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ABOUT OUR TEACHERS

EMILY VENDEMMIA

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Spring 2006

Where are you from?
Maryland

What was your first class like?
Hot and tough.

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
7-10 classes a week.

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
I was inflexible

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
March 2005

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
My stress level is much lower, I lost weight, and my body only keeps improving.

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
I've seen students change everything about their life, such as rearranging their schedule to practice daily, and sometimes to attend 2 classes a day. I've seen them morph mentally and physically. It's very inspiring.

Why do you teach Bikram Yoga?
Because I breath, eat, and sleep this yoga. I love it, and I can't stop telling people about it.


SUE SERINI

When did you go to Teacher Training?
First group in Hawaii, Spring 2007

Where are you from?
Maryland

What was your first class like?
Crazy! I only went because Emily and Sam convinced me (during a night of eating lots of food and drinking too much wine!), my husband, step-son and his friend to go. I didn't have much interest, but agreed to go because all of the guys were going. I was fortunate to be able to watch Emily during my first class... it was so inspiring!

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
Daily if possible

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
To help neck pain and to help lose weight (I had to stop running and gained more weight than I liked). I didn't realize it would also help my stress levels and overall well-being.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
August 2006

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
Mental focus (inside and outside of the yoga room), calmness and a more balanced feeling, most importantly good health--long and short term!

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
I am amazed and inspired as I see their postures and their bodies change, as well as gain focus and concentration.  I love to see the happy and calm students who make the time to come to yoga because they love how they feel by practicing.

Why do you teach Bikram Yoga?
I love bringing what I know and love to others. I hope that I can help others by bringing my knowledge and experiences to them. I teach it because I love how it's made me feel and hope to bring that to as many people as possible--even strangers I meet at Nordstrom or Starbucks!


KAITLYN BAKER

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Spring 2010

Where are you from?
Maryland

What was your first class like?
Hot. I felt so great after the class was over though!

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
As often as I can get in the hot room!

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
I worked the front desk at the studio for awhile before even taking
class. Then eventually everyone finally convinced me to go and take
class :D

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
Since October 2009

What are some long term and short term Benefits of Bikram Yoga?
It helps you feel calm in so many stressful situations because you
learn how to BREATHE through stress and discomfort. It also makes the
body feel great!

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
Usually students seem more at peace with life after starting the yoga

Why do you teach Bikram Yoga?
I feel like this is the closest thing i have in my life to a mental
and physical cure-all and it is so awesome being able to share that
with everyone who comes!


KATY DOLAN

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Fall 2010 in San Diego!

Where are you from?
Annapolis, MD

What was your first class like?
I remember going through moments of liking it and moments of thinking these people were crazy. But that feeling I got after class was indescribable, like the runners high I always thought was a myth.

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
Daily

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
I started coming infrequently to stay in shape, but got more and more hooked the more I came.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
November 2009

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
This yoga makes you more aware of what your putting into your body because you want to get the best out of your body and feel your best during class. In general, this yoga inspires you and as a result you live a happier, healthier lifestyle.

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
As a teacher, it is amazing to see changes in students. Not only do you see dramatic improvements in postures (especially beginners), but you also see their confidence in themselves grow.


KATIE SHEWBRIDGE

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Fall 2010 in San Diego, CA

Where are you from?
Severna Park, Maryland

What was your first class like?
Long and hot. I wanted to leave 20 minutes into it. But I stepped out of the hot room and felt so amazing and refreshed (a feeling that cannot be described until you experience it yourself!) that I have continued to practice just about every day since (with a short break to finish my college degree).

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
7-10 times a week

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
I was a dancer and always had a consistent exercise routine, but wanted to try something different. I remember before I took my first class, I was concerned with the heat, but also that it might be too relaxing and not a hard enough workout- I was SO wrong! Hands down, it's the best workout for not only the total body, but also for the mind and soul.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
Since June 23, 2009

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
Oh, there are endless benefits from yoga! To name just a few of my favorites: Mind/body connection, major stress-reducer, eating healthier, sleeping better, increased energy, stamina, flexibility, strength, and focus, and most important of all, happiness and a sense of self-realization.

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
Only for the better. Never a negative story from practicing this yoga :)


PHIL VENDEMMIA

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Fall, 2010

Where are you from?
Maryland

What was your first class like?
The worst experience ever. My first impression of class was "too hot, too long, and I can't do anything right." After a week of consistent practice, I couldn't get enough!

