All Bikram Yoga Marietta teachers are certified graduates of Bikram’s Teacher Training program, a challenging 9 week residential intensive offered twice yearly.
Naedra Fox, Studio Owner, Director and Yoga Instructor
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
Naedra’s classes will leave you feeling like you got not only a good work-out, but that you did more than you thought you could. She has a special way of motivating students to keep moving forward but at the same time maintain compassion for themselves and those around them. Her many years of teaching bring with them an attention to detail and an eye for alignment that she uses to help students get the most out of each pose. Come to Naedra’s class expecting to sweat, smile, push yourself to your own personal edge, and feel fantastic when you leave!
Naedra began her own Bikram practice in 2002 at the recommendation of a friend (and is forever grateful to her friend for this). She found her first class challenging yet surprisingly invigorating and decided to keep going…and she hasn’t stopped since! Part of her appeal for this yoga is that it is both a physical and mental workout. While Naedra has seen marked improvement in her flexibility, strength, and balance over the years, she also credits the yoga with increasing her focus, willpower and even self-esteem.
Because of her belief in the power of this yoga to enhance peoples’ lives, Naedra decided to become an instructor. She received her Teacher Training certification from Bikram Choudhury in the summer of 2004 and has been teaching at BYM since that time. She purchased BYM in 2011 and is dedicated to providing consistent, authentic Bikram Yoga classes in a welcoming, accepting environment. She feels grateful to be able to serve in this capacity and looks forward to plenty of sweat and smiling happy faces at BYM for years to come:)
Christian Davidson, Yoga Instructor
You’re not really doing yoga. Yoga is your natural state. You’re doing Yoga postures to find the resistance to your natural state”
In his early 30’s Christian suffered from weight gain, foot pain, asthma, fatigue, burn-out and feeling old. On a search to heal, he tried everything from running, weightlifting and aerobics.
It wasn’t until he walked into his first Bikram Yoga class in 2001 that he began to heal these situations from the inside out! Even though he struggled through class at times, his Asthma disappeared; he lost 60 pounds and gained a new outlook on life. Now you will often hear him say “I feel better now than I did in my 20’s”!
With the goal of being able to help others realize Yoga and better their lives, Christian flew to LA, and after 9 intense weeks, he graduated from Bikram’s Yoga College of India in the Fall of 2003.
Now, after over 10 years of teaching Bikram Yoga, Christian has developed a style that is personal and unique. His class is energetic, fun and motivational. He pays special attention to the students’ needs to maximize their benefits during class (he has also been known to tell an occasional silly joke and he apologizes for that in advance).
Teaching from his own experience, Christian loves to share what has benefited him and what he has learned from all of the wonderful teachers in his life.
Heather Grace, Yoga Instructor
What you do today, can improve all your tomorrows.” -Ralph Marston
Heather’s classes are centered around mind, breath, and body. She encourages her students to stay connected to their practice by always bringing their focus back to their breath, learning to relax into postures, and to experiment with how their practice changes and grows by making their breath, or prana, the main focus of their practice. Through focusing on breath and proper alignment of postures, not always the depth of the posture, students will change their body and their mind.
In 2011, after struggling with various health issues such as depression, anxiety, and scoliosis, Heather’s mother, Liz, encouraged her to take her first Bikram Yoga class in their hometown of Danbury, CT. The ninety minute long class was a struggle, mentally and physically, and she promised herself (sometime between Eagle and Triangle pose) that she would never come back. She couldn’t touch her toes, she couldn’t find her balance, and, in her mind, was being put to shame by her 48 year old mother. By the end of class she was exhausted, but was also somehow excited and full of energy. She ended up coming back the next day, and the next day, and the next. Through her yoga practice, she found a new way to calm her anxiety and panic attacks, she gained confidence, lost weight, found herself standing straighter, and the chronic back and shoulder pain that came with her scoliosis, was gone. All without the use of medication!
In the fall of 2012, she completed the nine week Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, and made her passion and love for yoga her career. In the spring of 2016, she joined the Bikram Yoga Marietta team after making the move from Connecticut to Georgia with her fiancé, Ross.
Jill Jordan, Yoga Instructor
Try the right way, never give up, that’s the ultimate destination” -Bikram Choudhury
Jill’s focus on the breath and proper form makes even the most difficult postures easier. Breath and Awareness are key. Her soft eyes and warm heart will push you past your comfort zone. Be prepared to discover your hidden strengths to transform your life and practice. Jill views the practice as a metaphor for life and believes that life should be a celebration. Jill will help you see that the pain you feel in your practice precedes freedom, freedom to experience your natural range of motion, and realize your potential for increasing self esteem, focus, determination, concentration meditation and, ultimately Self realization.
