When Adam started Bikram Yoga, he was still in college, 35 lbs heavier, and unable to touch his toes. Now he has his B.F.A in Drama from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, weighs 140 lbs. and can do splits. He completed his Bikram Teacher Training in the Summer of 2004 and has been teaching full-time ever since. In his ‘off-time’, Adam enjoys painting his own pottery, decorating his apartment, Feng Shui-ing your apartment, cooking vegan dishes and keeping Sebastian from eating chicken bones on the street.
Adam is a Director of Bikram Yoga Harlem and lives in Hamilton Heights.
Erik hails from the western coast of North America, in the wilds of Seattle, WA and Vancouver, Canada. When he was introduced to Bikram Yoga in 2003, he had a plethora of issues – stiff shoulder from a broken bone in a bicycling accident with a car a few years earlier, a condition of chronic hives that was debilitating that left him anti-social, and was several days past being in shape anymore. After studying at the Sweatbox in Seattle, Erik moved to New York in 2004, continuing his Bikram practice. Erik went to Bikram Teacher Training in Fall 2005.
Erik is a Director of Bikram Yoga Harlem and also lives in the area.
Abigoliah Schamaun discovered Bikram Yoga when she moved to NYC in 2004. Her first class was with Bernadette and after that she was hooked. After finishing college at The New School University with a BFA in Musical Theater, she headed off to teacher training in fall of 2008. When she’s not teaching Bikram Yoga uptown at the break of dawn, you can find her performing sketch and improv downtown in the middle of the night.
Abigoliah loves that Bikram Yoga Harlem is a mere 15 block walk from her home in Washington Heights!
Angela fell in love with Bikram’s Torture Chamber immediately and knew she wanted to teach. She became a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor in Fall 2009 and is excited to share her love of the practice in her neighborhood of Harlem USA!
In addition to teaching, Angela has proven herself to be one of today’s most versatile, innovative and gifted young artist. She has amassed an impressive list of career credits nationally and internationally as an aerialist, choreographer and dancer. She was last seen in Disney’s Tarzan on Broadway and in the smash Off-Broadway sensation De La Guarda.
Currently, Angela works as Associate Aerial Designer with Disney Theatrical Productions. She loves traveling the world teaching others how to FLY inside and outside of the yoga room.
After actively practicing different yoga styles, Caroline finally found Bikram Yoga. Living with pain for many years due to sports injuries and “bad choices”, Bikram Yoga was not only the most challenging practice Caroline had done, but the only practice that brought changes to her life, physically, spiritually and mentally. Her knees are much stronger. Her whole body is healthier.
Caroline went to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in 2006. After teaching in NYC for a year, Caroline moved to Arizona where she taught full-time and refined her teaching style. She is now back, living in her native Washington Heights and is so happy that Bikram Yoga has come uptown! Through this awesome practice Caroline says “I have learned how to enjoy all things in moderation, to not take things personally and to love myself.”
She looks forward to seeing you in one of her classes soon!
I started Bikram Yoga for my vanity, and I stay for my sanity as the saying goes. Practicing since 2000 and teaching since January 2006, I can’t imagine my life without this practice. I’ve had a myriad of careers throughout my working life; interior design industry, real estate leasing, sales/marketing, but being a yoga instructor is the best job I’ve ever had!
Dr. Danielle Rothman, D.C.
Danielle attended her first Bikram Yoga class in September 2003. Interestingly, she first learned about Bikram Yoga while watching a reality dating show on TV. One of the couples went on their first date to a Bikram Yoga Studio. Danielle knew at that moment she had to find a Bikram Yoga studio in her area.
At her first class, Danielle fell in love with Bikram Yoga and never looked back. Danielle has been an avid exerciser since adolescence; however she finds the Bikram Yoga discipline to be especially unique. Bikram Yoga is not your typical exercise; it involves mind, body and spirit. This combination is very significant for Danielle who has been a Doctor of Chiropractic since 1998. Danielle finds the philosophy of chiropractic and the philosophies of Bikram Yoga go hand in hand. To paraphrase Bikram Choudhury (founder), ‘If you can have total control of your spine and nervous system you will have total control of your mind, body and the rest of the world’
Danielle holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and taught in the NYC Public School System in the early 90′s. She also has a Master of Science Degree in Special Education. She is a licensed Chiropractor in NY and NJ and currently has her own private practice in Englewood NJ. Danielle attended Bikram Yoga training in the spring of 2007 in Honolulu Hawaii, and has been teaching Bikram Yoga regularly since.
