Jill Koontz  – Studio Director

Jill Edited_B&W_MarcoI came to Bikram Yoga in 2001 as a complement to and eventually a replacement for running and weight training. I had been an avid 4-5 mile runner for years and even ran a couple of marathons. The years of pounding had taken a toll on my joints and my years as an executive at an investment management firm had tested the limits of my health and peace of mind.

The very first time I stepped into the hot room I knew I had found exactly what I needed and had been looking for from a health and fitness program. I can say, without hesitation or exaggeration, that my body and my mind are stronger and more flexible than ever before.

I became a teacher and a studio owner in 2003 to provide this opportunity for anyone who is ready to step up to the challenge. Bikram Yoga is a serious workout for the body and the mind.

Melissa Aleksandrowicz

MelissaFor my 28th birthday in 2011, I asked for a membership to a “hot yoga” studio. My twenties were a continual search for that special thing to make me happier and healthier. I tried everything: health clubs, running, dieting… but nothing stuck.

After my first Bikram class I was in love! It was the no-nonsense tough love that I needed. At the time I was working in pharmaceutical research. I was unhappy at my job, but felt it was what I was supposed to be doing, as it was what I went to college for.

In July 2012 I was laid off and had no motivation to go looking for a similar job. Through my career changing and soul searching, Bikram Yoga remained my constant. It has brought me the health and happiness I was searching for. I decided to go to Teacher Training in Spring 2014. It was the most incredible experience of my life. I started teaching the day after I came home from training and still can’t believe how lucky I am to teach and share this unbelievable yoga.

Meredith Evangelisti

MeredithI am always looking for a new challenge…..

In 2006 I found that new challenge when I tried my first Bikram yoga class. Since then, everyday that I practice the yoga, I feel the exact same way. Every class is a new challenge, a different boundary to be crossed and different feelings that come up and in my experience it is always for the better!

As a competitive roller skater for most of my life I have endured a number of injuries that have resulted in chronic back pain. I would visit a chiropractor very regularly, but with a regular consistent practice of Bikram yoga I found that I no longer need to go!!

Because of the way Bikram yoga made me feel from that very first day, I couldn’t stop thinking about yoga. Every day I would try to find a way to fit in; this was sometimes difficult working a demanding full-time sales job. In July of 2009 I decided to say goodbye to Corporate America and become a Bikram yoga teacher. This experience has changed my life and I feel so fortunate to be able to teach Bikram yoga full time and share this wonderful practice with others!

Jeannine Poles

JeanineI started Bikram yoga in the summer of 2006. Although I knew right away I wanted to be a teacher it took till the summer of 2011 for me to get consistent with my practice and went to teacher training in spring 2013. Now I am happy to say my body is mine again. Healthy and back to normal is the best feeling in the world.

I love being a teacher. I am part time with another job as a massage therapist. No lie, going to teach does not feel like a job. The best part is the students. You see them walk in either tired, stressed, or just cruising along. Then leaving they’re smiling, fresh and clean ready for the world. It’s amazing.

Brian Stern

BrianI started practicing Bikram yoga in my best friends apartment while in college in 2008. We turned up the thermostat as high as we could, put on Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class CD and with the help of online pictures of the sequence we started to rock and roll!

I will never forget how after the first night coming back to my own apartment…I seemed to literally float up the three flights of stairs that I usually dreaded walking up. I never even knew what yoga was before this and I am so thankful that I found this system first.

On his CD Bikram says, “If you do yoga you never have to go to the chiropractor, chiropractor comes to you.” This caught my attention as I had been seeing chiropractors for a long time at that point for various physiological issues. I continued a home practice here and there and one day decided to go to the torture chamber to see what a real class was like in the studio. In my first 10 days I bought an annual membership and from that point on my life took on a new meaning. I rapidly began healing physically from chronic pain in various areas of my body and about a year later I realized I had not visited the chiropractor in months!

I found such a deep level of wellness and healing from this system and I am so grateful to now be able to help others on their path and share my enthusiasm as a teacher of this practice.

Alana Teran

AlanaI started practicing Bikram in 2010. I had been conveniently bartending at a restaurant underneath a studio at the time. One of the teachers always asked me to come upstairs and take one of his classes. I was hesitant, thinking that it wasn’t a “real” workout. When I eventually did it was one of the best decisions I made, not only for my body, but for my mind.

While practicing, I felt my body slowly being to repair itself from years of damage. After maintaining a consistent practice, I realized that the yoga helped me in every day life. Allowing me to have more patience and better control my anger. I knew after my first couple months, that one day I wanted to be a part of that healing process for other people. Finally, after procrastinating long enough, I went to training in Fall 2014.

Since being back, every day has proven to be a new experience and lesson helping me grow not only in teaching, but in my own practice. I have high hopes that my journey has just now started and look forward for whats to come.

Kelsey Thurber

KelseyPrior to Bikram Yoga, depression was something I struggled with on a daily basis. To cope, I would work out and run almost every day. However, this lifestyle began to take a toll on my body and soon I began to seek out healthier alternatives.

I started my practice in January 2013. Walking out of my first class I was amazed by how good I felt. I immediately knew: this is what my life needed. Since then I have practiced religiously. No longer do I have to push my body to damaging limits to get that ‘workout high’. Instead, with Yoga I am able to be in control of my body, and with the help of my body, be in control of my mind.

I attended the Fall 2013 teacher training in LA so I could share and teach this amazing practice with others. Bikram Yoga is truly life altering and beneficial to anyone and everyone; it gives you the keys to a life full of unlimited happiness, health, and love – a life that every person deserves.

Jenny Wilson

I stumbled upon Bikram yoga when I moved to Brooklyn in 2004. I had read about it in a magazine and knew I wanted to try it. I went out for a walk to explore my new neighborhood, looked up and low and behold… Bikram Yoga! I took my first class the next day and was hooked ever since. I decided to become a teacher to further my practice and to inspire people the way my teachers inspired me. I went to training in spring of 2007. Teaching has been a wonderful addition to my life. It balances out the other work I do,which is styling in the photo industry, and it is a great way to stay connected to the practice. It is amazing watching people progress, heal injuries and realize their unlimited potential.