JASON: Years ago I was a runner. 5ks, 10ks, and even planned on training for a marathon. One day I went running on the beach with really soft sand, and it felt great! I was in the zone enjoying the sun, the water, and felt I could go forever. The next day my calves and shins were excruciating!!! At the time I was working as a Physical Therapy Aide getting ready to apply to P.T. School, so I asked for advice from the therapists and did everything they recommended. It didn't work. Every time I ran, the same pain came back. Finally, I decided it was time for something new so I tried this yoga studio near where I lived. There were rules before you showed up for your first class however, you had to call and notify you were coming, you could only wear black, and only bring white towels. 45 min before class I called and left a message, 5 minutes later the owner graciously allowed me in with blue apparel and mismatch of colored towels.
During the class, I had 2 major thoughts: Who needs running, when you can do this? and "Wow, this would be amazing to teach."
I didn't find out much later that what I enjoyed so much was a Bikram yoga class and ended up in LA for the training in the Fall of 1999, met Cristina, and things fell in place in such a crazy way that we were open by March 1, 2000.
CRISTINA: My physical background is mainly in martial arts. I've done a lot of mind-body studies. I started with the Silva Method for MindControl when I was 19. I am a study hypnotherapy, NLP, Reconnection with E. Pearl....I'm constantly learning something. After 17 years of teaching, I can read people's bodies fairly well. I also can tell how an individual is relating to their environment, their practice by reading their body movements and facial expression. I believe in having a good base practice, meaning learning the discipline, the technical aspects and a general understanding of what a discipline practice is all about. If you like to read more about my bio, click here.
ALAN: After 25 years working in the chemical industry (traveling nearly every week) and subsequent health issues, friends at my local gym suggested I try Bikram Yoga. I was looking for a way to get back some of the flexibility I had as a dancer and college cheerleader and also to detox my body from years of abuse. When I walked into the heated room for the first time, I was a bit apprehensive… but after just 75 minutes I was hooked! After practicing for nearly 10 years this yoga continues to make me smile, inside and out. As a teacher I enjoy making sure the alignment in each posture is correct as possible. I feel sometimes a minor adjustment can make a world of difference. I 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 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.