Most of us can remember (or can’t forget) the person who taught our very first Bikram Yoga class. That first instructor tends to make a huge impression – so we’re asking, which teacher took your Bikram Yoga virginity, and what do you remember about him/her?
Lindsay B: My very first Bikram Yoga class was with Stephen Webb, who started practising with Danny Dworkis and Lisa Pelzer back in 2000 and went on to open a studio in Kamloops. I remember his “Bikram-isms” and the little noises he made (like, “Tighten up your arms; hmph!”). I loved my first class with Stephen; I wore super baggy sweatpants, had no idea what was going on and totally died. It was amazing!
Roxy M: My first teacher was Brad Colwell, who is now owner and director of Bikram Yoga Metrown. He was fresh out of training and his enthusiasm was contagious! He had me really excited about trying it out. That first class was a whirlwind, but I remember trying everything and feeling a buzz. At the end of the class, once we were in final Savasana, Brad said, “Now imagine you’re just flying.” What ensued was an intense series of images and “video” in my mind of me flying in all sorts of fashions, doing the things I love to do: I flew while skiing, just taking off a cliff; I flew off a wave while windsurfing, staying air-born for ages; I even “flew” under water, while scuba diving, turning upside down and watching the sun peering through the undulating waves above me. A giant tortoise swam slowly over me and engulfed me in an embrace … tears of joy streamed down my face and a boundless connection to the universe filled my heart. I was hooked!
Noa G: My first teacher was Andrea B., who’s teaching in Toronto now but comes back from time to time to visit. She had a really strong presence and I remember she scared the sh*t out of me – in a good way. I came back the next day!
Amber B: Lisa was the first Bikram Yoga teacher I had. I remember thinking her body was amazing and I hoped I would see the same results!
Wynne S: My first Bikram Yoga instructor was Erin Moore, who doesn’t teach at BYV anymore, unfortunately. She must have made a good impression – otherwise, I wouldn’t have come back for more two days later with Laurie!
Lindsay M: My first instructor was Maria. I don’t remember much, other than wondering what the heck was going on?! I was right next to the steamer – rookie mistake! After that class I noticed a significant change in my mood that lasted all week (I had just been dumped); I left class feeling happy and on the mend.
Thom R: I don’t remember my first teacher’s name, but it was a he and I think he was from Vegas. It must have worked – I’ve been back to the hot room almost every day since!
Alyson S: Carolyn B. was my first teacher; she made me feel so welcome and comfortable. I’ll never forget how her encouragement kept me in the room.
Jean M: At the start of my first class, Julia told all of us newcomers to take it easy and try to end the class with the will to come back, which encouraged me to try at least one set of most of the postures. At first I thought, “Great, another fitness teacher.” But I was wrong; I’d never met any fitness teachers who were as nice as Julia, and free to chat afterward about the class and about Bikram Yoga in general with a newcomer from France. The class was tough but, by the end of it, I fell in love with this yoga.
Renee P: My first teacher in Vancouver was Julia, who, despite her petite size, seemed to fill the whole room with her angelic halo of white-blonde hair and electric-yet-calming energy. It was bizarre; I actually wanted to do everything she was telling us to do. I went every day for the next four days …
Ken C: I hadn’t been to Bikram Yoga in five years. Aurora was the first teacher I had when I returned in 2010 because of my sciatica and to try and lose some weight. It seemed so hot and it was a full class that day; I kept trying to figure out where we were in the series and kept thinking we were almost done. Then we would do another posture and I would think, “Oh yeah, forgot about that one!” It never seemed to end, but the class was great and I enjoy taking Aurora’s classes to this day.
Alayna S: Cedric was my first teacher; it was a crazy class and he guided me through and made me feel so supported. When I felt like I was going to be sick, he just looked at me, patted my shoulder and said I was going to be fine. I couldn’t believe I made it through and I cried at the end of the class, then in the change room and then again at the front desk. I was sobbing all day; obviously I had a lot of emotional stuff come up and Cedric made me feel like I could let it all out without feeling judged.
Remember: Leave a comment about or for your first or favourite Bikram Yoga teacher to be entered for a chance to win a BYV Five-Class Card or a Yogitoes Towel! If you need to jog your memory, check out our BYV Teachers photo album on Facebook! [CONTEST NOW ENDED – May 30, 2012]