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
Six times or more a week

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
Very simply, I found that other forms of exercise HURT your body. When I was 30, my joints started to feel really sore from running and lifting so I tried yoga at a local studio. They used props and spoke about spirits. They burned incense in class, but I burned no calories in class. Luckily, after that odd experience, I read an article that said "Bikram yoga heals your body while burning 800-1300 calories every session" and now, at age 33, I've never felt better! I'm stronger, more flexible, and more energetic than the 29-year-old gym rat grunting his way through those silly bench presses.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
November 2007

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
I was trained as a pianist from age 6, and my posture suffered as a result of this, giving me upper back pain and stiffness. Working at a computer and driving a lot did not help this either, but the consistent practice of Bikram Yoga has completely taken away my back pain. My whole body has become stronger and leaner and my skin has never been clearer. Most importantly, this yoga has taught me patience and relaxation outside the room, making me a happier person all around.

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
I am amazed at how quickly priorities can change for most people after doing Bikram Yoga for a few weeks. Students have mentioned to me that they have no more "appointment reality television" because their health is now more important. Students always talk about how their diets change and how they eat food that will supply them with energy for the next day's class. "I'm now eating to live, not living to eat." one student said. My favorite quote from a student at the Severna Park studio was "This yoga makes you love your life."


AIDANORA OSORNO

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Fall 2010 San Diego (the best teacher training ever!!)

Where are you from?
Born in Miami, FL. Grew up in Severna Park, MD

What was your first class like?
It was packed. Wall to wall people! I thought it was weird how someone spoke the whole time and there was no music. I tried mostly everything I think. It was hard but I was hooked. It was love at first sweat.

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
6 days a week. I shoot for at least one double a week-more if possible!

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
To lose weight. I was on a diet for my upcoming 25th Birthday and one of my co-workers told me how you lost 3 lbs water weight from just one class. I looked up the nearest studio and went.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
I started on March 3rd 2009.

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
Short term, your body feels so great after taking just one class. I felt so cleansed getting all the toxins out. You leave class feeling healthier. Long term, I have seen my body change since I began to practice regularly, I am leaner all around. I have also seen my flexibility and strength change 180 degrees. It's amazing!

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
My favorite is seeing someone's first class and seeing how they evolve from there. The changes are so dramatic. The best part is when you see someone reach a new point in their practice, like when they are finally able to lock their knee or go down all the way in camel. The boundaries are endless in the hot room and it's a true joy to witness.


MAX ROSENBERG

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Fall 2010

Where are you from?
Bethesda, Maryland

What was your first class like?
Very interesting. I don’t remember it too well; I just remember it being hot and hard to follow. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t keep my arms over my head! The postures were so difficult…it was unlike anything I had ever done before.

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
7 or more classes per week

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
I started at first because my mom encouraged me to. However, I only grew to enjoy it once I started studying exercise physiology in college; Everything I was learning was so relevant, and I found that I could study for school by thinking about all the things that were going on in my body during class. So it started as a VERY effective study method.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
Since the beginning of 2009

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
Short term benefits include increased sense of well-being and a feeling of internal cleanliness. This internal cleanliness feels so good that students will often avoid eating unhealthy foods in order to prolong it. As a result, eating habits improve, and students become more aware of healthy foods and healthy eating. Long term benefits are so vast that several pages could be filled, so I’ll focus on a few big ones: Musculoskeletal issues that plague the lives of many people often vanish or improve with consistent practice. There are so many amazing testimonials from students who thought their issue could not improve—even after trying many different therapies, doctors, surgeries, etc—who had their pain/imbalance completely disappear with Bikram yoga. It is endless…come in and try a class, ask us to explain more.

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
Students often lose weight and get healthier looking skin. Acne/skin problems go away and are replaced by a beautiful Bikram glow. Poor posture improves and students often stand up straighter—many of them appear taller as a result. But some of the coolest changes happen at the mental/psychological level—students are more relaxed, happier, smiley, and pleasant as they continue to practice consistently. Stress and tension MELTS out of their lives and they are able to keep their cool under situations that may have caused them to “flip out” in the past (aka life pre-Bikram yoga). It’s very cool to watch.

Why do you teach Bikram Yoga?
Before getting into the why, let me just say that this is the best job in the world. Bikram yoga is one of my passions, and is the only other thing (besides food) that I could talk about all day/everyday/non-stop for days. It’s such a brilliant system for healing and bringing balance to the mind/body/spirit. I have felt and experienced the capacity of this yoga to bring health and wellness to a whole new level! And I want to share it with anyone willing to listen. I love helping people realize their potential and encouraging them toward being healthy and happy! So far, Bikram yoga is the most effective ends to those means that I have discovered…so here I am.


KATE BELLOTTE

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Spring 2011

Where are you from?
Davidsonville, Maryland

What was your first class like?
The main thing I remember about my first class is saying to myself, "I ran the Baltimore Marathon a few months ago so I can make it through class"

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
As often as possible, I try to go everyday but usually about 6-7 times a week. In a perfect world I would go twice a day! Doubles are the best!

