Studio Owner / Instructor
Welcome to April!
March was an exciting month here at Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas, and we anticipate even more excitement and growth this month!
We're wrapping up our Healthy Habits Challenge in the next few days; we kicked off this challenge in January with more than 125 of our Bikram Yoga students signing up to participate in classes three times a week PLUS add one healthy habit to their lives or remove one not-so-healthy habit.
On April 9, we'll have a celebration class and party for all those who have been participating in this life-changing challenge. Because of spring break, we recognize that some of you will be out of town, but don't worry, we're going to have a make-up celebration day on April 16 as well. I can hardly wait to join you all as we come together to congratulate each other and mark the end of this amazing journey. We'll share a photo of this inspiring group next month!
Another exciting happening this month is the official launch of our Hot Pilates program. Last month we kicked off our classes, experimenting with different times and days as we worked to find times that work best for our Bikram Yoga family. Beginning Monday (April 4), we'll start our official schedule of 11 classes every week; see the class schedule below.
If you haven't joined us yet, you're missing out! We expected that you would all love this new fitness option at Bikram Yoga, but the response has actually exceeded our expectations--so many of you are enthusiastic about this additional workout choice that provides a wonderful complement to Bikram Yoga.
I've loved coming to the studio every day and seeing new faces, as well as our regular (and even some not-so-regular) yogis, participating in this fun new workout.
Our Hot Pilates classes are based on the basic Pilates principles (centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow), and in addition, each 45-minute workout includes a high-intensity interval training component that focuses on cardiovascular health. Along with this, we are committed to provide a safe, fun, and effective mat workout that sculpts and tones your body.
You can see why everyone is so excited about this!
We handpicked our teachers for this new program, choosing professionals who are experts in a variety of different areas, from cross fit and weight lifting to ballet and personal training. But our number-one requirement was that these new instructors had to have a heart of gold! If you've attended any of our classes, you know we have succeeded. Our instructors are the best; I have never seen a group of more kind, genuine, and eager people! (See a short bio of each instructor below.)
One more thing worth noting is that we have adjusted things a little by making every weekday noon class a Fast-Class. We've discovered that many of our lunchtime students work at neighboring businesses and offices, and they are joining us on their lunch hour. We welcome this lunchtime crowd and hope that this change makes fitness even easier for our corporate neighbors!
You can see why we're pretty excited about things here at Bikram Yoga. Be sure to join us this month as we all get ready for the summer together!
Studio Manager / Hot Pilates Director
Sherrie Pacheco is the director of the Hot Pilates program and is also an instructor; she was featured in February's Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas newsletter. Click here to read her bio.
Hot Pilates Instructor
Robyn Lenker loves to dance--she started dancing at age 9 and danced almost every day, even working as a Utah Jazz dancer, until the day she had her first child. Robyn went on to have a total of 11 children (seven biological) and went years without working out. "My body hurt, I suffered with poor body image, and was having a hard time appreciating the little things I could do." she says.
Then she discovered yoga, Pilates, and Xtend Barre, earning her basic Mat Pilates Certification in 2010. "I noticed a definite shift in every aspect of my life," she recalls. "Not only was I physically doing better, I began to shift mentally as well." Robyn teaches jazz technique and ballet classes, and began working out at Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas shortly after it opened. When she heard about Bikram Yoga adding Hot Pilates, she was beyond excited. "It combines all the things I love--Pilates, hot room, group fitness, and circuit-strength training. I am thrilled to be able to get everything at one location."
Robyn is a firm believer that our bodies house our souls. "When we take care of our bodies, we see changes both inside and out," she says. "Not only have I witnessed this in myself, but I have seen firsthand many people transform from the inside out when they begin to be physically fit."
Hot Pilates Instructor
Nancy Graney has been active her entire life. She did gymnastics in high school, fencing in college and, at age 59, is celebrating 38 years of running and participating in triathlons, this is the sixth year she'll be organizing and participating in the Ironwoman Invitational. Nancy has worked at the Bikram Yoga desk since the building opened and practices Bikram Yoga regularly. When Joanne and Sherrie asked if she was interested in teaching the new Hot Pilates classes, Nancy jumped at the chance.
