BIKRAM YOGA COMMUNITY

BYAA COMMUNITY

So, my yoga journey began when I was a student at EMU.  I was studying music education and from all the stress from class and practicing the cello 6 or more hours a day I was in a lot of pain physically and mentally.  I was looking for a yoga class that made me actually feel better —that’s when I found BYAA!  I did the new student special and was 100% hooked!  I felt so much better immediately after my first class– and that feeling lasted longer and longer every time I came to class!

Jenny KO

Testimonials

So, my yoga journey began when I was a student at EMU.  I was studying music education and from all the stress from class and practicing the cello 6 or more hours a day I was in a lot of pain physically and mentally.  I was looking for a yoga class that made me actually feel better —that’s when I found BYAA!  I did the new student special and was 100% hooked!  I felt so much better immediately after my first class– and that feeling lasted longer and longer every time I came to class!

After the initial physical relief of practicing I started to notice a mental release too!  Everything seemed so much easier!  Everything in my life slowly started to come into focus and become more clear!  As I neared the end of my college career I realized that everything I was doing was getting in the way of what I really wanted to be doing–YOGA!  So, I decided that I wanted teaching yoga to be my career!  

It was a few years in the making but after making up my mind, putting it out there in the universe and having some super awesome people in my life it actually happened!  Now, yoga is what I do everyday!

Namaste,

Jenny KO

I started Bikram Yoga after running the Detroit Marathon.  I knew my body wasn’t in the best shape and I needed to heal some old and recurring injuries.  Sticking with the practice, coming more frequently and continually pushing my body only as much as it allowed, has restored my balance and muscle structure.  I’m please to say I’ve gone from struggling to just stay in the room 90 minutes to being able to do postures I didn’t think my body would allow.

Christine Mikolajczak


My Yoga Story began 4 years ago. I was feed up with the fact that many of the exercises I was participating in were not challenging to me anymore. I wanted to really be challenged every single day. I wanted to sweat, and become more flexible while balancing  on one leg. I discussed my desires with one of my closest friends and she suggested Bikram yoga. Although I wasn’t familiar with this specific type yoga after listening to all the benefits I was eager to give it a try. And I can tell it has been a true blessing for me and my work out regimen. I love my practice and my yoga teachers. If you want a challenge everyday add Bikram Yoga to your workout regimen.

Agnes Kilgore

I started Bikram Yoga after running the Detroit Marathon.  I knew my body wasn’t in the best shape and I needed to heal some old and recurring injuries.  Sticking with the practice, coming more frequently and continually pushing my body only as much as it allowed, has restored my balance and muscle structure.  I’m please to say I’ve gone from struggling to just stay in the room 90 minutes to being able to do postures I didn’t think my body would allow.

Christine Mikolajczak


I have practiced Bikram on and off for 6 years. Two years ago, during a particularly rough patch in my life I decided to intensify my practice. I went from being an occasional student to practicing six to seven times a week. It is my belief that practicing consistently Fostered a peace of mind that helped get through some difficult times.

I like Bikram yoga because while it strengthens and tones my body it has given me the ability to deal more effectively when things in life get rocky. Strong body, strong mind.

Ginny Mitchell


My Yoga Story

Depression attempted to steal my son from me this past year.

Bikram Yoga helped in my fight for our son:

It focused me.

It made me mindful.

It centered me.

It made me strong.

It allowed me to help put my son’s depression into recovery.

For that I am forever grateful to BYAA.

by Helen Darling 🙂


I have a history of back injury and pain and I have tried a number of different “kinds” of yoga for help with my back issues and just out of general interest and curiosity. In all of the other classes I’ve taken, I felt very nervous about hurting my back and didn’t feel I had the support of the teachers to help me stay safe. I usually left feeling that I was doing something wrong because my back would hurt more.

I came to BYAA because Jennifer told me about how much she loved it. When I started coming, I couldn’t do the sit-ups without pain and I couldn’t do forward bends without having to support with my arms. The format of the dialogue with step-by-step instructions has been crucial for me. I feel that the constant reminder that the focus is on the process and not on the end posture has kept me safe. Knowing that I can just be “where I am that day” and give my best, gives permission to take each posture as it comes each day.

Now, when my back hurts, I look forward to coming to class to make it feel better. I find tremendous support from the teachers and my classmates.

Yeah, Bikram Yoga Ann Arbor!

