Category Archives: Bikram Yoga Forest Hill

Inspiration: Bikram Yoga Forest Hill’s Challenge

As January gets rolling, many new and regular yogis are getting started on their New Year’s resolutions whether it is by making new commitments to their practice or starting 30, 60 or 90 Day Challenges. To help all you yogis get inspired and in the mood, OMB brings you coverage of the most consistently successful challenge in Toronto (perhaps even Canada): The Bikram Yoga Forest Hill 30 Day Challenge.

The Bikram Yoga Forest Hill Challengers

Each time director Janice Guertin throws up a 30 Day Challenge, her students rush to sign up. This past November, over 65 yogis signed their name to take part in BYFH’s bi-annual challenge. Some of them chose to sign up because they wanted to see a change in their lives, bodies or well being, others wanted to step up and challenge themselves, but all were looking forward to the wonderful sense of community and excitement that fills the studio each time Janice throws the event.

OMB went to their fun and exciting 30 Day Challenge Party to see what all the buzz was about and to chat with some of the students who made it through their 30 Days. Continue reading



Filed under Bikram Yoga, Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga News, Bikram Yoga Toronto Events, Daily Feature

News: new studios, new teachers, new energy

The Bikram Yoga Toronto community is burning red hot both in and out of the hot room.Over the past month, two brand new studios have opened bringing Bikram Yoga to new communities outside of the downtown core.

Lisa Macinnis opened Bikram Yoga Mississauga with a fantastic Grand Opening Weekend that included a visit from Mayor Hazel Macillon. Check out OMB’s “Sneak Peek ” of the space and take advantage of one of the great introductory specials by visiting the studio today!

Bikram Yoga Hamilton/Dundas


In Hamilton, Alexandra Evans opened a beautiful studio that features the first micro-phone headset in Ontario. Alex’s idealic space is worth a visit, even if you don’t live in the area, so fill a car with your favorite yogis and head out to Hamilton for a good sweat. (An OMB sneak peak of the Hamilton studio is in the works!)


Meanwhile, back in the city things are heating up too!


Bikram Yoga Toronto clients can check who is teaching and enjoy online sign in for classes through their MindBody Online software. This means that no matter how busy the studio gets, you can reserve your spot. We all know that showing up is often the hardest part of yoga class, so sign in early to motivate yourself to show up! Finally, you can access teacher schedules on your iPhone by downloading the MindBody Online application.

Bikram Yoga Red Tree has started a new Facebook Page.

The Bikram Yoga community has welcomed Dale and Katie, two senior teachers from Vancouver, to the growing community. Both of experienced and passionate yogis, their classes should not be missed. Check the Bikram Yoga Toronto, Forest Hill and Mississauga schedules for their class times.

Bikram Yoga Forest Hill is preparing for their 30 Day challenge, starting November 1st to 3oth. An astounding 50 yogis have already signed up for the challenge, so add your name to the list!

BYEY's posture benefit pageFinally, OMB has teamed up with future studio-owner Andrew Moniz and Ifectious Studios to create a comprehensive posture benefit guide. Featuring beautifuly drawn posture pictures, comprehensive benefit summaries and easy to understand explinations of what happens to the body in the pose, this is a must visit, must bookmark page.



Leave a comment

Filed under Bikram Yoga East York, Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga Hamilton/Dundas, Bikram Yoga Mississauga, Bikram Yoga News, Bikram Yoga Toronto, Bikram Yoga Toronto Events

Toronto News and Events

The city of Toronto took an important step toward decreasing our use of plastics by charging for plastic bags, a year later, Bikram Yoga Toronto is following suit. As of Monday purchasing water will be $5 at the Beaches and Bloor Bikram Yoga locations. This is a move to discourage the purchase of plastic bottles and encourage students to use re-usable water bottles.

Don’t worry about being left high and dry, the studio has also installed new water filtration systems that filters water 4 times before it hits your bottle. You can purchase a liter of water for $1 and to fill styling new Klean Kanteens with the BYT logo available for $21.

Don’t forget Bikram Yoga Centre’s charity event this Sunday at 6:30 for the Toronto People with AIDS society, it is bound to be a lot of fun! Details here.

Fabulous Toronto yogi Andrew Moniz has announced the opening of Bikram Yoga East York! Follow the growth of the studio on Facebook and on Twitter.

Other studios now online are Bikram Yoga Mississauga also on Facebook, Bikram Yoga Hamilton Dundas on Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, join Bikram Yoga Forest Hill June 19th -20th to celebrate their two-year anniversary. All weekend there will be fruit and fabulous prizes to be won including a dinner for two at Il Mulino, all you have to do to be eligible is take class! As a part of the celebration, BYFH is offering a yearly membership for the low price of $888, get em’ while they are hot! More info here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bikram Yoga Centre, Bikram Yoga East York, Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga Toronto, Daily Feature, Events, News

Teaching Clinic: Bikram Burn-Out

For all the eager trainees coming into the last weeks of teacher training, it is nearly impossible to imagine feeling stagnant and uninspired by Bikram Yoga. But for even the most devout teachers, after teaching for a few years (or months) burn-out is hard reality.

