Hot Yoga Agoura Instructors
I began practicing Bikram yoga several years ago through the recommendation of a close friend. I was intrigued and curious about the yoga after my first class. I could not believe that I made it through the entire 90 minutes. I felt good! No, I felt amazing!! I felt on top of the world after my first class and knew this practice would be a part of my life going forward.
When I first began practicing I was working in the fashion and design industry which I ABSOLUTELY LOVED. I had so much stress and knew right away Bikram yoga would be a great stress-management tool. I was right! My decision to become a Bikram instructor was inspired through the teachers from whom I took class. I wanted to help others discover the same excitement I felt after class and knew that I could be a source of encouragement to others and realized my purpose for this world. After I graduated training I headed up north to be mentored under one of the greatest teachers I have ever taken class from. My mentor, who has owned 3 studios, has been teaching over 20 years and who guided me through endless training courses, has been one of my biggest sources of inspiration.
The students and instructors at Hot Yoga Agoura make this studio stand out and I am so thankful to have such an amazing team. I am honored to be of service to the same community I grew up in, Agoura Hills, and grateful to be able to provide a special sanctuary which is the vibe you get the second you walk in the door. I love this studio and am extremely humbled every day I arrive to class.
I discovered yoga after looking for an alternative to long distance running and soccer, which had injured my Achilles. I was relieved to find a practice that rivaled the intensity of my previous routines and was gentle enough for me to rehabilitate and elevate my strength, flexibility, mental focus, and discipline. That was 15 years ago. In 2011 I became a certified Bikram Yoga teacher and joined Agoura in November 2014. I’ve been a school teacher since 2001 and in 2007 began working with a Burmese Migrant Worker’s Education Committee to help facilitate education and fund schools in Mae Sot Thailand. Additionally, I founded a charity in 2012 called All You Need Is Love, which supports educational projects for children marginalized by conflict and crisis on the Thai- Burma Border.
Yoga has given me the tools to be a better advocate for the children I love so much. It has kept me grounded and focused and reminded me to breathe.
I spent the better portion of my adult life performing, first traveling the world on cruise ships, then based in New York doing musical theater. On my last National tour with "Hairspray," I worked and became friends with John Salvatore, who is not only a great performer and great guy but is one of the most liked senior teachers in the Bikram world. I started taking John's classes in New York and never once in those early months did I EVER think I would be a teacher! After a move to L.A. and a few years of practicing the time seemed right. Fall of 2010 I went to teacher training in San Diego and I've been teaching full time ever since.
I took my Bikram Yoga training in the Fall of 2006. I have been teaching since November 2006. Since becoming a full time teacher in 2008, I have been practicing Bikram yoga with my teacher and mentor, Emmy Cleaves, who is a principle teacher of Bikram Yoga. Through learning from her and my own experience of yoga, I am totally fascinated with how yoga works, how amazing the healing power it has on the human body, and the wisdom of what it teaches through practice. My mantra of life is true happiness through self-realization. One can take control of their body and their life if you know how to use what you have. I would like to help people to live healthier and fuller lives using yoga.
I fell in love with Bikram yoga from the very first class and decided to become a teacher that very evening. Due to the requirements for training, I had to practice for six months to get in. I became certified in the Spring of 2009 and have been teaching full time ever since. My passion and interest lies in the connection between then mind and the body. I love working on the spine and any back bending postures. I also have a strong Bhakti yoga practice and enjoy learning about all aspects of yoga, spiritually and Vedic philosophy. I recently moved to L.A. to pursue my passion for acting and modeling. I hold an art degree from Parsons School of Design and love all forms of artistic expression through which life shows itself.
I love being on my mat, taking class and teaching yoga....I love to breathe. I began practicing Bikram yoga for health and fitness. My appreciation for yoga continues to grow deeper and has become so much more than a physical program. I believe in the simplicity, power and magic of our series. I started teaching in 2006. Almost ten years have passed and I am now even more in love than ever.
Thank you to the yogis of BY Agoura Hills for sharing your practice and life with us. It is always a privilege and honor to be in the room with you and watch you grow.
So many elements of my life have been influenced by Bikram Yoga: my physical and mental health, friendships, career, challeneges and goals. Most importantly, a consistent practice has helped calm my mind that was too often running at speeds that weren’t helpful to others or myself. Physically, I’ve gained strength and flexibility and have maintained great health for the ten years I’ve practiced Bikram Yoga. Meeting my own eyes in the mirror and seeing what I’m capable of — pushing myself as well as being kind to myself — has been a life-altering experience.
My goal in teaching is to help others also use this yoga to heal themselves and to keep themselves happy and healthy. I have spent most of my life in Southern California, but was living in Seattle when I first tried Bikram Yoga. I despised my first class, but when I left I felt great. I went back the next day, the day after, and I kept going back. For me, the struggle — which I still experience some days — is part of what makes Bikram Yoga so interesting and compelling. As a teacher, I empathize with the students and try to impart why the challenge is key to growth. Through teaching I continue to learn more about how to teach better and how to learn better, as well as how to be better.
I value that all certified Bikram Yoga teachers learn from Bikram himself. I’ve been privileged to spend years working with and learning from him and other great teachers. Each teacher has his or her own approach and yet hopefully we are all moving in the same direction. Being able to learn directly from Emmy Cleaves has been one of the most amazing experiences on this journey. Watching her work with students both beginning and very advanced has given me insight on when to push, when to encourage and when to ignore. I also enjoy observing her use her various tools: the sharp comment, the kind “Nice try,” the eye roll, the sigh, the pointed finger, as well as the much-sought-after “Good.” To be around someone who has been working with these same 84 postures for nearly 50 years and is still growing and learning is awe-inspiring. Plus she’s tremendously funny.