Derek took his first Bikram Yoga class in the winter of 2008. The teacher was BYH co-owner, Adam Roper. It is no exaggeration to say that class changed his life. In the fall of 2008, Derek found himself in Acapulco, Mexico at Bikram’s biannual teacher training. Teaching and practicing Bikram’s Yoga continues to enrich his life by challenging him on a daily basis – physically, mentally, and spiritually. “…in that extreme heat we forge bodies and minds of steel. By pushing you to your limits and then beyond, I get you to understand that there are no limits.” – Bikram Choudhury
Derrick, originally from Maine graduated from the University of Southern Maine in ’08 with a BM in Voice Performance, Musical Theatre concentration. After moving to Hamilton Heights he took his first Bikram yoga class at Bikram Yoga Harlem in January of ’09 and has been addicted to the practice and the studio ever since. He is thrilled to be teaching at the studio where it all began for him here in the neighborhood!
Dionne did her 1st 30day challenge when she was 204 pounds in July 2010 here at Bikram Yoga Harlem. She was on medical leave from her corporate career, dealing with health issues and a myriad of family challenges. In a change of lifestyle revolution, she left financial services and signed up for Bikram Yoga teacher training. She graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in June 2012 over 70 pounds lighter in body and stress. When not teaching or practicing Bikram yoga, she is a mother of 2 teenage boys, certified life coach, West African Dance performer & teacher, actress, public speaker on mental illness, blogger, meditation leader, people gatherer and a generally overactive energetic yet sleep-deprived person. (Sleep, what is that? Isn’t that what Ardha-Kurmasansa, Half-Tortoise pose, is for?) Also certified in Living Food Lifestyle she loves preparing smoothies and dishes (raw or cooked) for her friends and family. Committed to being happy when she grows up, Dionne lives her life “INjoy” in Washington Heights.
Emily Smyth Vartanian
Emily has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2004 and teaching since June of 2008. She loves it! She is also a dancer and choreographer, and recently co-founded a company that uses aerial dance, so she can personally attest to the benefits of yoga for injury prevention.
She moved to Washington Heights in 2005 and loves having the studio so close! She is very happy to be spending time with her fellow Harlem yoginis and yogis. Happy Practicing!
Eoin Thomas Sharkey
Eoin Thomas moved to NYC in fall 2009, where he quickly began practicing Bikram’s Yoga after much convincing from a co-worker. Remembering that his hesitation was that he would not be able to handle the heat. Now, the hotter the better! Eoin has always had a passion in teaching, and knew right after his first class that this was what he was meant to teach.
Eoin is also a dancer, and an actor leaving him prone to injury. When he moved to New York, he tore his hamstring quite badly creating sharp sciatic pain all throughout his right leg. Not really understanding what it was or how to heal it, he just got into the yoga room and tried his best. Now a year later, the hamstring flexibility is coming back, and his sciatic pain is completely gone, but more importantly he is no longer allowing an injury be an excuse for pursuing his dreams. Having struggled consistently over his life with his attention and efficiently multitasking outside the workplace, he started to realize the more he practiced the more grounded he became in his own body and mind.
Eoin went to teacher training in Fall 2010 in San Diego, where he spent the most inspiring nine weeks of his life with Bikram and 387 other students. Eoin is happy to be back in New York city and close to home at Bikram Yoga Harlem, and cannot wait to see in the hot room soon!
“Its never too late, it’s never too bad, and you’re never too old or too sick to start from scratch once again.” – Bikram Choudhury
Kyoko is native Japanese, with a background in both gymnastics and dance. Kyoko began her professional career in gymnastics; she competed in Japan and won many prizes in women’s individual competitions. Kyoko obtained her Masters degree in Dance from NYU. As a dancer, she worked with numerous choreographers and was featured in “Aladdin” at Disney’s California Adventure Park.