"I am an Air Force veteran, and besides doing my job and running on a regular basis, I had the opportunity to instruct group aerobic fitness classes on some of the bases where I was stationed," she explains. "Being physically fit makes me mentally strong." That mental strength came in handy when she earned her master's degree in aeronautics, as well as when she transitioned from military life to civilian life, where she became a massage therapist.
Married with three sons, Nancy enjoys Hot Pilates because the workout combines Pilates principles with high-intensity interval training. "It's another form of exercise to keep me strong as I soon face my 60s," she says. "My attitude is you are never too old to be as strong as you can be."
Hot Pilates Instructor
Heidi Perdue first heard about Pilates from her ballet teacher 15 years ago. "I loved it," she recalls. "Being only 5'2", anything that helped me feel long and lean was amazing!" Since then, Heidi regularly practiced Pilates, continued to dance (she been teaching ballet classes for 16 years), started running (she's done half marathons, full marathons, and triathlons), and added Bikram Yoga to her workout regimen. "I remember when my older sister described Bikram Yoga to me, I had chills," she recalls. "It was like the cells in my body knew they should be there." A move to Saratoga Springs and having five children made it challenging to attend classes, soHeidi set up heaters in her basement studio, and she and her friends worked out there. "We could get my basement pretty stinky, and we had a blast!" When Brick Canvas opened, "it was a dream come true," Heidi observes. "Bikram Yoga has changed my life mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually." Add Hot Pilates to the mix, and Heidi is in heaven. "Hot Pilates has such long fluid movements, working right from your core, it just feels right to me. All while getting the benefits from the heat makes my joints so happy and youthful. And the cardio (Tabata) section in the middle is a brutal, delicious treat! I'm addicted!"
Hot Pilates Instructor
Audra Williamson is a Bikram Yoga enthusiast, practicing for more than a decade. She's a member of USA Yoga, and has placed in the top 10 nationally in USA Yoga competitions. In addition to attending classes at Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas since it opened (she practiced with Joanne at another studio and followed her here), Audra faithfully does Pilates at home.
Being a teacher is nothing new to Audra. She's taught dance and ballet since she was 15; she also trains and coaches individuals who are preparing for USA Yoga competition. "Teaching the things I love is a passion of mine," she says. "That's why as soon as I heard Joanne was bringing Hot Pilates to the studio, I spoke to her about being involved."
Bikram Yoga and Hot Pilates are the perfect workout options, says Audra. "I love to sweat! Sweating so much while building muscle allows you to have warm pliable muscles, and it allows your body to rid itself of toxins. Sweating is my favorite way to work out! Being fit is a necessity for so many requirements in this life, but most important to me is the connection I feel to my spirit and physical body. When I feel strong physically, I feel strong spiritually. This connection has less to do with how I look physically and more to do with how I feel physically."
Hot Pilates Instructor
On April 1, Rena Doman greeted her Hot Pilates students as they walked in class with the news that they were going to use balloons as weights that day. And it was no April Fool's joke! Students grabbed balloons and started class. "I think they thought it might be an easy workout, but it wasn't--they still worked hard," Rena says.
Rena believes that having fun is an important part of being physically fit, and she enjoys a wide variety of different sports. She does cross fit, martial arts, kickboxing, weightlifting, rock climbing, and paddleboarding. "I'm an outside person, so when it's warm, I'm outside moving and working out," she says. Even when it's warm, however, Rena does Bikram Yoga-and now Pilates.
"I do Bikram Yoga for therapy," explains Rena, who is married and has three children. "Cross fit is intense and loud; the hot room is a place I can go to find balance." She enjoys similar benefits with Hot Pilates, although that option also includes music and laughter, along with an emphasis on cardiovascular and strength training. "What I try to bring to my classes is the idea that we're strong and that we're here to have fun."