Whether celebrities like Janice Dickinson and Lady Gaga come to their class or not, the top Bikram hot yoga teachers on Earth share a deep love for Bikram Yoga and a passion for passing it on to all students! Read their stories, and tell us about your all-time favourite instructor in the comments!
Joseph Encinia (Dallas, Texas)
From an early age, Joseph struggled with rheumatoid arthritis, a heart attack, his weight and the accompanying toll on his mental state. After starting Bikram Hot Yoga classes in 2005, his life took a complete turn; in the first year of practice he shed pounds and threw away medications. In 2009 he won the USA Yoga Asana Championship, taking the international title in 2011. His life’s ambition is to share competitive yoga with others, and he teaches full time.
Photo: Roseann Wang [Source]
Juan Martin-Busutil (Oxford, England)
Bikram Yoga was the last type of yoga Juan tried at a conference he attended in 1999. Struggling with knee injuries at the time, he couldn’t do many of the postures despite being the youngest person in the room. He decided to take up the hot yoga practice and, six months later, went to Bikram Yoga teacher training. When Bikram Choudhury asked him what he hoped to gain, Juan said: “I’m going to stay with you until I’m as good or better than you are at what you do.” This must have impressed the boss; Juan Martin-Busutil ended up working at Bikram Yoga HQ for nine years. He now conducts yoga seminars and teaches Bikram Hot Yoga classes around the world.
Photo: USA Yoga Federation [Source]
Ky Ha (London, England)
Ky Ha endured multiple car accidents in his youth, breaking his legs and arms and suffering severe back, neck and joint pain. With Bikram Yoga classes he discovered something that truly transformed his body and life: “I hated going to class in the beginning. I was so weak and inflexible, I couldn’t even touch my toes.” Through sweat and determination (and daily hot yoga practice), Ky built up his strength and flexibility and attended Bikram Yoga teacher training in 2004. He’s since been named top male at the International Yoga Championship. Today Ky Ha serves as an international judge and teaches at Bikram Yoga London.
Photo: Bikram Yoga London [Source]
Lynn Whitlow (Petaluma, California)
Lynn Whitlow has been teaching Bikram Yoga classes all her adult life. She’s also a judge for the International Yoga Championship and has owned and operated a grand total of seven Bikram Hot Yoga studios. She is one of only a few people authorized by Bikram Choudhury to teach seminars and workshops around the world. Among her top tips for students: there’s no such thing as pacing yourself. As you move through the series, each posture builds on the next and you gain energy. In yoga, as in life, the more you give, the more you receive.
Photo: LynnWhitlow.com [Source]
Marlon McGann (Basalt, Colorado)
Marlon started teaching Bikram Yoga in 1987. Since then she’s taught yoga in Bikram Hot Yoga studios across California, and today can be found leading hot yoga classes in Colorado. Marlon is so good at what she does, she’s even played herself (i.e., a yoga instructor) on the TV series The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency!
Photo: Colleen [Source]
Mary Jarvis (San Francisco, California]
Mary Jarvis has been a student/teacher of Bikram Yoga for 27 years. As a survivor of a near-fatal auto accident, she’s living proof of the powers of the series, and 45 Bikram Yoga studios in the world were started by students who originally practised with Mary Jarvis in San Francisco. When asked about Bikram Yoga by friends and acquaintances, she says, “There is no exercise in the world that makes me feel as great as I do when I practise this yoga. Yoga kicks running and weightlifting’s ass!”
Photo: Global Yoga San Francisco [Source]
Ren Soriano studied extensively with Bikram Choudhury before becoming a senior Bikram Yoga teacher and a judge. His unique, philosophical approach, his humour and his stories of experiences with the boss entertained students wherever he went. Sadly, Ren passed away in late 2009.
Tricia Donegan (New York, New York)
Tricia started teaching Bikram Yoga sessions in 2002, opening her Bikram Yoga Lower East Side studio the following year. Yogis of all levels have been flocking to her classes ever since, including Lady Gaga! Tricia’s teaching style is said to include a combination of compassion, humour and hard-core fitness training, and her intuition with hot yoga students creates a connection and a different way of thinking that transforms goals into reality. The thing she loves best about teaching Bikram Yoga classes? Teaching people to “feel better in every which way.”
Check out the World’s Best Bikram Yoga Teachers Part 1 for even more of Bikram Yoga’s Best Teachers!