In 1991 Tanya visited Lake Tahoe and it was then she decided to move from Southern California to the Sierra Nevada mountains. In 1998 she gave birth to her beautiful twins, Cade and Maddison (who now practice Yoga alongside mom!).
Like many moms, Tanya became exhausted by the full-time job of mothering and began to suffer from severe headaches, hormone imbalances and other health-related issues. As is often the case, experiencing physical and emotional lows inspired Tanya to embark on a path of self-realization and healing.
During this time, a friend encouraged Tanya to attend a Bikram Yoga class. Reluctantly, she attended that class, yet she emerged, in her words, "a new person." Tanya immediately became hooked on the emotional, spiritual and physical therapeutic aspects of Bikram Yoga as well as the sense of accomplishment she felt, and continues to feel, from every class.
Tanya practiced Bikram Yoga virtually every day after attending that first class and soon realized that she wanted to become a Bikram Yoga instructor in order to share with others the amazing benefits that she had experienced. In 2003, Tanya moved to Los Angeles for nine weeks to attend the over 500-hour teacher training program. She considers that time one of the most challenging and life-changing experiences she has ever had.
As owner and director of Bikram Yoga Sierras, Tanya strives to help create and nurture a loving, caring Bikram Yoga community. It is her belief that Yoga, in whatever form, brings much needed peace and compassion to our fast-paced and often ego-based western world. It is from this belief that Tanya considers it her highest calling to introduce Yoga to children. As such, Tanya offers children’s Yoga classes to local children as well as trains youth competitors for the newly-established youth division in national and international Yoga Asana competitions.
Whether you know Tanya, or not, you can see and feel her enthusiasm for Bikram Yoga whenever you are in her presence. Tanya believes that her students are her best teachers and she continues to learn and grow through teaching and practicing Bikram Yoga.
It seems I always liked things that make me sweat. I came to yoga in 1997 for the physical benefits - specifically to save my knees so I could continue to run. For the past ten years, I have relied 100% on Bikram Yoga. My knees are 100% healthy, and I can run for fun when I want to. I can now touch my toes, and the annoying pains I used to feel in my joints have vanished.
Like so many who discover yoga, I've stayed with it for another, less physical reason. Much of my adult life I spent working for America's defense. It was as-if over the years, my body had grown its own layer of armor, my mind learned to defend against unseen threats and my heart maintained constant guard. In 2001 a gentle monk penetrated my armor to plant the seed of nonviolence in my hard-packed soil. That tiny seed somehow survived. Many years later, today I feel more comfortable in my skin, more trusting of others and more calmly confident that I am standing exactly where I should be standing.
I enjoy connecting yoga principles with those of soldiering, and the more I study, the more I see striking similarities between the yoga and military service. Writing has always been one path to clarity for me. So, when I'm not in the yoga room, I enjoy writing about life and the many things yoga has taught me about it.
Day by day, I just keep showing up. I keep sweating.
I was brought to my first Bikram class in 2001. From that very first day I knew it was something that needed to be a regular in my life. In the summer of 2004 I left New England and went to LA for the teacher training. An experience I will hold near and dear. For the past seven years I have continued to grow as a teacher and as part of the BYS and Juice Box community, now a very special place in my heart!
Before suffering through my first Bikram Yoga class in August 2004 I had never stepped foot in a gym, fitness center or exercised for that matter. After taking 3 class in the first week I was ready to abandon my job and asked the instructor what was required for me to become an instructor.
The feeling after a yoga class was like nothing I had ever experienced, and I felt compelled to share the experience with others and help them feel the same wonderful things.
After one year of practice my future wife Mercy and I attended Bikram's Teacher Training in fall 2005. I taught in Reno for two years with Mercy then taught in Houston, Texas for eight months. In May 2008 Mercy and I went to Korea to teach English for one year. There was no studio but we did our best to practice the yoga we loved in our small apartment with a Bikram yoga class CD and a pot of boiling water on the stove. Later a studio opened there where I moonlighted teaching on the weekends. I returned to Reno in July 2009 and am so happy to be back in this wonderful community teaching the yoga I love.