When I was working for a software company, I never thought I would end up participating in a national yoga competition or teaching at a training in front of hundreds of sweaty students. But after seven years of teaching, I know how much yoga can affect someone’s life and I want to keep sharing that with others.
I started practicing Bikram yoga in November 2012 during a particularly difficult and painful time in my life. Little did I know then that Bikram yoga would change my life 360 degrees. I finally pursued a long time dream of attending teacher training in Thailand and graduated as an instructor in June 2015. I am extremely thankful for the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits this practice continues to give me on a daily basis. Bikram yoga is now a part of my life and besides working on flexibility, strength, discipline and mental determination, this form of yoga allows me to go further, moving past previous comfort zones. My practice is therapy. I heal physically, emotionally, and mentally on a deeper level, every single time I am in the hot room. Today, I am grateful and blessed for the gift to be able to teach, help and empower people beyond their limits through Bikram Yoga. My goal as a teacher is to continuously better myself as an instructor through my students and fellow teachers. I am humbled to be a part of the beautiful Bikram community. I want to thank my fellow teachers and students for the immense support I receive daily. Namaste.
" I have both English bulldog determination and Bengal tiger strength!"
I took my first bikram yoga class in 2007 while attending the university of Vermont in Burlington, VT. I loved the heat and how much I would sweat (seeing as it was in the dead of winter with below zero temperatures outside). But honestly, I wasn't initially hooked. I would practice here and there, one month would be consistent, the next I would take 1 or 2 classes and maybe none at all. I had a very destructive lifestyle and my life was headed in the absolute wrong direction. In 2008 I made the decision to change my life for the better and moved from new Hampshire to California. It took me a year to collect myself, but I came back into the room for serenity, discipline, stress relief and most importantly, my health. Since 2009 I have been practicing 5-7 times a week. This practice was the final piece to the puzzle I needed to keep myself living the life I deserve. In 2013 I left my job at a successfull treatment center to attend the fall teacher training here in Los Angeles. Since graduating, I have been teaching in Marina Del Rey, Agoura Hills, and occasionally in Palm Desert. It feels amazing to watch students change and grow, as I'm sure my teachers saw in me. I believe in this yoga 100%, it heals.
I love the outdoors, family, animals, hiking dancing, and surfers. I am married to one :) I have a bachelors in arts with an emphasis in environmental design. I worked 13 years doing auto cad for an architect. Some years back after months of back pain, my best friend talked me into coming to a Bikram class. After one class my back pain was gone and I was sold. Now practicing regularly, I see numerous benefits. I truly believe it is the fountain of youth. I found the strength to become a teacher after a sermon at church about "One second of courage can change your life". I love teaching all the wonderful people I have met, and pray they heal mentally and physically.
I started practicing Bikram yoga in 2007 when a friend from theater class invited me to yoga. I had no idea it was hot yoga, and I found myself in Jim Kallet’s studio in Old Town San Diego, one of the hottest studios around. Despite the heat, I was hooked, and I have been practicing ever since. I got certified to teach Bikram in the Fall of 2012, after having experienced some family emergencies, and learning that my yoga practice was the only thing that kept me centered and balanced. The hot room is a sanctuary and a healing place, and I am very grateful to share the practice with students. I have been a teacher at Bikram HQ, Thousand Oaks, Encino, and Agoura Hills. Currently, my home studio is Agoura, and it’s a great place to be!
Antonia started practicing Yoga in the late 1990’s to help alleviate knee and hip injuries from her love of running and work as a flight attendant. After her first Bikram Yoga class in 2002 she realized that this was the Yoga she would be practicing for the rest of her life and registered for the next BY teacher training, which she completed in Spring 2003. After teaching in London and Ibiza, Antonia returned to Los Angeles to learn more from Bikram, Rajashree and the communities most senior teachers at Bikram Yoga headquarters, where she became a part of the Teacher Training team and regularly traveled with Bikram, taking care of TT and his Advanced and Beginners seminars. Since 2013 she has been traveling and teaching in Europe and The USA. Antonia is continuously amazed by the positive changes she sees in herself and other students through a dedicated practice, this inspires her to continue sharing the tremendous physical, mental and spiritual benefits of the Bikram Yoga series.
Mark C. Reis
Mark received his Bikram Yoga certification in the Spring of 2000, and has been actively teaching and practicing ever since. Mark is extremely passionate about the practice and enjoys working with students who show up, trust, listen, put forth good effort, are willing to work hard, show good respect, and find the value in making the yoga an important part of their routine in maintaining good overall health. A Broadway dancer and performer, Mark knows the importance of keeping the body in good shape and functioning well. The Bikram practice has been a very important part of Mark's life in other ways as well. Helping him achieve goals such as creating 3 one man shows, writing and self publishing his own children's book, and most important of all, working through the process of adoption with his partner in being able to create their family with their now 7 year son Bodhi. Mark is proud to be a part of the Agoura Hills teaching staff and looks forward to meeting you in class!
I have been studying mind, body and spirit connection for many years and I feel in love with Yoga/Bikram Yoga. My first Bikram class was in 2000 and have been practicing ever since. After many years to being committed to yoga, I am pleased to say I got certified in Vinyasa and RYT through Yoga Alliance. With continued studying with various teachers, I am passionate about sharing the benefits of yoga and the joy that it brings helping others connect.