both expensive and painful. Generally speaking, brushing my teeth and yoga are good habits to have and I plan on keeping them up; however, too much of anything is not a good idea, so moderation still applies.
Peace; may you find the right balance. Show up, work hard, never give up! I wish you health and happiness. Hope to see you in class soon!
When I found Bikram Yoga, I knew I found something that would change my life. From that first day to now, through teacher training, life, divorce, and lots of physical and mental strain, it is still the love of my life. I am grateful to share that with students through my example, teaching, and the relationships that I have built through a daily practice. My life would not be the same without it; I am eternally grateful, proud and thankful for each student, family member, and friend that comes to work their hardest to be the best they can be in this life! Thank you!
Bikram Yoga is the fountain of youth. I came to this practice with a broken body from years of competitive snowboarding. After the first class, I felt the benefits right away. I had bad shoulders, hips, wrists, knees and ankles. I was basically a mess. Many postures were extremely uncomfortable even painful but I felt a connection to something more powerful than I could ever imagine. I started with one class a week, then two, three, four until I finally dedicated myself to a daily practice. My body began to change and heal rapidly; I was losing weight, gaining flexibility, strength, concentration, determination and focus. I believe the Yoga room is parallel universe to our daily lives. There are countless lessons to be learned in there about ourselves that we carry over into every day life. It is a place of healing, a source of strength, awareness,compassion, community and self realization. I teach an energetic class mixed with fun, humor and awareness of our bodies in the tradition passed on to me by my teacher Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury. I graduated from the Palm Desert spring 2009 Teacher Training, was selected for the graduation demonstration team and received the award for the Best Male Yogi. I’ve attended Bikrams Advanced Seminar and took 2ndin the 2010 NorCal Hatha Yoga Asana Championshipswhich took me to LA to compete in the 2010 Bishnu Ghosh Cup. Ive taught all over the US, Peru, Australia and Bali.When Im not practicing or teaching Yoga, I enjoy surfing, snowboarding, camping and adventure. See ya in the hot room!
I am a licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a private therapy practice in Downtown Santa Cruz. I also work for Hospice of the Valley in San Jose. I first cam to Village Yoga in the spring of 2001 and two years later went to teacher training in LA to study with Bikram. I am honored and blessed to be both a student and a teacher at Village Yoga. I don’t know what I would do without my yoga practice. Yoga is a very powerful path to healing and growth and I wish the blessings of yoga for everyone.
Yoga has been a staple of my life since I was 16. A decade later I am still going strong. From the beginning I knew “THIS IS IT”! I knew in my heart yoga would always be a major part of my life. I feel as if all the secrets to living life in a state of harmony and bliss are achieved through a regular practice. The profound transformation that occurs in a 90 minute Bikram class is monumental. Everything in life affects ones yoga practice; every emotion, worry, insecurity, negativity is reflected in ones practice. Therefore we are able to gain new insight and clarity on how to transform and heal our weaknesses. The practice of yoga continually gives me a new perspective on life. Yoga has guided me on how to live from a place of inner peace and stability. Yoga has tought me to live from a place of true inner peace, kindness, love, compassion, stability, clarity, and focus. Through my practice I have witnessed an inner growth and transformation with each session.
Yoga is a union between the mind, body, and spirit. It is within the yoking of these qualities one learns how to “BE” and embody “true peace”. Through a regular practice I have discovered my inner truth. I’ve felt what is to be one with the divine. I learned how to be whole, complete & at peace.
On my mat I cultivate all the beautiful qualities I want to embody as a positive being. It is my time to BE… it is my time to become clear...it is my time to get connected to the one source. In only 90 minutes I release days of stress and I am reminded life is what I make of it. This is the place where I manifest, cultivate and create the life I want to live.
Teaching yoga is one of the biggest blessings in the world. To share this sacred practice with the world is a small but powerful way of creating presence and peace on the planet. I have traveled the globe teaching yoga and have witnessed how massive our Bikram Yoga family is. It is though our dedication to the practice of yoga that we are felt worldwide. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of such a loving yoga community. We are blessed!
This is what yoga is to me…it is a beautiful gift…enjoy!
Bikram yoga is the healing modality I use as my diagnostic tool on a daily basis to check-in and take an honest look at what is going on inside of me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is a process of self-discovery using traditional therapeutic hatha yoga postures.
The first time I tried Bikram yoga was after several years of doing other styles of yoga. I decided to get a monthly-unlimited yoga package. I practiced as much as I could (about 4 times a week) and by the end of one month I found that my body had improved, stretched and opened more during those four weeks than the three years prior when I was doing other styles of yoga. I was amazed!
The heat helped by adding a protective barrier for my muscles allowing my body to move deeper into the postures. Improvement was easy to attain and monitor because I was practicing the same rhythm of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises each time I walked into class.
Another huge benefit of Bikram's methodology is the precision of the oral tradition keeping the intention of the lineage pure. It invariably leads to powerful and addictive classes. When I walk into class, the constant is ALWAYS the yoga and the variable is ALWAYS the connection between my body and my mind.
The more I practice the more I appreciate the intelligent design of the series and the brilliance of the perfectly placed savasanas between each posture. Savasana holds the light and stillness where we are all one. Savasana births each inspired asana and together with the breath grows the posture into the leading edge of the present moment, within our physical time/space reality. It is absolutely fascinating!
I am grateful and delighted and dazzled every time I walk out of class! And I love it!!! Let’s practice together. Come and join me at the 6am and start the day with joyful bliss!!
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Practicing Bikram Yoga has brought, health, strength, energy and vitality to my body and a connection to all things in my life in a deeper aspect than I had ever imagined possible. My view of beauty has expanded immensely. After decades of competitive sports and five knee surgeries my body was broken and I woke up feeling sore every morning. I could not walk down stairs and I had all sorts of aches and pains that I assumed was a natural part of growing old. After my first class, I felt a cleanness, I had never felt before in my life. After practicing Bikram yoga for only a few months, my aches and pains went away. My Ultimate Frisbee team members noticed my enhanced athletic performance and wanted to know what my secret was. Bikram yoga is no secret, it is like health juice for our minds and bodies. When I teach, I desire for every student to gain health and healing, and to feel tapped in to their powerful selves. Teaching Yoga has brought me so much joy. I am amazed and honored to work and be a part of this journey with the students at Village Yoga.Back to Top