It’s Jill’s fervent wish that you leave her class knowing and appreciating yourself more than before you started. The ultimate goal of yoga is Self-Realization. Whatever goal you have for beginning your yoga practice you will find that you will achieve that and many more benefits you didn’t even expect!
After practicing Bikram Yoga for two years at Bikram Yoga Decatur and reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, Jill felt inspired and called to become a yoga teacher. She attended Bikram’s 9-week Teacher Training Program in Los Angeles in Fall 2005. Since graduating in 2005, Jill has taught mostly in San Francisco East Bay Area. Jill now lives in Asheville and drives down once or twice a month to teach at BYM. Jill feels blessed to have the privilege to share Bikram yoga with you.
Cathy Peterson, Yoga Instructor
Cherish the land that no one owns.” -Li Po
Cathy feels the practice of Bikram yoga provides different things to different people. Sometimes, it is sheer physical determination that pushes you through a class. In others, it often is a place of deep and still clarity — a point of absolute mental will — that takes a student where they need to go.
Cathy began practicing Bikram yoga toward the end of 2007. She did so to find a place — a place where she could simply clear the space in her head. That is, to be so intent, so focused on what she had to do in a specific posture, in a given class, that for the 90 minute class she always was just right there, and no place else. And what you often find is that simply being where you are, and no place else, is not always an easy thing to do.
Life on a day-to-day basis can be many things — hectic, exhilarating, tedious, stressful, and overwhelming. Bikram yoga is a practice that is so precise, so nuanced, and yet so attainable for every single person, that it provides an almost perfect confluence of body and mind — in every single class, every single time.
Having completed Bikram teacher training in the fall of 2010, and making a 180 degree career turn from litigation attorney to Bikram yoga instructor, Cathy believes each and every class allows one the opportunity to step outside their day-to-day life — just for a while to go to a place that belongs only to you. The practice allows you to see aspects of yourself that make you realize you can always do more, go further, be stronger, than you perhaps ever thought you could.
Sandy Rubin, Yoga Instructor
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured”.– B.K.S. Iyengar
Sandy strives to teach a calm, focused and compassionate class from beginning to end, providing her students quiet reassurance and space to find their inner yogi. In the yoga room and in life, she invites you to ask yourself what you “ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing”.
Sandy first came to Bikram Marietta in February of 2010 after reading an article in Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine describing the healing and transformative benefits of the famous Bikram yoga 60-day challenge. Intrigued, she began her Bikram practice and discovered that she felt exceptionally strong & calm after 90 minutes of pushing through mental & physical challenges in the hot room and that she needed to make Bikram yoga a regular part of her life.Sandy is eternally grateful for the work-study program at Bikram Marietta as it enabled her to practice at a time when financial limitations would have otherwise prevented it. She is also grateful to have been subsequently hired to manage the work-study program as well as work at the front desk. While she enjoyed serving in both these capacities, she also dreamed of becoming a yoga instructor. So when someone presented her with the question “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”, she knew the answer.
Though her longstanding fear of public speaking made her question her abilities, she knew she had found in Bikram Yoga a passion so deep and abiding that she had no choice but to face her fear and attend teacher training. With support and encouragement from family, friends and fellow yogis, she made the decision to attend the Fall 2014 Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Phuket, Thailand and received her teaching certification November 2014. Sandy feels fortunate to now instruct at Bikram Marietta. As this yoga has transformed her own life, she looks forward to seeing you in class blossoming just like a “flower petal blooming”.
Robyn Schildkraut, Yoga Instructor
Yoga is the journey of the Self, through the Self, to the Self.” -The Bhagavad Gita
Robyn began practicing Bikram Yoga in January of 2011, finding a much needed respite from the stress of caring for her parents as they faced the end of their lives. Her first class at the studio in Savannah was painful, hot and humbling and she loved it. Robyn’s dedication to the practice has brought out her best qualities and helped rid her of negativity, depression and anxiety. Robyn credits the practice for transforming her life, both physically and emotionally.
Robyn started practicing at Bikram Yoga Marietta in January 2012 and working as the studio assistant just 6 months later. She quickly realized her passion was to help others realize the magic of the yoga and with the help of BYM she attended teacher training in the Fall of 2013. Robyn is a regular at workshops with the intention of improving her own practice as well as the practices of each student who enters the hot room for one of her classes.
After teaching full time for a year and a half, Robyn decided to start traveling and teaching. She has begun exploring other types of physical yoga including Yin and Vinyasa. She attended Evolation’s flow training in September 2015. She has also begun exploring the spiritual side of yoga as well through chanting and meditation. She believes yoga can be apart of every students life in every aspect of their life.
Robyn’s goal is to provide a class that balances the challenge of achieving new strengths while having compassion for where one is today. Robyn’s love for yoga is palatable and as a teacher she hopes to inspire others to dig deep and be the best version of themselves. Robyn’s directness and words of motivation will leave you refreshed, relieved, relaxed and knowing that you have done something wonderful for yourself.