Amy Slotten

My Bikram Yoga Story…well, one of them.  The first one, actually 🙂

I had thought about doing yoga for a long time.  Years, in fact.  At least 2 years, though it could very possibly have been longer.  I wanted to gain some flexibility (because I had none) and incorporate some variety and much needed stretching into my fitness routine.  I thought about it intermittently but was afraid to try it.  It was just a thought in my head, until one day I said it out loud.  To my best friend.  “Get a groupon,” she said, “it’s the best way to try something new.  Then if you don’t like it, you haven’t spent too much money”.  (My best friend can always find a deal!).  Anyway, I digress.  I searched for a groupon, and came up with a living social coupon for the the Bikram studio in Northville.  It really was a great deal (something like a month for 30ish dollars); how could I go wrong?  I had chosen Bikram yoga because a friend from high school is now an instructor and studio owner, and she looks fantastic.  This is how I made my decision: groupon and super fit high school yogi friend.

So, I set out to the studio.  It was early October of 2011.  All I knew about this yoga is that it was going to be extremely hot and 90 minutes long.  I arrived, signed up, and entered the room—but only after the receptionist told me I had to spit out my gum 🙁  Unfortunately, that was all she told me.  She neglected to tell me not to set up my mat in the front of the room because the instructor does not actually demonstrate any of the postures. So I set up front and center, so I would be able to see the teacher demonstrate really well.  Except she didn’t.  She also didn’t tell me we were going to do everything twice.  Which I learned very quickly.  She also didn’t mention that we were going to start the class with Darth Vader breathing.  OMG, what have I gotten myself into?!?! She also didn’t tell me that I was going to sweat from every single part of my body…even my eyelashes (can your eyelashes really sweat? yes, they can!).  And there was no clock in the room; I had no idea if/when this class was ever going to end!

Despite all of the internal panicking, I stayed in the room and attempted every posture.  Twice.

Later, my husband asked my if I liked the class.  “I’m not sure.”  I wasn’t sure, and I decided that I had to go back to see what I thought.  

Morning of second class: someone hit my car on the way to yoga.  Just a mild fender-bender, but no yoga class.

Morning of second class, take 2: woke up with a “stitch”/pain in my side, but I decided to go to yoga anyway.  Did the class.  Slightly less weird but just as hot and sweaty.  Felt okay, but still not able to form an opinion.  Driving home from class, the stitch in my side graduated from a small annoyance to an increasingly sharper and much more intense pain.  By the time I had made my 30 minute drive home, I could barely get out of my car and get up my stairs at home.  I managed to shower (though I couldn’t stand up) as I was fearful that if I didn’t do so then, I wouldn’t be able to.  I was right.  After that, the pain was almost debilitating.  I plopped myself on the couch.  I couldn’t lay down.  I couldn’t stand up.  I could hardly walk.  I couldn’t breathe deeply and I sure as heck couldn’t laugh.  I was basically couch-ridden for the next 3 days.  It turns out that I had pulled an oblique muscle mildly (not in the yoga class), and then being a yoga newbie, had completely exacerbated it during the class.  That was the end of the yoga for the time being.

By the end of October, I was all healed up and ready to give it another try.  I headed over to Bikram Yoga Ann Arbor and purchased the new student special. 10 days for $20!  Bikram Yoga: Round 2…bring it on.  I was a little scared, seeing as the last time I did a class I was immobile for days and took weeks to recover, but I approached it with caution and also, I felt like this studio was different.  There was a really good vibe, and most everyone was wearing shorts!  (I forgot to mention that in my first classes at the other studio most people were wearing leggings or capris, and it was suffocating!). The teacher was very clear in her instruction, and obviously I was less weirded out by the postures, the breathing, and and the bad, broken, “bikram” English.  And I was very careful.  I went 7 out of the 10 days during my introductory period, but I still wasn’t sure how I felt about this yoga.  So, I decided to keep going back until I could say whether I liked it or not.  Somewhere along the way, I decided I liked it, and somewhere along the way, I became a yogi.  

Debbie Klemptner

Here is my yoga story…  😄

I began my 2nd bikram journey after having two babies… I was running everyday after the births, trying to get my pre-pregnancy body back, but blew out my knee. My husband suggested I return to yoga as I couldn’t run anymore… After my first class… I couldn’t believe how well my body felt. 4 months later, I couldn’t believe how my body was changing. My momma belly was slowly but surely disappearing. My outlook on life was never more positive, and I felt amazing.

Now, four years later, I feel stronger than I have ever felt. Mind, body, and soul all are running at unbelievable rates of amazement! I work full time now, but do my best to take weekend classes and once during the week. I love it and it’s definitely one workout that is never boring. No two days are ever the same. I have rockstar days and days were I have to sit poses out.

