Bikram Certified: 2003
Favorite Posture: Standing Bow
Iconic Figure Whom I Most Admire: Joan Didion
Favorite Food: Raw vegan, if I had a personal chef, but the reality is anything with mayonnaise
Favorite Drink: Coffee and Bud Light
Number 1 Song: Bikram Love tracks on iTunes
Favorite Quote: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Mark Twain
Most Likely to Say: “Is there a draft in here?”
Least Likely to Say: “I’ve decided I don’t like Bikram yoga, and I’m going to run a marathon instead.”
More about Anne:
In the summer of 1999, I lived in a drafty old house in Berkeley and I was always looking for ways to warm up. A housemate said her friend and her mom had done this kind of yoga where they were drenched in sweat and it was really hard. They felt like they couldn’t keep going but somehow they did, with sweat pouring in their eyes and up their noses. I was immediately in love. We found a Bikram studio in Berkeley and went to classes all summer. Unfortunately I thought anything this fun and relaxing can’t be true exercise, so instead I chose to spend my money on reading Shape magazine on the Stairmaster for three more years.
In April of 2002, another housemate literally dragged me off the couch on a Sunday afternoon to go to her “great” yoga class at the Berkeley Y. During that class a light bulb went off in my head and I realized what a GIANT undertaking yoga is. Since we were in the Bay Area with a smorgasbord of yoga around, we sampled EVERYTHING. Every kind of yoga we could. One class we had to hold hands and stare into each other’s eyes for a minute. Not for me.
When we walked into the Bikram studio, in three years it had gotten significantly hotter, and I had to rip off the layers and long sleeves that I had worn before. Other styles of yoga could be OK, but this was IT. Bikram was by far the best. A few months later I asked my incredibly ripped and toned favorite teacher what other workout she did to look like that. She said, “Just this”. I couldn’t believe it! I had wasted three freaking years on the Stairmaster obsessing about calories!
A year later I went to the Bikram teacher training, mostly as an opportunity to be immersed in yoga for 9 weeks, but it turned out I love teaching yoga as much as I love taking. When I first started teaching, a senior teacher named Lampost said to me, “You’ve started saving lives.” That is absolutely what it is. Teaching Bikram yoga is a 100% positive gift of physical and mental health that you are giving people. Sometimes people give you dirty looks in the middle of class, but afterwards everyone is happy. Not just happy and blissed out for the moment, but they will feel healthy the whole next day. This yoga is a full body workout, but the mental benefits are the best part. You get this shell of calm, clear headedness around you that keep you inoculated from the stressful things that come at you. Google GABA and yoga. Yoga actually increases a neurotransmitter that makes us happy and calm, much more than the Stairmaster, or running!
I am always so happy to have first time students in my class because I want to encourage them to make this part of their lives. If I start talking about the benefits of this yoga non Bikram people say I sound like I’m in a cult. People receive so many benefits it sounds too good to be true. But it is so true. If you are doing it, you already know, and if you’ve never been please come to class and find out for yourself!