I took my first Bikram class on May 12, 2004 in Reno Nevada. That day I knew I found something great! I continued my yoga journey over the next few years. At first I was paying my annual membership, slowly changing my body class by class drop of sweat by drop of sweat. I wanted to be more involved in the yoga so I started working for trade at the studio as a Karma cleaner. Eventually, working at the front desk and overseeing the daily operations of the studio. After some time, I decided I wanted to share the yoga and go to teacher training. I was able to raise enough money by selling watermelon juice and raffle tickets to place my deposit and reserve my spot for the Fall 2008 Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. The first time Bikram held Teacher Training out of the states in Acapulco, Mexico. That training went down in the books hotter than ever! We made it! All told, 9 weeks had made a lot of changes in me and through me. I made it and with great community, and family support. Over the next three years I taught full time at the Reno studio under the mentorship of a wonderful group of teachers and students to guide me. In 2011 I furthered my yoga journey by taking a teaching spot in New Zealand and eventually in Australia. It was a once in a life time opportunity. I was asked to be the M.C. for the New Zealand Regional Yoga Asana Event held in Dunedin. Yes, it was an amazing experience! When I returned state side in 2012, I applied to be on staff for the Fall Bikram Yoga Teacher Training and was accepted. I oversaw Bikram’s posture clinics, along with other daily duties. I was also asked to teach the big classes of 500 plus people. Amazing. After their graduation, I taught throughout California and then made my way back Reno. Life is yoga. Remember to love each other.
I was brought into the room by my brother back in December of 2009. Who would’ve known the effect that one small spontaneous action would have on my life… I immediately fell in love with yoga and applied for a job cleaning the studio once a week so that I could continue my practice and eventually ended up working the front desk. Practicing has always been something I have held dear as it has allowed me to open up in mind, body and spirit. It has also helped me to be find confidence, self-love, and drive for life, and once I started working the front desk I enjoyed working too. I loved to see people’s happy smiling faces and having the opportunity to be a part of our awesome community.
People had asked me for the longest time when I was going to go to teacher training and become and instructor, and my answer for the longest time was that I would go once I had finished school. The thought of teaching (standing in front of people and talking for 90 minutes) struck a paralyzing fear into me and was something that I didn’t think I would ever be able to do. However, I took the plunge and took a semester off of college to get teacher certified and graduated in November 2012.
Teaching, as expected, has proven to be quite a struggle for me, but if there is one thing this yoga has taught me is that our potential inside and outside of the room is limitless. I would once stare in awe of yoga champions who could do breathtaking postures that demonstrated strength, flexibility, and grace that I can now do myself today. There is nothing like accomplishing something that you had once thought you would never be able to do. Through teaching, I hope to transcend more limitations, insecurities and doubts from my mind to while leading others to discover that they too are limitless.
The power of this yoga is incredible, it has brought so many unforgettable people to my life and has provided me with so many once in a lifetime opportunities. I feel so tremendously blessed to be a part of our glowing community and to have the opportunity to better myself with each passing day.
I have been teaching Bikram Yoga since 2003. I love it. My dad told me when I was a kid that it doesn't matter what I do as long as I love what I'm doing. Mission accomplished. I have never had a desk job, and I don't think I could. I continue to change how I do what I do, but every day I get to teach a class or a seminar or a private yoga session, I am thankful and full of gratitude for everything and everyone in my life. Ain't life grand!!??
I have taught all over the world. I have had the opportunity to teach in Asia (Hong Kong, Seoul, India) as well as all over North America, including Canada, the US and Mexico...and I'm hoping to add Europe and Australia to that list over the next year...and then who knows where else!
After spending years teaching many classes I primarily teach Bikram Yoga seminars and posture clinics now. I breakdown the Bikram series and do demonstrations of all of the postures as well as assist one on one to help people learn more about their own practice.
Since my years of competing, I have started doing much more coaching and judging. I feel like I have learned a great deal about myself and the Universe through my competing years. I've had to opportunity to work closely with Bikram and many other people who have been in this community for many years. I feel honored to be able to share what I've learned with others. I know that this yoga is so much more than the physical benefits and now use the physical to discover the spiritual...what a ride.
My brother introduced me to Bikram Yoga in 1997 - in NYC. No studios there yet, just a woman who went around with her space heaters. I was hooked! So I went back home to Houston, TX, bought the Bikram Yoga book and taught myself. At the time I was working in the corporate world and with Bikram Yoga I experienced profound emotional, mental and physical changes. Ok I was in LOVE.