The community at BYAA is simply uplifting. Everyone is so supportive, and the teachers are your friend. It’s the best environment for this fast paced women who needs her yoga to be the best person I can be. Thank you BYAA. You’ll always receive my appreciation. So grateful for the life you are helping me live!

Elisa Guyton


My bikram yoga story… So far…

I used to be a runner.  I loved running and the way it made me feel. Then I had some problems with my feet.  I took time off to let them heal. Whenever I would start to run again, my feet would start to hurt. So I stopped.

Then months later, I tried Bikram. It was the only thing that was as satisfying as running.  I was hooked from the first classes. I was really surprised by it all.  That was seven years ago!

I sing the praises of bikram yoga all the time and, once in a while, I am able to convince a friend to come with me.  Last week, I brought 2 friends to class. They both seemed to like it. When I came to class the next morning, they were both there and one had even brought her husband! I am so happy to be able to pass on the love of bikram!

Sarah Cohen

I decided to try Bikram Yoga a little over 2 years ago.  I had come to the point where I really, not only wanted, but really needed to make sure I was getting in some kind of regular workout and stretching routine.   I had 2 criteria, it needed to be out of the house and yet still close to home.  I had been doing Jazzercise and liked it quite a bit, but they only do “pretty” stretches there and not enough of them.  In spite of the additional stretching I did on my own at the end of class, I still found myself with heel, knee, leg pain etc.   Goodbye Jazzercise.  What now though?

Then I remembered yoga.  That could be a great fit.  I had done Iyengar yoga years ago and had heard of a couple people doing Bikram/hot yoga.   Bikram Yoga Ann Arbor is convenient to my house so I looked into it and decided to give it a try.  $20 for the first 10 days was a HUGE incentive and I had read enough that I knew I had to come back the next day and next so I did.  At the end of 10 days I compared BYAA to other yoga options in the area and realized BYAA was extremely affordable and the flexibility of attending classes made it a winner hands down.  Another relevant factor is/was the teachers at BYAA.  They are extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful and make me feel comfortable even though my ability to do the poses is far different from other students.

Even after my second day of class I felt taller and stronger.  I love what Bikram Yoga has done for my body, my brain, my mood, and even self-esteem, not to mention my energy level!  It is easy (most of the time) to walk in door day after day.  

Thanks for making this available, affordable and, yes, as you all say, life-changing.

Staci Haarer


My Testimony

On October 14, 2013 I walked into my first Bikram Yoga studio and now my second home. My name is Maureen Harrington and I am a person in recovery. On February 21, 2010 I surrendered to the disease of alcoholism and started my journey into sobriety. It is hard to put into words what has transpired since I have started Bikram Yoga. The world of alcoholism/ addiction is a lonely, isolating, hard world, which everyday is a struggle to feel ‘normal’ and that feeling is not achieved until we receive our drug of choice. For myself,  everyday was a “groundhogs day”  where I would wake up with a horrible hangover only to try and figure out how I would get my next drink so I could begin to feel “normal”. The beauty of reaching rock bottom is that you are left with desperation and a surrender to get well.

My journey into recovery has been a battle of learning coping mechanisms because for so long alcohol was my only tool. I use a 12 step recovery program and I credit that with me giving me a solid foundation. I am sharing my story today because I wish I knew in the beginning how life changing Bikram Yoga is for a person in recovery. It is truly a fundamental part of my recovery program. In recovery you learn to deal with uncomfortable feelings and situations…much like Bikram which teaches you to be in uncomfortable positions through your breathing, faith, patience, and a calm mind. This practice helps me with feelings of depression and anxiety by giving me a hot room and a physical/ mental/ spiritual challenge like I have never experienced. I am slowly learning to look at myself in the mirror and believe in who is looking back. I am learning through Bikram that my limitations are in my head. That I can move ahead in spite of fear, and to have patience and tolerance through the process of recovery and yoga. I cannot express the gratitude I have for this practice. I now have a home (safe place) … a hot room where I can work through the issues of my past, learn to be mindful of the present, and a place to take of myself. (Mentally, physically, and spiritually). I want to thank this practice for teaching me how to open my heart and believe in myself.

**** A special thank you to Michelle Pischea owner at Bikram Yoga Ann Arbor, Michigan who seemed to know without us ever having the conversation. They always say that when the student is ready the teacher appears.  Thank you for being my teacher and ambassador into Bikram Yoga.

– Maureen Harrington