Why Bikram Yoga?

bikram yoga class


"My yoga class is that sweltering day. It's one long, hot meditation. We put incredible pressure on you to teach you to break your attachment to external things and go within. Instead of blaming others for your own weakness, fear and depression, you will learn to take responsibility for your own life. You've got to face yourself in the mirror, every part you don't like, every mistake you make, every excuse your mind creates to limit your potential liberation--there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. No escape from reality. With these kinds of demands on your abilities and attention, you will soon forget that there is anyone on the next mat in the classroom, much less notice what they are wearing. After you learn to discipline your body and mind under these conditions, you will truly be able to concentrate; no external will be able to break your powerful focus. That's why I say the the darkest place in the world is under the brightest lamp. In the Torture Chamber of my class, you will find a beautiful light, and the source of that light is within you."

Bikram Choudhury


It takes more than a hot room and a list of postures to make your Bikram Method Yoga practice a safe, rewarding experience. Bikram Method Yoga is a specialized form of yoga, requiring appropriate training and knowledge to teach it effectively.

Bikram Choudhury, the creator of Bikram Yoga, personally trains and certifies his instructors to ensure that his methods and philosophy are preserved and properly taught. To be certified as an instructor in the Bikram Method of Yoga, an instructor must complete an intensive nine-week training session requiring over 500 hours of study.

Spring 2016, we are thrilled to begin a new chapter of training with a 500 hour certification course developed by Craig Villani (director and senior teacher of Bikram Yoga Training for over a decade)  May 2016, BYL Director, Kristin Olsen will serve on the faculty of the Raja Yoga Academy in Australia for the launch of this new paradigm in hot yoga teacher training.  Craig Villani has developed this 500 hour certification course dedicated to the therapeutic Core 26 and the Bishnu Ghosh lineage of practice. BYL shares this mission and fresh perspective on the time-honored benefits of the yoga.

The initital certification is only the beginning of a Bikram teachers journey.  To maintain studio integrity, each studio owner and instructor must get back to the source of training regularly to maintain the theory of practice.  It just makes sense that a studio specializing in a yoga tradition would make sure all staff is getting continuing education from "the source" every year.  

A studio guided by a Bikram or Raja certified instructor provides the best possible instruction in the Bikram Method. Certified Bikram or Raja instructors have a continuing connection to Bikram Choudhury or Craig Villani and their training staff, allowing the studio to draw from all of the resources the training center has to offer. This includes special seminars, posture clinics, guest instructors, and answers to questions which may arise in a particular practitioner's Bikram Yoga practice.

Many can claim that they teach "Bikram Yoga," but unless your studio is focused on continuing education, mentoring and the Pure Bikram philosophy, the very elements that maintain the discipline and technique so unique to this practice are lost.

"In a Beginning Bikram Yoga class, you may not get exactly what you want, but you will definitely get what you need."  Emmy Cleaves  (Most Senior teacher - Bikram Corporate)