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Our teachers

Tom Dowd

When and where did you complete the teacher training?
  Fall 2002 Los Angeles, Beverly Hills

How or why did you start practising Bikram Yoga?
  I was studying architecture at that time and looking for something to balance this demanding lifestyle.

How was your very first Bikram class?
  Hard but exhilarating. That was back in 1997. The teacher would not leave me alone. He kept at me. The teacher was great. He opened the first Bikram Yoga  College of India in Canada at Bloor and Spadina in Toronto. Thank you Sasha!

What is your most important advice for the students?
  Keep up your practice. Look at the big picture. Both in life and yoga.

What did you want to be as a child when you grow up?
  An architect.

What would you do if you didn’t teach yoga?
Design and build stuff.

What is your favourite quote?
“Don’t ever let school interfere with your education.”

Which one is your least favourite pose in the series?
Standing bow. – balance in still my greatest challenge.

What are you most proud of in your life?
That I continually move forward and welcome new experiences and people into my life.

What is your first thought in the morning?
What will today be like.

What do you treasure the most?
New experiences and challenges which keep life vital and interesting.

Tell us about your first kiss.
As it turns out girls lips don’t taste like strawberries!

 

 

Jeff Clarke

When and where did you complete the teacher training?
  I completed teacher training at Palm Desert in 2009 with my good friend Orsi, who is currently teaching at Bikram Guelph.

How or why did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?
  A former girlfriend brought me to my first class.

How was your very first Bikram class?
  It was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life, if the instructor hadn’t been reassuring the new students that the nausea we were  experiencing was completely normal I likely would have got up and left.

What is your most important advice for the students?
  breathe, nice steady breaths

What did you want to be as a child when you grow up?
I’ve never thought that far ahead.

What would you do if you didn’t teach yoga?
Start the Revolution!

What is your favourite quote?
“I don’t want to be part of any revolution that doesn’t have dancing!”

Which one is your least favourite pose in the series?
Half Tortoise – I don’t feel anything happening.

What are you most proud of in your life?
My ability to grow, change, and adjust.

What is your first thought in the morning?
Starbucks, I love those guys.

What do you treasure the most?
Opportunity.

Tell us about your first kiss.
I was walking a girl home (we liked each other), she ran ahead and – I think – pretended to fall down. When I caught up to check on her, she totally jumped me. I had no idea what I was doing so I just stuck my tongue as far into her mouth as possible and hoped for the best.

 

Lesley Ferrier

When and where did you complete the teacher training?
Spring 2008 in Acapulco, Mexico .

How or why did you start practising Bikram Yoga?
A good friend had been practicing Bikram Yoga for a while and I admired her dedication to her practice.  After some time and gentle coaxing from my friend, I finally walked into my neighbourhood Bikram Studio. I signed up for a week of unlimited yoga … that was 6 years ago.

How was your very first Bikram class?
Amazing!  I had a fantastic teacher and it was love at first sweat.

What is your most important advice for the students?
Stay in the room for the 90 minutes.
Come well hydrated. The more hydrated you are, the more enjoyable the class will be.
Smile, it’s just yoga.

What did you want to be as a child when you grow up?
A Bikram Yoga Instructor (I was wise beyond my years)

What would you do if you didn’t teach yoga?
I’d be living in Vancouver working for a non-profit organization.

What is your favourite quote?
‘Smile, it confuses people.’

Which one is your least favourite pose in the series?
I have a love/hate for all of the postures. The body is constantly changing.  You have to try each posture each class. You never know when the day will be when will be able to breakthrough and reach a new goal so you have to keep trying.

What are you most proud of in your life?
Completing the nine weeks of Bikram Teacher Training and having the courage to chase my dreams.

What is your first thought in the morning?
Hmmm, what should I have for dinner?

What do you treasure the most?
My family. If it weren’t for family, I’d be lost.

Tell us about your first kiss.
A true lady never kisses and tells.   **wink** 

 

Denis D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi my name is Denis… I was introduced to Bikram Yoga in 2005 in Vancouver due to some back issues I was having at that time.
Little did I know how much Bikram Yoga would change my life!

