Cintra Brown is a dedicated and knowledgeable yoga teacher with spiritual messages. Cintra met her teacher Bikram in 1987. Bikram certified her in 1991 and she holds a rare certificate from the Ghosh College of Physical Education in Calcutta. This is the same certification Bikram and Rajashree hold. Cintra was the founder of the first Bikram School in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was responsible for creating a huge and loyal following of students in love with her style, humour and deep humanity. Come to experience Cintra’s class, where you will learn, laugh and come away with her ‘Cintraisms’ which are part of her teachings that help take yoga off the mat and into your everyday life.
Nina started her yoga journey in Kerala, southern India, in the 90’s whilst flying around the world as cabin crew for a major airline. She tried several different styles of Yoga- ashtanga/ iyengar before she discovered Bikram yoga in London. By then she had landed herself, still working in the airline industry in London. Bikram yoga appealed to her, as the heat, sweat and hard work gave great results physically and emotionally. After major surgery in 2004, Nina found the recovery process made easier thanks to her regular yoga practice. She graduated from teacher training in Hawaii, 2007, leaving the airline industry after 21 years. In May 2012 Nina was diagnosed with breast cancer and has just completed ( February 2013 )9 months of gruelling treatment, 3 surgeries, chemotherapy, radiotherapy. Being physically and mentally strong helped her get through this very hard time in her life, once again a testament to the yoga. Come and practice, sweat, work hard, laugh out loud and above all enjoy life to its maximum.
After many years of working in the fashion industry as a fashion stylist and agent, Sam suffered chronic fatigue brought on by stress. She had always been active and healthy so was looking for natural ways to heal herself and started practising different styles of yoga before coming to Bikram in 2001. SHe graduated from Teacher Training in 2003 and has been a full time teacher since. Not only does she teach Bikram but has gone on to teach children, pre/post natal, vinyasa and floating yoga. Over the last two years she has been living and teaching in Singapore but is happy to be back to teach in London and bring her experience, insight and dedication to the students here. She has recently had published “Pregnancy Yoga” book and has been a regular contributor to Yoga Magazine.
It was my mum who persuaded me to go to my first Bikram Yoga class in Jersey and I went along expecting an easy stretch. Instead, I experienced a hot room that inspired and challenged me. The heat, sweat and frustration was all part of the class but what got me back was the feeling afterwards, the peace of mind and strength of body was like nothing I had experienced before. I moved to Brighton to study for a degree in English and continued my practice. It was during this time while studying for exams that I realized the mental benefits of yoga; the better concentration and focus. In 2009 I began my year by traveling through South America and New Zealand. I spent some time practicing in Chile and made the decision to go to teacher training that same year. I finished my travels by graduating in Fall 2009.
My name is Krzysztof and I am Polish, however I have lived in UK for over 10 years. I started my Yoga journey back in 2003 with Sivananda Ogranisation. After practicing Hatha Yoga for 3 years, life got in the way of my practice, and I stopped. However, my body really missed yoga. I really felt that I needed it. I started searching and got intrigued by hot Yoga called Bikram. I tried it and from the first second I knew, it was the right choice. It not only had great impact on my body, fixing my back problems, making it stronger, but challenging practice gave me focus and kept me sane. I realised that the sequence of postures designed by Bikram, practiced regularly brings different benefits to each person, depending upon wants and needs. I never felt better. It influenced my life so much, that after 6 months of regular practice I decided to go to Teacher Training, however I waited another year to get my practice stronger. I graduated in Spring 2011 and have been teaching since.
Louise is half Polish and was raised in London where she has lived all her life. She studied Drama and English at university and then went on to work in communications for various corporate organisations including Disney, NYSE and MasterCard. Having always worked out regularly at the gym and dance classes, Louise was introduced to Bikram yoga by a friend and after initial skepticism, was amazed by the mental and physical benefits of the practice and especially how it helped to ease her anxiety and the stress related stomach disorders she had suffered from for several years. Louise has a strong interest in holistic healing and natural therapies and the connection between a healthy mind and body. She loves teaching new students and firmly believes Bikram is for everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. She also enjoys the sense of unity that comes from practicing with others and the shared joy of breaking through physical and mental challenges.