Kara Yonker, Yoga Instructor
Honest effort equals honest results.”
Kara brings one of her core life philosophies to each and every class: if you don’t challenge yourself, you can’t change yourself. Regardless of where you are at in your life or the current moment, Kara’s high energy delivery of the dialogue keeps you in the present and focused on the challenge in every posture. By the end of each class, Kara’s goal for each of her students is that they feel great about themselves, knowing they’ve accomplished something for their body, mind and spirit.
Kara’s love for the practice of Bikram Yoga began in Vancouver, Canada. While walking her dog on a cold, rainy day in January 2011, she happened by a surreal, almost mystical scene: a Bikram studio where a dozen, half-naked bodies in all forms were radiating steam into the sky. Intrigued, she did some quick research and soon took her first class. Wearing long pants and a tee-shirt, Kara thought she was going to die after the first 30 minutes and left the room near the end of class. But she went back the next day and the next one after that. She learned a lesson that she repeats often to her students – the battle is nearly won just by showing up.
Seeing what Bikram Yoga had done for her, Kara aspired to become an instructor and share the practice with others. She joined the Spring 2014 class and after the most grueling, but uplifting, 9 weeks she graduated. Kara was honored to join the BYM instructor team and is grateful for the opportunity to mentor with some of the very best. She hopes to see you in her class and offers this simple challenge: ‘you show up and the battle is nearly won; together, we’ll get to work and make sure the rest gets done.’
Front Desk Staff
Cherice Barbur, Front Desk
Strive for progress not perfection.”
Yoga has been a part of my life for many years now and I have done several styles. Once I heard about hot yoga I wanted to try it. I spent some time at another studio off and on for about a year. Bikram Yoga Marietta was pretty close to me so I decided to try it for a month with a friend and liked it so much I applied for the Work Study program. I was in Work Study for several months but life began to take over and I had to move on. Throughout this I had expressed interest in working at the front desk but there were no openings. Some time went by and I reached out to Naedra again about working the front desk. Then life moved itself around so I could become part of the staff and once again enjoy Bikram yoga. I love working here!
My experience with the yoga this time around is completely different than before. I have committed
more fully to doing it and am in the middle of my first Yoga Challenge and loving it. I’m also finding that the more yoga I do the more energy I have. My favorite part of the yoga is the “high” I get after. I get a little giddy sometimes and it’s just fun.
One thing that has been standing in my way over the years of pursuing regular exercise is that I have exercise induced insomnia. Through much experimentation and supplementation I now manage it successfully which makes doing the yoga that much more impactful for me. I love seeing the changes in my health and body and I’m excited to continue growing personally and physically throughout my yoga journey.
Xochtil Calderon, Front Desk and Work Study Manager
I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.” -Clarissa Pinkola Estés
The first time I walked into Bikram Yoga Marietta I was much excited for what I knew I was in for, a very intense experience. I had taken a few Bikram classes many many years ago in Flagstaff, Arizona and still recalled how shocked I was at how challenging those classes had been. I never committed to the other yoga styles I had dabbled in either, until now.
2013 proved to be a relatively traumatic year as evidence of bad health surfaced and a chain of events I never would have imagined transpired. I owe it to my loving and beautiful family and friends who helped get me through the most difficult time of my life. I felt betrayed by my body and though I had made thought out decisions, I still felt like I had no control. Thankfully, by the end of the year I had a certificate of good health and I was ready to start a new chapter.
I had an infant and was in serious need of self care after the year I had spent. January 2014 I took my first class at Bikram Yoga Marietta and was blown away by how this yoga resonated with me. Pushing my own body by my own will and not by medical treatments was empowering. Yoga was kicking my butt instead of bad health! Bikram Yoga Marietta is the space where I bared myself, focused on my practice and began my path to healing.
Luckily for me, I started in time for the first Yoga Challenge of the year and completed 40 classes in 60 days. In the first weeks I wondered if I could in fact hang in there and stretch and stretch and stretch. Then it evolved to bliss and I’ve been in love ever since. My practice is an affirmation that I love myself, that I am committed to the yoga that nourishes my mind, body, and spirit.
I am grateful to be a part of this community and genuinely enjoy the bits and pieces that people share of themselves.
Kat Young, Front Desk
If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing period. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.” -Henry Kravis
I came to BYM because I had practiced “hot” yoga before and enjoyed it. I researched the Bikram series and thought it would be something I would enjoy, it has become much more than just a practice, its changed my life in amazing ways! I was going through a rough and transitional period in my life, at the time I started at BYM. The studio, staff and other students became a second family to me. Everyone was welcoming and friendly.It was exactly what I needed. I am forever grateful for BYM. I look forward to coming to work & practicing daily!