I took my first Bikram Yoga class in Bangkok, early 2003, partly the motivation a New Year brings living in a new city and also a curiosity for yoga and the feeling I would enjoy it. I immediately fell in love with the series of postures, the heat, the sweat, dialogue, teachers and euphoric feeling afterwards.
After seven years of consistent practice in Dublin, a 60 day challenge and multiple 30 day challenges I decided the time was right and completed the teacher training in Los Angeles Fall 2012. Teaching Bikram Yoga full-time has exceeded by wildest expectations, I’ve made great friends around the globe – teachers, staff and students and I’ve been lucky to travel and teach in five studios over Ireland, Mexico, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leicester and now I’m delighted to be part of Bikram Yoga Bristol. Looking forward to seeing you all in the hot, humid, sweaty room.
Ian’s introduction to Bikram Yoga was somewhat unique. In the midst of refurbishing his home in London in 2004 and faced with the dilemma of not having a bathroom for a week, he thought that the Introductory Offer (£30 for 30 Days) at the local Bikram Yoga studio conveniently located around corner was very attractive as it would provide much needed bathroom amenities at the basement price of £1 per day and as a bonus some much needed stretching after experiencing IT Band problems in the New York Marathon the year prior. After completing the 30 Day Intro Offer Ian says he felt better than he had in 10 years and although the home amenities issue was resolved within weeks, Ian continued to practice Bikram Yoga for years thereafter, subsequently attending the 2010 Teacher Training held in Las Vegas.
Ian considers Bikram Yoga to be “an amazingly sharp tool that is both versatile and universal when it comes to restoring an old broken body and calming a restless mind!”
When Laura heard a friend talking about Bikram Yoga in December 2005 she thought it sounded like a good way to come in from the cold and resolved to try it the next day. Little did she know what a great impact it would have on her life. She immediately loved the class and quickly became a regular and eager practitioner.
It wasn’t until much later that she started to see the possibility that she could become a Bikram Yoga teacher and went to Bikram’s Teacher Training in Palm Springs California. Laura has been teaching at Bikram Yoga Bristol since the day it opened. As well as teaching in Bristol Laura teaches in Chiswick, West London and has taught at several other Bikram Yoga studios in London.
Laura loves the strong global community of Bikram Yoga and was delighted to have the opportunity to teach in Melbourne, Australia while visiting her sister. Laura finds teaching extremely rewarding, and is constantly inspired by watching students develop their practice. Maintaining her own practice is also very important to her and she hopes that she is able to inspire others too. Laura attended Bikram’s Advanced Seminar in Malta in 2011, which was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the Advanced series. It’s a series of 84 postures which is both challenging and humbling but Laura hopes to take Bristol students to another level of their practice by offering them the opportunity to discover this series for themselves.
I was looking for a gym when I stumbled over the Bristol Bikram Yoga website, I knew I needed to find something to compliment all the high cardio work I was doing so thought I would go along. I love mornings so thought I would try the 6.45am session, the class went by very quickly and I was not sure what had really happened but I knew I wanted to go again. When my introductory offer expired I bought a ten class card but quickly found myself craving the hot room more and more, it seemed like a lot of money to commit to the autopay but then I thought about how much I spent on a night out and realised this was so much better for me and it was time to invest in myself mentally and physically.
I signed up for autopay and decided to do a 30 day challenge ( to get my moneys worth!!) week by week the girl that used to cringe and avoid looking at herself in the mirror wore less and less clothing and found more acceptance to the image in front of her. Every teacher had a different style but each and everyone inspired me class by class. Having spent years hating my body and punishing myself in the gym, running, taking part in half marathons and 10k’s, circuits, hockey and any high cardio activity I could find Bikram Yoga helped me start to find peace with my body, my reflection and my mind- I was finally on the right path.
Within one year I knew I had to go to training but it was more of a 5 year plan, but in early 2012 I knew it was time. I didnt know I would be able to do it, however after a tough but rewarding nine long weeks I graduated. I could not even look at the certificate for a few weeks because I was scared it was not real and my dream had not come true. I spent some time in America after graduating and taught my first few classes in Montana, I then went to India to deepen my knowledge of Hatha Yoga on another teacher training course, all a far cry from my job as a Sales Manager selling Telecoms. I now work 3 days selling Telecoms and teach the rest of the time- the perfect balance. Hockey is still part of my life and Bikram has helped improve my stamina, focus, I also find myself intercepting balls I think are out of reach, must be all the stretching!
Returning to the Bristol studio to teach has been one of the most special and humbling things of my life. Its such a special place with an amazing community of wonderful people. Every time I step up on the podium I still cant quite believe that its me standing there and will never forget how truly honoured I am to have this amazing opportunity.
I have been very active for the last 6 or so years, and I have been a keen runner for the past 3. I was a club runner and competed in 5K and 10K road races. But after a bad injury, after visit to a chiropractic, I was told that my injury was a result of a slight curvature to my lower lumbar vertebra. So I decided that Bikram yoga would be worth giving a try to help sort me out.
My first class was super tough and hot! But I knew I had to keep coming back as I felt that it was really going to help. And it did! My spine is now fine and my injury healed. Because of this, I am passionate about Bikram yoga, because it really works!
So I decided to go to teacher training. I went to the Spring 2013 and I have just graduated. It was tough, but I knew that it would be worth it. Although work has now taken me away from Bristol (I live in Reigate, Surrey), I knew after graduation that I wanted to teach in Bristol. It is an absolute joy and pleasure to teach where my Bikram journey started.
Barbara van der Eerden