Being a strong and able bodied young man I had the world in my palms and took full advantage of it. Having cycled 3000 kms in 2007 from Vancouver Island to California in just 35 days, I felt invincible!

It wasn’t until May 2008 when I was faced with one of the most trying events of my life, the universe showed me otherwise.

After just having bought a new motorcycle, going on a ride with no idea what was about to happen. Due to weather conditions and inexperience I lost control of the motorcycle and had to dislodge at high speeds to avoid hitting the car. The car I was trying to avoid hitting ended up running over my body.

This accident left me with a lengthy list of injuries ranging from a dislocated hip to broken femur in three places, broken knees, broken tibia/fibula, broken ankles, broken shoulder; over stretched ligaments and tendons… And if that wasn’t enough, I had a nasty head injury with bleeding inside the front lobe. I was a wreck!! At that time the doctors didn’t think I was going to make it due to the intensity of my injuries and the amount of blood lost. They suggested my brain wasn’t going to recover. They contemplated amputating my left leg. At one point they didn’t know if I was going to be able to walk again, they told me for sure I would never run again!

7 surgeries and six and a half months in a wheel chair, my optimism and positive attitude persevered and I took my first steps just 6 and a half months after the accident.

Having attempted multiple methods to gain my full range of mobility and strength, I finally settled into a comfortable Bikram regime.

On the one year anniversary of my accident I walked the road to Santiago in Spain… the gruelling 810 kms walk reminded me that there is so much to live for and though it was painful and potentially even dangerous I successfully negotiated the walk with a great sense of accomplishment. With 45 days of nothing but silence and my own thoughts I had come to the decision that I was going to incorporate Bikram Yoga into my life even more.

The next year being 2009 I saturated myself into yoga and came to decide to take the Teacher Training, one of the best decision I have ever made!

Today, besides the visible yet ‘stylish’ scars on my legs, you would have no idea I had any previous injuries! Not only am I walking, but I also ran for the first time while at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in San Diego.

Now fully certified I look forward to helping other people who have lost hope and want to make positive changes by pushing themselves further. Bikram quotes: “Never too late, never too old, never too bad and never too sick” and I added “never too broken..to start from scratch once again.”

Namaste~

Nuzhat Jillani

(the Drill Sergeant)

“She teaches Bikram yoga, Bikram Style. If you have been practicing Bikram Yoga you will know the Meaning Right away.”

At age 21 a Doctor Told her that a bone in her Cervix is weak and she has to be careful about it. After having a baby at the age of 22 she became Diabetic that brought along Heart condition few years later and Doctors put her on all the heart and Diabetes drugs.

She joined a yoga studio in 2005 but after a month her enthusiasm vanished, she started again in 2006 but that also did not last very long as she did not see any difference. Then in 2010 a close friend told her about Bikram Yoga, at first she was a bit reluctant because of media propaganda but she thought, “What the Heck” and got a 20 dollar one week unlimited pass to try. Since then she is so hooked to Bikram Yoga that she cannot imagine staying without practicing for more than a couple of days.

Some double classes a day and a triples has reformed her into a totally different person. Against all the Doctors discouragements she has become very strong inside and out, lost more than 50 pounds in 18 month, controlled her sugar level and Cholesterol. Now all she wants to give it back to the communities she loves to teach at.

 

 

Jennifer Cigana

 

Jennifer discovered Bikram yoga in 2009 in Kingston, Ontario while
studying at Queen’s university where she was pursuing a PhD in
economics. She had been training for a marathon when two stress
fractures to her pubic bone left her unable to run. A couple of months
later, she wandered into her first Bikram yoga class. It wasn’t love
at first sight, but she returned every day that week because she felt
that it was the only physical activity she could do that wasn’t
aggravating her injury. She continued practicing daily, completing a
thirty day challenge in her first months of practice and maintained a
daily practice that entire year. It wasn’t obvious to her at first,
but the physical aspect of the practice was actually secondary in the
benefits for her. It was in fact the meditation that her mind craved,
something she had previously turned to running for. In the Fall of
2011, Jennifer attended Teacher’s Training in Los Angeles with Bikram
and started teaching immediately upon her return. She feels truly
blessed to be able to share the gift of yoga with the world.

 

 

 


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