Teachers

 

Laura McDonald

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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.

 

Jenny Price

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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 and acceptance with 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 a 200 hours Hatha Teacher training course. In 2013 I completed a Pregnancy Yoga Course, I wanted to be confident should I have a pregnant lady in class. There have been quite a few Bikram babies since then, its always lovely when I get to meet them!
I now work full time in IT as an Account Manager, however I could never give up teaching. I teach every Saturday morning and the odd cover whenever I can. The bonus of my current role is that it takes me all over the country allowing me to visit other studios and keep up my practice of 4-5 classes per week. This experience has helped me enrich and develop my teaching by learning from other teachers, and leaving my comfort zone in a new, unfamiliar environment- not knowing where the hot parts are in the room!!
I feel very honored to be teaching in the studio where I took my first class. 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 fortunate I am to have this amazing opportunity.  Teaching is one of the most special and humbling things in my life. Watching students bodies and minds change, evolve and blossom is truly inspirational.

 

 

Helen Press

Helen-Press-Bikram-Yoga-Bristol-TeacherI walked into a Bikram studio with a broken foot and walked with a limp.
I had tried everything to repair it, physiotherapy, osteopathy and acupuncture, and was told that nothing could be done.
“I didn’t like my first class at all, but there was something within me that told me I had to come back and keep going”.
I saw the healing benefits of doing regular classes for myself and became a regular practitioner. After practising in Bali, Madrid and Bristol I decided I wanted to go to teacher training and help others see the benefits of Bikram yoga, and I thought it would compliment my Pilates training.
I went to autumn 2013 teacher training. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I knew that I would benefit from it. Feel very privileged to be able to share my passion and knowledge with students.

 

 

Samantha French-Blackwell

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Originally from New York City, Samantha has been living in England since 2008. She fell in love with Bikram yoga in 2012, having come to the practice in an attempt to help her knee and hip pain. With the help and guidance of her teachers in Brighton, Sam fell in love with Bikram yoga and kept up a dedicated practice throughout her time as an undergraduate at the University of Sussex.

Knowing from early on that she wanted to become a Bikram teacher in order to continue the lineage of this amazing and healing practice, Sam set a goal to attend teacher training right after her university graduation. She achieved that goal by graduating from TT in Thailand in December 2015. She has been teaching at BYB ever since and loves nothing more than to see her students’ happy, smiling (and sweaty) faces after a rewarding class!

Sam also completed Inferno Hot Pilates teacher training in July 2017 and is excited to be one of the first IHP teachers in the United Kingdom.

Sam is a bookworm, dog lover, and back-bending enthusiast. When she’s not in the studio, you can usually find her at home watching Netflix and nursing a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

 

Victoria Avane

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Standing on a mat in the middle of a hot room minutes before my first class back in 2006 was due to begin I remember thinking to myself “a YOGA class, how tough can it possibly be?!” Well if you’ve already had your first ever Bikram class I don’t need to explain and if you haven’t – I won’t spoil the surprise and let you findout for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

It wasn’t until spring 2012 that I have decided to go on teacher training and signed up for the next coming training in Fall 2012. Two months flew by and the likelihood of me coming back to my old IT job was looking less and less with every day. Upon graduation I was offered to teach at Bikram’s own school in Pune (India) which then led on to me teaching in Bikram Yoga Studios in Jakarta and Bali. The more I was teaching and practicing the more interested I became in yoga philosophy side of things, so I have decided to finish my Asia travels by attending a 300h Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training course in Rishikesh, India.

Consistent yoga practise is helping me to understand myself, how to take control of my thoughts and brings awareness to my actions and reactions. Guiding people through their yoga practice, watching the bodies and minds change overtime is the most amazing experience and am very grateful and excited for being a part of it”

Dana Whatmore

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Always a sporty person, having grown up playing in the Canadian Rockies, Dana came to Bikram Yoga from the gym in 2010. Finding the hot room to be a perfect blend of hard work and mental engagement, she became a dedicated practioner. This lead to teacher training in FierceGrace, (a hybrid of Bikram) in London in 2015 and qualifying to teach Yoga for Teenagers in 2016. Keen to offer you workable cues and modifications, to get the most out of your practice, you’ll find her classes an interesting combination of traditional Hatha styles, set to get you twisting, bending, and balancing your way to a total body and mind workout.

 

 

Will Dukes

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As well as being a yogi, Will is also a Personal Trainer and AcroYoga instructor. His fast-paced classes combine all of his technical know how with a sense of fun, bringing a lively and playful atmosphere into the studio. In Broga you will be sure to sweat, laugh and enjoy the challenge of a new style of practice. The benefits of Yoga, Asanas and movement in general are astronomical and Broga® is no exception. Accompanied by a hearty diet, Broga® will definitely improve your muscle mass and help with postural anomalies and imbalances. It also has a great comradery!

David Lees

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After25 years practising and teaching various martial arts, I started Bikram yoga in 2010 after hearing about it from friends. Finding it helped with balance, body awareness and flexibility, I’ve practised yoga regularly ever since.

In 2015, I completed Ashtanga teacher training in Mysore, India, and since then I’ve been teaching and covering a range of Ashtanga classes in Bristol, while deepening and broadening my practice by incorporating insights from other yoga traditions.
The class is suitable for all levels and complimentary to your Bikram practise.