CRISTINA: Thirteen years ago, a friend invited me to join her to try a Bikram Yoga class at a studio on Cheshire Bridge. At the time, I was doing a lot of rock climbing and weight lifting and I had never done a yoga class before, but something about the fact that the room was heated had me intrigued. Jason taught my first class and while I certainly was a mess in the postures, I left that class feeling amazing. I immediately signed up for a package. After a few months, I started coming to yoga more and rock climbing and going to the gym less and about a year later, yoga was my full time form of exercise.
JASON: Shortly after college a good friend of mine introduced me to pilates, yoga and the sauna. We would take class followed by relaxing in the sauna. Class was great, but the sauna left me feeling cleansed from inside out. Soon I stumbled upon my first Bikram yoga class. The combination of yoga postures in the hot room was brilliant. I was hooked. I attended teacher training in the spring of 2008 and have been teaching since. I enjoy being a yoga teacher just as much as I enjoy being a yoga student. The best part of my day is being amongst a group of people moving, breathing, practicing and learning together. It's pure and simple ~ yoga strengthens the body, feeds the mind and uplifts the soul.
ALAN: I came to yoga a bit later in life than most. After 25 years working in the chemical industry (travelling nearly every week) and subsequent health issues, it was suggested I try Bikram Yoga by friends at my local gym. I was looking for a way to get back some of the flexibility I had as a dancer and college cheerleader and also detoxing my body from years of abuse. Boy, did I ever find what I was searching for! When I walked into that heated room for the first time, I was a bit apprehensive… but after just 75 minutes I was hooked! More and more I came to really enjoy my time in the heat. After practicing for nearly 7 years, it continues to make me smile, both inside and out.
As a teacher I enjoy making sure body alignments in each posture are fundamentally as correct as possible. I feel that sometimes just a minor adjustment can make a world of difference. I have an eye for detail and can be a stickler, at times, for pointed toes and erect postures, but there is always a method to my madness. Most of all, I like transferring the happiness I feel when I practice this style of yoga to my students. Smiling and laughing a bit more is always a good thing for everyone.
AYODELE: As a youth, Ayodele was exposed to many forms of ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practices. On a particular visit from college, her mother took her to a hot yoga class. Less than 20 minutes into the practice, while standing there, hot as all else, something clicked. It was like magic. And she never looked backed. Beginning with a Hatha Raja practice, then moving to Bikram yoga, Ayodele would complete Be Hot Yoga Atlanta’s inaugural Teacher Training and Apprentice Program. She has completed multiple trainings, and workshops since then, most recently, Core26+ and Thef Neteru Sema Paut.
DIANA: Many times when I tell someone I am a yoga teacher, I hear “Yoga saved my life.” That is exactly what it did for me. I took my first class at Be Hot Yoga in 2007, and I realized immediately that yoga could help me during a difficult time in my life. I began to feel stronger, both physically and mentally, and calmer as well. I feel better and healthier now than at any point in my life thanks to this powerful practice. In addition to the excellent training at Be Hot Yoga I have taken several seminars with leaders in the yoga field. I have also studied the Vedic Scriptures and Yoga Sutras which are the philosophical basis for all yoga, as well as taking classes relating to energy work and healing. I am so grateful to be able to share this yoga with others as a teacher at this amazing studio!
KATHY: I started practicing hot yoga with Cristina & Jason in 2001 & went to teacher training in 2002. From the first class (with Cristina...everyone remembers their first teacher, right?) I was hooked & knew I wanted to do this yoga for the rest of my life FOR my life. When I started taking yoga classes I had been a therapist for 20+ years & I believe this hot, sweaty, detoxing yoga brought a new level to my work with people. I like the combination of being a teacher, student & therapist. In each role I learn something that I can give back.
SUZANNE: I have been an avid exerciser my entire life. In my 20’s I was a marathon runner, weight lifter, aerobics fanatic. As a hairdresser I interact with lots of women, and I noticed the women who were aging the most beautifully and gracefully had one thing in common – yoga. I decided to try it for myself. I made my way to Be Hot Yoga Atlanta about 15 years ago and have been there ever since. After training at BHY I was inspired to study the Vedas and Yoga Sutras, journey to India, and attend numerous continuing education seminars. I am fascinated by both the physical and philosophical aspects of yoga. Yoga has affected every aspect of my life and made me more grounded, balanced, and focused. I am so grateful to have found this practice and to be able to teach it to others.