She was certified as a Bikram Yoga instructor in 2005 and then as a Vinyasa Yoga instructor by Dharma Mittra in 2009. Kyoko has earned the title of “NY State Yoga Competitive Champion”.
In her classes, Kyoko applies her dance and gymnastic backgrounds and focuses attention on alignment, breathing and self-discovery. Her classes are challenging yet playful practices where she encourages students to tune into their present experiences. Her teaching abilities and upbeat personality have earned her a devoted following in NYC.
Luke first started practicing Bikram Yoga in Summer 2002 and has been in the hot room just about every day since. As an actor and singer, Luke can attest that there is no better way to stay energized for a performance than these 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. As a person who has also struggled with severe knee issues, he can also attest to the amazing, healing powers of this transformative practice. He is beyond thrilled to be able to share his love of Bikram with the fine community of yogis here in Harlem. Change your life! – Lock the knee!
Originally from Santa Fe, NM, Megan moved to New York City in the fall of 2001 to attend NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. One day, her friend (BYH owner Adam) said, “Hey do you want to go to this weird yoga class with me?” It was a Bikram yoga class, and she was pretty much hooked right away. Megan attended Teacher Training in the fall of 2007 in beautiful Honolulu, HI. Bikram Yoga has helped Megan fix her back and knees, clear her acne, lose weight and stay sane in this crazy city. Working with Adam and Erik, she has learned to be a tough, but compassionate teacher and how to perfectly fold a towel. She recently spent three years in Arlington, VA, and is happy to be back in New York teaching the uptown yogis.
Myrna took her first class Nov 2008 and by the time the first set of Pranayama Breathing was done, she was hooked and decided she wanted to become a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor. Almost 4 years to the day of that fabulous 1st class, Myrna graduated from Fall 2012 Teacher Training in Los Angeles.
She continues to grow and be challenged in her own practice, as well as, in her teaching. Myrna is totally excited to be part of the Bikram Yoga Harlem community and looks forward to sharing her passion and enthusiasm with YOU in class!!!
Nadia Lehmejian is from Connecticut, and has just returned to the east coast after living in southern California for 5 years. Nadia has a Bachelor’s from Boston College, and she’s practiced Bikram Yoga for over 6 years. She’s so excited to teach, and learn from the Bikram Yoga Harlem community! Outside of the hot room, Nadia loves to travel, play Scrabble, dance, write letters, and she’s got 7 marathons under her belt.
A professional classical violinist for 30+ years and an interior painter for over a decade, I started practicing Bikram in October 2009. I was brought to my first class by my friend John, who was tired of hearing me complain about not being flexible. From the very beginning, I remember thinking “finally, this is where I belong”. Not only did my flexibility and strength improve dramatically, but I found the tools for incredible mental focus and the power to calm myself in any situation (like performing onstage, where i’d always been debilitatingly anxious before).
In the past two years I’ve introduced several friends to the practice, but I knew the best way to share this unique, life-changing yoga with the world was to become a certified teacher. I graduated from the Fall 2011 Teacher Training on November 19th, and absolutely Love teaching. I’ve lived in Central Harlem for over eight years now, and when I’m not in the hot room you might find me swimming at Brighton Beach, year-round!
I was born and raised in Japan and came to the United States to further my education in biology and mathematics. Growing up in a family of health care professionals and believing in spirituality, I was taken with Bikram Yoga after just one class. When I practice this yoga method, I get the same feeling of rejuvenation, I used to get after spending a day at a public hot spring bath house in Japan. I always believe in my good energy and would like to spread it by teaching Bikram Yoga.
When Sebastian is not fulfilling his busy schedule as Bikram Yoga Harlem’s unofficial mascot (receiving keys to cities, judging dog shows, handing out flyers on his walks in Hamilton Heights etc) he can be found curled up behind the sign-in desk.
Sebastian would like everyone to know that while Downward Dog is not one of the twenty-six postures in the Bikram series (surely an unintended omission), he is happy to demonstrate it to anyone who asks.
He was born on August 25, 2006 in Westport CT. Every year on this date, to honor his birthday, Bikram Yoga Harlem will feature a special tail-wagging membership offer. Be sure to ask at the front desk when August rolls around!