I first started Bikram Yoga to lose weight. Like many other students, I wanted to change my body. After beginning Bikram Yoga in 2009, my life took a complete 180-degree turn. Within the first few months the weight was falling off and toned muscles started appearing. I grew in love with the yoga, the physical changes were great, but it was the changes in my mind, which really led me to become a Bikram Yoga Teacher. Becoming calmer more focused, and stronger minded, I realised how much I want to share this amazing yoga with as many people as possible. I encourage students to practice patience with no expectations, and to keep trying every single day. Every time you come back to your mat, ‘you start again from the scratch’ and make yourself new again; physically and mentally. “It’s never too late, you just have to try.”
Richie used to suffer chronic indigestion, hip and back pain due to scoliosis in his spine, which brought him to Bikram yoga in 2003. Thanks to the yoga, he now has great digestion and has been pain-free for years. He feels incredibly blessed to have Bikram yoga in his life on a daily basis. Richie eventually graduated from teacher training in Spring 2007. He has taught extensively in the U.S., including San Franisco, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, as well as in Vienna, Austria, and all over the U.K. He has been mentored by and worked with some of the most dedicated senior teachers in Bikram yoga, and for this he is truly grateful. In his colourful life, he spent years in marketing at Charles Worthington, worked at Disney, entertained and taught ballroom dancing on cruise ships and has sold sports equipment on TV’s shopping channels where you can still watch him today. He loves reading, but most of all, he enjoys walking around the city looking at all the old and new. Richie is one of the most inspirational and passionate Bikram teachers out there. Every one of his classes is a unique experience and you will come away with lots of food for thought, energy and an enlightened mind. “Thanks to these amazing 26 postures, I have experienced great change in my physical, mental and emotional well being. Inspiration – look for it everywhere. Pain is inevitable, suffering is chosen.” Richard Caveney
As frequently heard, Bikram Yoga really did change Sindy’s life. After narrowly escaping death in the 2004 tsunami, she suffered severe post-traumatic stress and actively sought to combat her anxieties without medication. Initially, she discovered meditation and relaxation yoga techniques on a beach in Thailand with friends. Upon returning to London, she decided to try Bikram Yoga and, although it wasn’t exactly “relaxing on a beach,” loved it immediately. Working every bodily system provided the complete physical and mental release that enabled her to change her entire outlook. By finding calmness and balance through her practice, virtually all her anxieties began to disappear. Never looking back, Sindy graduated from teacher training in November 2009 and has loved the journey with her students ever since!
Rachel has been teaching full-time at Bikram Yoga Leicester since 2006 and numerous other studios along the way including Prague, Mumbai and now London. Prior to teaching Bikram Rachel was a ‘Street’ Youth Worker for many years and worked supporting young people to achieve their full potential and although she loved this work her first Bikram class changed her life forever and was very soon in LA on the teacher training. She now throughly enjoys teaching full-time and willing the students to sweat, ‘kill themselves’ and then find much much more about themselves and life than they could have ever imagined.
After spending many years in the corporate world, Bikram yoga really helped me de-stress and feel great. I had developed bad postural habits and RSI in my right arm and also suffered a major trauma in 2007. Bikram yoga has helped me overcome all this and heal on many levels – physically and spiritually. (Not to mention help me lose a bit of pre-wedding weight!). I soon became addicted to the yoga and what first started out as one or two classes a week become very quickly at least five classes a week and it was only a matter of time before I decided to go to teacher training in Fall 2012! Bikram yoga has given me so much over the years that I want to share it with as many people as possible, so that for whatever reason it was they chose to step into the hot room, they will feel the benefits on as many levels as I have.
I first started Bikram in 2003 to lose weight… And I did dropping from a size 14 to 8, Immediately feel in love with the practice after looking better, feeling better and even making me think better I knew this was a turning point in my work hard play hard life. From Personal Shopper, Stylist to Training Co-Ordinator I would have never believed my path would lead to Bikram Yoga instructor. I started practicing everyday and attending Bikram Teacher Training in LA 2011. I am a true believer in loving what you do and no matter what when something is right for you it will happen. Since becoming a Bikram Teacher I found a true balance in every aspect of my life from work to social, spending time with friends and family and even found spirituality. “Bikram Yoga inspired me to believe you should always LOVE what you do and do what you LOVE, Through Persistence and Faith in yourself anything is possible. BE FEARLESS.”