Joseph Encinia teaching photo: Bennie Shapiro

In a community that embraces, promotes, and rewards daily practice, doubles and a full immersion into all that is yoga, not feeling love for the practice becomes a burden that many carry in silence.

Vesna Jarcevic, owner of Bikram Yoga Red Tree thinks it is important to consider how burn-out effects us as teachers. “How are we going to explain to our students how to stay in the yoga room, or with Bikram Yoga for years, if we as teachers are having the same problem?” she asks.

For many, the answer is not always simple. In the Fall 2005 Teacher Training, Craig Villani said that most Bikram Yoga teachers burn-out after two years. Many leave teaching for other pursuits, scale back their classes or begin teaching other forms of yoga.  Still, there are those push to persevere through their doubts and seek ways to regain their inspiration.

Senior Bikram Yoga Teacher Diane Ducharme, recently identified three causes of burn-out on her “Bikram Yoga For You” Facebook forum :

  1. Teaching too many classes per week, sometimes out of necessity. Everyone has a number of classes they can COMFORTABLY and JOYFULLY teach. Stick to that if possible. You can always do more on a TEMPORARY basis, but take care of yourself first.
  2. Not maintaining a personal practice OR practicing too much like these 100 day challenges. First, take care of yourself.
  3. The most important one I’ve found is not teaching with the dialogue. This by far is the biggest reason teachers burn out. They go in there every day and “make it up.” That requires a tremendous amount of energy. Saying the dialogue is not only a meditation for the student, but also for the teacher. When you are not feeling your best physically, you can, with little effort, get in there for 90 minutes and say the dialogue and teach a very safe and good class.

A fourth reason why many teachers get burnt out is professional conflict. Spending a lot of time at the studio surrounded by co-workers often blurs lines of professionalism, making it difficult not to take things personally. This, coupled with low job security can make it personally challenging to deal with certain situations. If at all possible, it is important to communicate clearly with co-workers and owners and teach in studios with a positive work environment (often easier said than done).

For different reasons, falling back in love with the yoga can take time, patience and perseverance. Here are some tips from Toronto’s senior teachers about overcoming burn-out.

“Practice, practice, practice. The more I practice the more I love it. It helps the teacher/student connection while teaching, making it more meaningful for everyone involved.”Jocelyn Doyle, Bikram Yoga Toronto

When you get bored looking at the canvas,  it is often from focusing on the canvas as a whole.

In that moment step in, examine at a micro level, and find the one brush stroke that really grabs you. One that seems brand new- though you know you’ve seen it a million times. With this new-found clarity and understanding something seemingly small but exciting, you can start from scratch. And once again, you can behold something grand unfold on canvas before you.

What may seem daunting is the search of finding that first stroke.

But it is there; perhaps to be found in a word, sentence, or idea in the dialogue, a change within your own practice, or inspiration justly drawn from a student’s growth or accomplishments.

When you do find this new bud, growth begins again, and behind it may lie a whole new field of flowers …or as my pal Sting always tries to ram down my throat, perhaps even “Fields of GOLD.”Damien Smith, Co-Owner Bikram Yoga Toronto

Read Books.
Attend Seminars.
There is never enough time to say it all in 90 minutes!!
If you get “burnt out” or Bored..
Then YOU are BORING!!!!

Janice Guertin, Owner Bikram Yoga Forest Hill

I’m gonna sound like a Bikram broken record but….GO BAAAACK. Seriously, hitting up TT, a seminar or anytime with Boss has been the #1 revitalization in my teaching career. – Dana Moore, Co-Owner Bikram Yoga Toronto

Add a little GIN to your water bottle lie down at the front of the room in savasana and start teaching… Just kidding!

Some times we feel burnt out, but you have to remember why you are there: to help all the cranky, burnt out, lazy students that walk in that room. No matter how bunt out we are, our students are normally more burnt out than us!

As a teacher it’s always a good idea to tell your self you’re awesome because some one will always have something bitchy to say about your class. No matter what, love yourself and do the best you can that day! David Mook, Teacher: Bikram Yoga Toronto, Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga Centre

Visit Bikram studios other than the one(s) you’re usually at and take a variety of other teachers’ classes not only in the city where you live, but especially whenever you travel.
You’ll keep in good shape on vacations and gain many valuable insights from the variety of teachers’ experiences and knowledge you encounter all over the world! You’ll also be able to steal many many great jokes and pawn them off as your own.
Andrea Blakey, Teacher: Bikram Yoga Toronto, Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga Centre

My advice:

Accept that we are bored and have nothing anything against it.

To stay teaching (like to stay in the room when it is hot) and still be useful to those who need us

To get entertained by how bored we are and not to judge ourselves for it until the boredom disappears, and it will!