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
My friend Megan asked me to go because her husband had given her a gift certificate. It didn't take much convincing because it was right around the Christmas Holidays and I felt like I was packing on the pounds. I have played sports all my life. Played Division one lacrosse at the University of Maryland and after College continued to play club lacrosse and started to really get into running. Long distance running was taking a toll on my knees and hips in conjunction to all the sports I played over the years, so i needed a different way to work out that was also challenging!

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
Since the end of December 2009. Did my first 60 day challenge January 1st, 2010!

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
Short term I immediately felt more energy. I started to need less sleep but sleep better through the night. I gave up caffeine in the first month of taking Bikram Yoga, found myself drinking a lot more water. I have always been a pretty healthy eater, but found myself being every more conscience of what I was eating to prepare for class. I found myself becoming more in tune with my mind body connection and what my body really needed. In the long term, Bikram Yoga has helped me have a more confident and healthy attitude overall with my self and my body image. I find that I maintain a healthy normal weight just buy going to class. The Yoga really gives your body what it needs. I have also found I am more relaxed and calmer in many situations.

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
I see students change a lot in the same ways I have. I see students develop a sense of self confidence that they may not have had when the first came into the Yoga room. I see some students who dont' want to look up in the mirror when they first come into the room, but over time start to see focus on themselves for the whole 90 minutes. I see students who come to class saying they can't touch their toes being able to grab their heels months later. It truly is amazing!

Why do you teach Bikram Yoga?
I teach Bikram Yoga because I am so thankful for how Bikram Yoga has changed my life. I feel like I learned something that I cannot imagine my life without it. I don't want to keep it a secrete from anyone! I want to be able to give people the special gift that I feel was given to me the first day I stepped into the Yoga room. I truly love it so much I want everyone to feel as great as I do and I can't imagine a better way to share it.


ANASTASIA STANSELL

When did you go to Teacher Training?
I attended Fall 2012 Teacher Training.  It was the most incredible experience of my life!

Where are you from?
Harwood, Maryland

What was your first class like?
My first class was the most intense, challenging work-out I've ever done both mentally and physically.  My mind and body were arguing with each other throughout the entire class.  My mind kept repeating "It's so hot in here!  Get out! Flee! Run for your life!"  My body absolutely loved what it was doing so I forced myself to stay in the room. I felt so amazing when I was finished!  I HAD to come back the next day.  I will continue to practice this yoga for the rest of my life.

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
I practice as much as possible.  Minimum 5 classes a week.

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
Several years ago a former co-worker told me about Bikram Yoga and how good she always felt after practicing.  I saw the Severna Park studio several times while I was driving by and decided to give it a try.  I was going through a very difficult time in my life when I started practicing. I needed positive change mentally, physically and spiritually.  Negative thinking manifests itself physically within the body and as a result, I felt horrible.  I tried running and local gyms but my mind was always churning negative thoughts while I was working out. Bikram Yoga changed who I am, how I think and how I live my life. It saved me.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
I've been practicing consistently since August of 2009.

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
The benefits of practicing Bikram Yoga are endless! Short term benefits include but are not limited to:  Vibrant physical health.  The body changes so quickly with regular practice.  Weight loss, increased muscle tone, flexibility, balance, strength.  Back, hip, knee, and shoulder pain disappears.  This yoga is excellent for healing old injuries and/or recovering from surgery.  Increased mental clarity.  An overall feeling of peace and calmness. The yoga teaches you to deal with difficult situations without becoming stressed out. Beautiful, glowing skin.  Your diet becomes healthier. You drink more water everyday in preparation for class, which is a great habit. Long term benefits include but are not limited to:  All of the aforementioned benefits plus:  The achievement of self-realization which allows you to relate to others in a positive, honest manner. You discover who you really are through this yoga practice.  This yoga will change your body, your mind and your life!

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
In short, students become happier because they are healthier. Their feet don't touch the ground.  The transformation that happens is amazing!  It is a great privilege to be a small part of that.


LINDSAY KERR

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Fall 2012 Los Angeles

Where are you from?
Oakton, Virginia

What was your first class like?
It was pretty crazy and a little horrible. I was hot and got a really bad headache, I also cried afterwards. But I came back, and now I love it!

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
I shoot for at least 5 classes a week, more if I can.

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
To be good to myself from the inside out.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
Since the Spring of 2011

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
Long term: Will keep me out of a nursing home when I am elderly.
Short term: I feel great and alive!

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
Give me a couple of months teaching and I will let you know.


ALLAN SANTOS

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Spring 2010

Where are you from?
I was born in Towson, Md but raised in Ca. I moved here from St Louis.

What was your first class like?
It was SO challenging, but afterwards I felt amazing, like I had just had a massage and been to the chiropractor back to back. I felt great so I came back the next day.