Born in Vietnam, Ky Ha grew up and has lived in Houston, TX since the age of 3. Growing up, Ky has suffered numerous car accidents and as a result incurred chronic ailments throughout his body. He took his first Bikram Yoga class in July of 2003 at the request of a friend and found something that truly changed his life. By practicing Bikram yoga, Ky has healed his chronic knee pain and lower back pain due to the numerous car accidents. “I hated going to class so much in the beginning. I was so weak and inflexible, I couldn’t even touch my toes.” Through sweat and determination, Ky has practiced yoga everyday since then and has made a transformation of his mind, body and soul. Ky was encouraged to become a teacher so that he may share with everyone how the yoga has benefited him and changed his life in the same way that it is able to for anybody else who practices. Ky Ha attended and graduated from Bikram Yoga’s teacher training in the summer of 2004 and since has gone on to compete in the International Yoga Championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Ky emerged as champion in the 2007 Championship and has since been embarking on a world tour to promote Bikram Yoga.
I started doing yoga at 12! I watched my older sister (who i thought was very cool) doing yoga on the beach on holiday and I copied. From that point on I was doing one form of yoga or another until I stumbled upon a Bikram studio whilst at university studying Fine Art in Philadelphia USA in 2000. I immediately loved the heat, the sweat and the amazing benefits of the practise. I found it helped not just my body but calm my mind, and improved my focus and creativity. Since university I have worked in Fashion Design and run art workshops in Uganda and Cape Town and am Currently Head of Creative Arts at a secondary school. I graduated Bikram teacher training in Fall 2010 and since then have used my school holidays to travel and teach in amazing places in the world. I love teaching this yoga, I love learning from the students, relating to peoples struggles and achievements, helping them on their journeys to the best version of themselves and sharing the beauty of this life changing practise.
Karen Preece Smith
Karen has been teaching yoga for 6 years since qualifying as a Bikram teacher in Hawaii in Fall 2007. She has also been teaching pregnancy yoga for the last 3 years. Karen likens the Bikram sequence to a dance, using the breath to guide you through. She has seen the rehabilitating effects of the yoga through various hip and knee injuries herself and in the the positive results of the many students she teaches. She loves imparting knowledge and awareness to students so that they can use the tools of the yoga to heal themselves. When not at the yoga studio, Karen also works as a freelance Fashion and Beauty Journalist for various magazines and has recently started part-time study at the ION to become a qualified nutritional therapist.
Darielle discovered Bikram yoga in 2009. A friend recommended that she take a Bikram yoga class after she fell off a horse and was left with an achy lower back. After one class she was hooked. The yoga healed her back and transformed her life. Both physically and emotionally the benefits of Bikram yoga became apparent. A keen runner and figure skater Darielle was always strong but inflexible – the yoga has helped change her body, as well as bringing peace and calm to her life. Over time Darielle has build up a regular practice, making friends and learning from other students and teachers. Eager to strengthen her own practice and keen to share the benefits of Bikram Yoga with other enthusiastic students Darielle went to teacher training in autumn 2012. She now fits in teaching alongside her job as a Communications Manager for the NHS. Her favourite posture is Triangle and her goal is to touch her forehead to the floor in Standing Separate Leg Stretching pose.
Born and raised in Germany and having moved to London in 2004, Iris started doing Bikram yoga in 2010 after a friend recommended it to her for her ongoing back problems. Having suffered from lower back issues, sciatica and knee problems for years, she felt immediate relief and improvement despite the initially challenging heat. Through regular practice and a lot of sweat, dedication and self-discipline that she had never known before, she now feels healthier, more focused and balanced than ever. Iris feels immensely grateful to be able to share this mentally and physically healing practice with her students.
Ros loves her sofa, and is rarely happier than when she is sitting on it with a brand new box set of DVDs and a cup of coffee. But towards the end of 2008 she realized that the sofa was not going to help her tone up for the Christmas party season, so she grabbed a willing friend and headed to her first Bikram Yoga class. Four and a half years later she had not only toned up, but also relieved chronic shoulder and neck pain, coached her tired knees through a successful London Marathon, and decided that she wanted to share her discovery with as many people as possible. In Spring 2013 she attended teacher training with Bikram in Los Angeles. Ros knows that Bikram yoga is a fantastic leveller, that everybody can do it, and that progress often comes when you least expect it. She teaches with humour and compassion and firmly believes that every class should be a celebration of the strength of will and good intention that brought you into the room that day.
