Studio Owner / Instructor
Recent events have caused me to reflect on my 2010 Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. As soon as I started the grueling nine-week experience, it became immediately apparent I was going to come away from it committed to Bikram the yoga and not Bikram the man. I realized his philosophies outside the hot room did not align with mine.
Upon completing the training, I was determined to open a studio that offered the best of Bikram Yoga in the most healing and loving environment possible.
I started out on a quest to build and operate a kinder, gentler Bikram Yoga studio. I knew for this to work I’d have to have the right people on board, so I gathered the very best certified Bikram Yoga teachers and staff I could find. Today, that original group is still by my side and on my staff, with the exception of Ronda and Rahn, who have gone on to build their own studios in West Jordan and Cottonwood Heights respectively.
As we were building our studio, two driving thoughts guided me. I saw these as our core values and what would become the personality of our business.
1. The PEAR Approach
R: Retention of Students
2. Err on the side of generosity and compassion…always!
I knew such an approach to Bikram Yoga was an ambitious goal, because it was such a shift in the way many of the studios our teachers had taught in operated. That didn’t stop us. We were all eager and committed to make this vision a reality.
Four years later, we are now known for these core principles and being a wonderful place to practice yoga. Seeing the compassionate side of Bikram Yoga thriving fills my heart with joy.
Maintaining such a positive environment is definitely a group effort. We, as a community of students, teachers, and staff, all contribute to our overall success. Together, we make the studio the warm and fuzzy place it is. But, it’s important we also maintain a level of discipline and respect for the space and those in it. This comes from remembering to practice proper etiquette. Doing so helps make our time together a positive experience for all involved.
Studio/Hot Room Etiquette
• As a studio, we understand when you come late. Life can get in the way. We get that. We would much rather you get 45 minutes of yoga than 0 minutes. That being said, if you’re late, please wait to enter the hot room until we are in between postures, as to not distract the teacher or students. Please set up quietly, staggering yourself in a place that is not directly in front of or directly behind somebody else. All should have visual access to the front mirror.
• It is not a problem if you need to leave class early. Before class begins, please let the teacher know when you need to leave so he or she doesn’t worry when the time comes for you to depart.
• On the occasion you come late or leave early, you will be greeted in a nonverbal way by the teacher (a nod, a smile, a wink), as to not disrupt the flow of the class.
• If you need to leave the room for any reason, please make eye contact with the teacher and give a thumbs up to signify you’re okay. Come back in whenever you’re ready, but please wait until the class is in between postures.
• Being in the hot room is a great opportunity to unplug and be away from your cell phone. There are very few exceptions for cell phones to be permitted in class. Please talk to your teacher if you have an issue where you might need a cell phone approved.
Whenever I travel, I take the opportunity to visit other Bikram Yoga studios around the country. I enjoy these visits, but they also remind me of how very grateful I am for the community we’ve created here. After all, our students reflect us. I see you using the PEAR Approach all the time with each other. It’s awesome to see you representing our core values so well. In essence, it’s YOU helping US build our business. Thank you! We appreciate that and each and every one of you. Your open acceptance of what once seemed such a radical approach to Bikram Yoga has proven that love and positivity can thrive.
Forward with Faith
Like so many, Jeanine has experienced her share of ups and downs… Actually, that’s not true. Any would agree she’s experienced far more than her share of downs, though she’d never make such a statement. She has a calm acceptance about her, despite all she’s been through. It’s a quiet, unassuming strength. We feel beyond humbled and honored to know that Jeanine attributes some of that strength and her healing to our studio and the training she does here.
The life Jeanine knew would forever be altered the day her son took his own life 18 years ago. He was just 16 years old.
“There are no words to describe…,” Jeanine said, trailing off in thought. She continued by saying, “The pain is unimaginable. It was 18 years ago and is always going to be with me.”
Any parent would agree that losing a child is the ultimate loss. A heartache so unimaginable that we don’t even allow our thoughts to go to such sadness. A sadness Jeanine knows and lives with every day.
Her heartbreak continued the day her husband was in a motorcycle accident 10 years ago. It left him a paraplegic. Jeanine stays by his side, acting as his primary care giver.
A Path to Healing
Such sadness left Jeanine feeling emotionally broken. Her son suggested she try Bikram Yoga at a studio near where they lived in California.
“I went to yoga several times at this studio but didn’t go back. It wasn’t welcoming. It was the opposite of the studio we have here.”
It wasn’t until Jeanine moved to Utah in 2012 that she gave Bikram Yoga another try.
“I signed up for the 21 days for $21 special. I’ll be honest. After the first class, I probably wouldn’t have stuck with it, but I wanted to get my money’s worth. After my fourth visit, my thinking began to change and I felt ‘I can do this!’ Plus, everyone was so warm and welcoming, which made it all easier. Today, I'm fully committed and go 2-3 times a week.”
Opening a Broken Heart
Jeanine felt the full weight of her heavy heart as she started practicing the Camel pose. It’s an emotional pose, and her emotions were keeping her from it.
“Whenever I’d try to do the Camel pose, I’d get dizzy and feel like I was going to pass out. My son would always come rushing to my mind. Camel is an emotional pose. You’re on your knees, bent backwards, and forced to open your heart and your lungs wide. When you’re grieving, you aren’t that open. You’re closed. And your lungs are weakened.”
It wasn’t until about a year ago that Jeanine finally experienced a shift. Suddenly, she could do Camel!
“I could do it! It was very healing emotionally.”
Sometimes You Want to Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Our studio has offered Jeanine a community where she feels accepted. It’s wonderful how people with different stories, from different walks of life, can come together in the hot room and feel a connection and togetherness.
“It’s such a positive, upbeat place. You’re greeted by your first name and know people really feel interested in you. It’s led to lasting friendships that extend outside of yoga.”
Emotionally, Jeanine says our studio offers her a sanctuary—a place to go and step away from the world for a bit and focus on her. On healing.
“Being in the hot room allows me to connect with myself and a higher power. I pray when laying on my back and feel a sense of calm.”
Physically, Jeanine has also experienced great change, which she feels Bikram Yoga has contributed to. She’s lost 30 pounds. She’s more flexible. She’s stronger.
“Being my husband’s caregiver, I have to be very careful in how I help him, which means staying physically strong for both of us. My husband is incredibly supportive of my yoga and sees the strength it gives me. And I’ve discovered a shift in what I can do. Things are possible for me.”
Things ARE possible for you, sweet Jeanine!
It is stories like this that leave us humbled and thankful we’re here, doing what we do. Knowing we have a small part in Jeanine’s continued healing is priceless. Her outlook on life, positive attitude, and warm heart add so much to our community. This October marks her four-year anniversary at Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas. What a gift these years have been for us. Thank you for sharing your story, Jeanine, and bringing your loving light into our lives.