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
I take a class nearly everyday.

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
At the time I began the yoga, I was a professional classical musician playing bass in orchestra. After many years spent on stage in rehearsal and in the practice room, I started to feel lower back pain. I was searching for some physical activity to get into better shape and my best friend introduced me to the yoga on one of my gigs on the road.  

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
Since 2005

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
Short term: I have more energy and I feel better throughout the day. Long term: I am in the best health of my life and feel it continues to improve. I am more relaxed and am able to manage stress much easier. I am more present to enjoy all of my life.

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
There are countless ways we see students change, but it all starts with seeing them accomplish something they weren't able to do previously, something they never thought they would be able to do. It is something we see daily in the room, something that is at the heart of how people begin to change themselves. As they accomplish being able to physically move a little more and a little easier, they begin to become empowered. Their imagination and power of their own mind starts to beome stronger. People realize that they are able to accomplish whatever they decide is possible. Seeing that realization is one of the greatest, most inspiring things we see as yoga teachers.  


FIONA MCNAMARA

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Las Vegas Fall 2009

Where are you from?
Dublin, Ireland

What was your first class like?
Hot and humid. I went with my best friend, we wore sweat pants. We couldn't  stop laughing in pranayama. Laughter turned into tears. I went back, my friend never did!

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
Everyday, more or less.

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
I was dancing a lot and was having problems with my left knee. I was told that if you practice this yoga for 10 consecutive days you will get a new body. All I wanted was a new knee! After 10 days I was hooked, after a few months I couldn't remember which knee had been given me problems! 

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
Since 2003

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
The list is endless. This quote sums it up for me: "100% freedom of movement, 100% freedom of pain, looking exactly how you want to not how other people think you should." ~Mary Jarvis

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
In so many positive ways. As the series is always the same, students can observe their own progress from class to class. Self confidence grows as students see their bodies change and realize their own capabilities to heal themselves . Students become healthier and happier.


HANNAH DEANGELIS

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Spring 2013 Los Angeles

Where are you from?
Churchton, Maryland

What was your first class like?
Honesty I don't remember it very well. Maybe that's because I was too overwhelmed with everything to take it, or because I blocked it out. All I know is that I was hot but intrigued.

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
Pretty much whenever I can, usually 5-7 classes each week.

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
My sister had started a while before, and loved it so much that she insisted I try it. I can never thank her enough! I knew right away that it would be a huge part of my life.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
Since October, 2010.

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
You feel great! You quickly gain a sense of accomplishment and control over yourself and by extension, your life. You have a boost of energy and confidence. You start to notice in little ways the improvements of your body and your ability to go beyond your limits. Over time, these improvements and changes just continue to grow. You are setting yourself up for a happier, healthier life in all aspects.

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
I've enjoyed seeing the students that I've practiced with for so long become happier and more comfortable with themselves over time. I've seen people get smaller in size and bigger in personality. It's all a transformation, and I look forward to seeing more and more as I teach and grow alongside them.

Why do you teach Bikram Yoga?
Because I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. I love this yoga, and I want everyone else to be able to share a piece of this wonderful community and practice.


MOLLY LAUFMAN

When did you go to Teacher Training?
Fall 2013 in Los Angeles.

Where are you from?
Annapolis, Maryland

What was your first class like?
Long!! I remember thinking "how long have we been in here?!" but I stuck it out and came back for more!

How often do you practice Bikram Yoga?
I try to practice everyday if possible but generally 5-6 times a week.

Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
My best friend and I wanted to find a new kind of exercise that we actually enjoyed doing, and heard about Bikram (SP) so went in to try it! At the studio, I ran into Phil, who was my middle school music teacher at Severn. So fun to see a familiar face there and be encouraged to come back!!

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga?
I started taking classes my senior year of high school in 2008! Then, after a couple years off (car-less in college), I started practicing again and got really addicted :) I practiced obsessively for about a year and a half before deciding to go to teacher training!

What are some long term and short term benefits of Bikram Yoga?
The short term benefits I've found from practicing Bikram are having lots of energy, getting your body in great shape, and feeling truly happy and fulfilled day to day. The greatest long term benefit is that it acts as a preventative medicine if practiced regularly (for anxiety and depression too!)

How have you seen students change by doing Bikram Yoga?
Not only have I seen students transform their bodies, but I've also watched relatives get off numerous medications for high blood pressure, arthritis and joint pain. I've also seen so many students gain SO much confidence from practicing Bikram.

Why do you teach Bikram Yoga?
I feel that this yoga has completely changed and enhanced my life- physically, mentally, emotionally- and feel the need to share it with everyone around me!! I want all of my friends to gain all of the benefits that I have.