Hasan has been doing different forms of exercise for years but nothing ever made him feel like his first Bikram class! The combination of the intensity of class and then the feeling after Hasan was hooked from his first class and has been practicing since. ‘I love the journey of yoga and always learning more about all the aspects. Yoga has really changed my mindset for the better’. Hasan previously worked as a youth worker with children in youth justice system and young people on the autistic spectrum so is used to dealing with people who struggle to express themselves or have physical barriers, Hasan takes a particular interest in helping people achieve their full potential and believes this yoga is the way to do it, his advice now is get to yoga!! Hasan also encouraged his mother who has arthritis in her knees and 4 screws in her back from prolapsed discs to practice and to his and his mother’s delight has watched her go from strength to strength and completed a 30 day challenge. Hasan believes this yoga really is for everybody and everybody should do it!
Meditation and yoga have been a part of Nishita’s upbringing but she could never find the style of yoga that suited her – nothing was satisfying. She stumbled across a Bikram Yoga studio in Brussels in 2008 and was hooked. She then moved backed to London and found the hot room a sanctuary amongst the chaos. She was able to zone out and find time for herself. Nishita has taken on many challenges herself, like climbing Kilimanjaro and rowing the English Channel. Bikram Yoga has always prepared her for such feats, both physically and mentally. “Every class there is something new to learn about yourself, physically or mentally; it’s a never ending process”. She knew she had to share her passion so intensified her practice, spent time with insightful teachers, completed challenges, went on the Ibiza Retreat and went on Teacher Training. Nishita believes the discipline, repetition, sequence and heat makes Bikram Yoga the perfect Yoga for the western world, taking everyone on a journey of self discovery.
Dubbed ‘The Legend’ by her colleagues and students, Naomi is famed for her sense of humour, experience, and old school Bikram Style; Raw Foodist, Super Foodist, Mummy, Adventurer, Blogger, Truth Speaker and Seeker, she can often be found slurping Acai smoothies in Brighton’s Guarana Bar after a sweaty practice, advising teachers-to-be and those wanting to open a yoga studio, or reviewing new products and writing reviews for the best super greens for hot room performance whilst planning her next exciting yoga travel collaboration, before haring off on the school run! Life is busy, but most importantly full of JOY which Naomi believes in greatly!
I started practicing Bikram Yoga thanks to a series of coincidences (if you believe in them). I used to run 6/7 miles, 4 times a week and ended up with an injury in the right calf, caused by lack of proper stretching after each running session. At the time I happened to work with an Indian guy who advised me to try some yoga, so I went online to look for Yoga Studios near my area. I had no idea that there was an “hot” kind of Yoga, but it sounded interesting, so I got down to the Studio and was greeted by the receptionist with a “don’t worry, you’ll get addicted”. Needless to say I was hooked immediately. Practiced for 18 months straight, almost everyday, and experienced a complete life transformation. After attending a Master class led by Craig Villani in August 2009 I decided this was my calling and went to Teacher Training. I graduated in the Spring 2010 and have been teaching since, feeling absolutely blessed and extremely grateful to be able to help people with this amazing practice.
Alessandro Mauro Vanegas
Born and raised in London, England, Alex took his first Bikram yoga class whilst finishing his Masters degree and was immediately drawn to the powerful healing and transformative effects of the yoga. Alex loves how Bikram yoga attracts such a diverse range of people who, through regular practice, can achieve an incalculable range of mental and physical benefits. He firmly believes we all become better through yoga. Alex’s goal is to try help people to positively change their lives through the simple yet powerful practice of Bikram yoga.
Donna started her yoga journey in 2001, and discovered Bikram Yoga in August 2008. She is certified with the British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Alliance. Together with being a Certified NLP Master Practitioner and Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher. Donna loves the positive effects yoga has on the mind and body. She became a teacher so that she can share her passion for yoga with anyone that will listen. The most rewarding thing about teaching is that she gets to share her love and enthusiasm for yoga and help others to make lasting changes in their lives for the better.