It will go the same way as it came.

-Vesna Jarcevic, Co-Owner Bikram Yoga Red Tree


Filed under Bikram Yoga Centre, Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga Red Tree, Bikram Yoga Toronto, Daily Feature, For Teachers, Senior Teachers, Tips and Tricks

Building a Yoga Community

by Barbora Simek

Yoga studios are attract people from all walks of life, from doctors and layers to artists and community activists and in between. Developing a strong community at your studio can not only make the experience of your clients more rewarding, but can also drastically improve client retention. Here are five simple events you can use to kick start interaction between your students.

1) After Class Chat and Chew
Yoga afterglow always makes for fun conversation. Try  to stimulate after class discussion between students and teachers alike.

  • Encourage  teachers to stay away from the front desk and move into a communal area right after class, this helps bridge the student teacher gap and make asking questions less intimidating for newer students.
  • Help stimulate conversation with after-yoga snacks. Whether its a small fruit bowl or some treats, food is always a great way to encourage students to spend a little extra time to connect.
  • Take advantage of weekends! Get creative, make a fruit platter, chop a chilled watermellon, put out frozen grapes or make homemade iced tea. Even the most budget friendly and quick treats can go a long way to making your students feel special.

2) Anniversary / After-Challenge Party

Almost every Bikram Yoga studio has an annual or bi-annual challenge or throws anniversary parties. The end of a challenge is a great way to get students to interact and reward them for a job well done. At Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, owner Janice Guertin has perfected the after challenge party. Here are some great ideas you too can incorporate to your next challenge:

  • Promote your clients and local businesses with prizes. BYFH promotes community involvement in and out of the studio with a prize draw that features hair and nail salons, restaurants and massage therapists, nutrition consultations as well as clothing, mat and towel give-aways to promote internal retails.
  • A draw for a teacher prize, helps to make staff feel special as well.

    As an owner, make a speech. Encourage and inspire students by sharing your passion. Point out some individual student achievements from the  challenge by pointing them out to the group, this is a great form of positive reinforcement.

    Always document the party and make images and media available for students after class, so that students can get excited for the next challenge or studio event, and show off the community you invest your time, money and energy building.

Check out this great video made at the last BYFH 30 Day Challenge Party

3) Special Events
Whether your event is wild and wacky or casual, a creative special event can take studio spirit to a new level.

  • We love Bikram Yoga Lower East Side’s wildly successful “Hot-o-ween” Events. Owner Tricia Donegan  rewards the best costume with great prizes like yoga wear and memberships.
  • Bikram Yoga Darlinghurst runs movie nights on a projector in the studio. Screening documentaries and independent and encouraging people to stay after for discussions helps this studio engage their community outside of the studio and create discourse on alternative ideas.

4) Posture Clinics and Seminars

Help to improve your students understanding of the yoga, inspire people to practice more and grow your yoga community by running posture clinics. Have your most senior staff run a short clinic on a weekend, or invite a senior teacher to teach a seminar. Improving the knowledge of how to do the yoga and why to do the yoga stokes the fire of a strong community.

5) Karma Classes

Running a by donation class allows your studio to give back to the community outside of the studio. Some studios chose to lower their rates for these classes, while others like Bikram Yoga Richmond chose a charity to sponsor each month and donate proceeds to a cause that is announced in their monthly newsletter.

*Karma classes in Toronto happen each week at Bikram Yoga Bloor, Fridays at 8pm min. donation $10

Leave a comment

Filed under Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga Toronto, Studio

NEWS: REAL Party Time

There ain’t no party like a Forest Hill Party… trust us, we know!

To celebrate the end of their 30 Day Challenge, Janice Guertin and Bikram Yoga Forest Hill are throwing a REAL party time! Join them this Friday, take the 6pm class and stay for the goodies, it is a great chance to check out a new studio, or re-visit old friends!

Who: Janice Guertin and the yogis of Bikram Yoga Forest Hill

When: Friday, February 5th after the 6pm class (7:30 until …)

Where: Bikram Yoga Forest Hill Studio, 1059 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON

What: Champagne, Prizes, Snacks (vegan, vegitarian and


Contact : Click here for the Facebook Event or call (416)789-9642

Leave a comment

Filed under Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Events, News

News: Hot Yoga for Haiti

by Barbora Simkova

Yoga is a profound vehicle for self growth and change but there are also yogis out there who use yoga to change the world around them.

Red Cross workers in Haiti, photo: Associated Press

Next week, Bikram Yoga Toronto will be running “Hot Yoga for Haiti” during which, on February 10 all evening classes will be by donation only with all proceeds going to Canadian Red Cross’ relief efforts. Please note that no class passes will be accepted during the evening classes. This is a great opportunity to bring a friend, or someone who tried the yoga once and didn’t return.

Bikram Yoga Forest Hill is also collecting donations all month at the front desk for relief efforts in Haiti.

Please donate generously.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga Issues, Bikram Yoga Toronto, News