I started wearing only pants to work so I could sit in my chair crossed legged. And shhhhh! I'd take 3 hour lunches so I could do Bikram Yoga with my friend in an empty house we heated to 110 degrees. We did "triple sets" so I could prepare for the Teacher Training which I went to in the Summer of 1999 in Beverly Hills. It was amazing to practice and take from some of my favorite mentors - who had been doing this yoga since the 70s. Their words of wisdom are still with me - what an inspiration!
After the TT I quit my corporate job, moved to Hermosa Beach, CA and started teaching in Manhattan Beach. I sure did "sweat" the corporate world out of my system - taking 3-4 advanced classes a week in addition to 7-10 regular classes. And in my spare time? Of course I went to Beverly Hot Springs. Yes I admit - I love to sweat!
In 2001 my brother Jason (who became a BY teacher in 1997) called me and said he wanted to open a studio together - YAY! The next year we opened Bikram Yoga Laguna Beach with an ocean view. We would run across the street after class and jump in the ocean - even in January (ok it's not the polar plunge ;) We had so much fun with our students and teachers - what a great community!
We sold the studio in 2007 and then I opened (with my ex) a raw food cafe in Encinitas (sold in 2011). For the last 2.5 years I've been working full time out of my home in marketing. I have 2 male Rottweilers Orso and Onyx and we are SO excited to now call Truckee our home - nature boys! I'm looking forward to sweating with you all - what a great community Tanya has created! :)
I first practiced Bikram yoga in 2010 in Missoula, MT. I enjoyed the militaristic style of Bikram, but after my student intro offer was finished I told myself that it was too expensive to continue. I thought about Bikram yoga off and on for the next 2 ½ years. After traveling around I finally landed near Reno. I was blessed with the opportunity to have enough time on my hands to look into what I wanted to do with my life. I came across a quote by a British Philosopher, Alan Watts. He gave lecture once about "What if money were no object?" This brought me to thinking about yoga. I started practicing Bikram in my living room randomly. When I discovered there was a Bikram studio in town in September 2012, I thought to myself, “If I don’t go now then I will always find an excuse of why I can’t go.” So I went.
I’ve learned through my time here that the reason I come into the classroom is more than to have a place to practice or to sweat, but the value of having a teacher to take your practice to the next level; to be there to help you do the postures correct and safe. Otherwise why would we come? Yoga is more to me than a workout but best described by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. “Remember that yoga is the work of the inner self (Vyakta) on the outer self (vyakti). All that the outer self does is merely in response to the inner self.”
I had always been fairly active growing up. Competitive sports and martial arts consumed a significant portion of my extracurricular time. But when I entered high school, I devoted most of my athletic ability to competitive tennis. During my summers, when I wasn't on the court practicing my serve or teaching the summer camps, I was very often in the weight the room attempting to build the strength and endurance required for three hour tournament matches in the summer heat. All of this training took a toll on my body in many ways that I did not fully appreciate at the time: my ankles and knees had become very stiff and injury prone, and I suffered from serious imbalances between the right and left sides of my body.
When it became obvious that I did not have the tournament record to compete at a division I college, I retired from intensive competition to embrace recreational play and junior level coaching. During this time I struggled to find activities that gave me the same degree of discipline and rigor that I had come to rely on as a tournament player. Then, in April of 2012 my sister introduced me to Bikram yoga here at JBY. I immediately embraced the practice. It offered me everything that I had been looking for and so much more; the real potential for continual growth and self-cultivation. After only a few months I began to notice the benefits, and my practice has now become an integral part of my life. I naturally jumped at the opportunity to work for the studio. I feel that my work here at JBY is an extension of my practice, and I cherish it just as much.
I took my first Bikram class with Tanya in 2005. I grew up enjoying activities that were harsh on my knees like running, mountain biking, skiing, etc. and I was looking for some balance. I remember thinking during the class, “What am I doing? Am I really this masochistic?” But then afterwards I felt amazing, my joints did not feel tight, my entire body felt like it was aglow, and I slept amazingly that night. What I enjoy about the Bikram method is that I am constantly having to challenge myself. I feel this constant push against what makes us uncomfortable is an amazing tool for personal growth and change. After a hiatus of a few years attempting to figure out the whole life game, I find myself back at the same studio that I began with, looking forward to expanding my practice, and loving it.
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