Instructors & Staff

Certified Teachers

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:)


Julia Bendin, Yoga Instructor

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” -Victor Kiam

Known for bringing spirit and jubilance to her classes, Julia always finds a way to put a smile on students’ faces while pushing them to discover something new in their practice. She pairs straightforward corrections with earnest encouragement and a gentle sense of humor. Julia also consistently encourages students of all levels to think beyond the physical workout of their practice and remember that each class presents an often-rare opportunity for cultivating stillness. You’ll leave Julie’s class feeling uplifted and renewed, ready to take on anything!

A search for a fun, different workout brought Julia to Bikram yoga in 2000. The yoga improved her flexibility, strength, clarity & mood thanks to a regular practice. Moreover, she also quickly discovered that the yoga brought other benefits that went far beyond exercise. In the room, Julia found invigorating discipline, focus and peace that she could carry out into the world.

Julia’s love for this transformative practice led her to attend Bikram yoga teacher training in Spring 2005. Following graduation, she returned to her then-home of Dallas and took right to the podium. A consummate teacher, Julia has served as a supportive and thoughtful mentor to students and colleagues alike. Originally from Georgia, Julie recently returned to her roots and moved to Atlanta. After more than a decade of teaching, she is still excited to share this practice with her students.


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” 

christian-davidson-bio-photo

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

heather2Heather’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.


Cathy Peterson, Yoga Instructor

Cherish the land that no one owns.” -Li Po

CLP PhotoCathy 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.


Janet Prescher, Yoga Instructor

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -St. Francis of Assisi

Janet believes in the power of the dialogue – and her classes reflect this. The dialogue created by Bikram has everything you need for a safe and meaningful practice. The key is to listen…..which can be very challenging at times. As is often said in class the 26 postures are the same – but you are different every time you walk into the hot room. Focus, concentration and listening are key in Janet’s classes.

Janet first walked into the hot room in 2007 and never looked back! Her approach to the yoga has changed from an effective form of exercise to a lifestyle choice. Janet finds peace in the hot room and feels better prepared to face life’s daily challenges after a hot and sweaty Bikram class.

At the age of 50 Janet decided to take a break from her corporate life and attend Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand. Soon after successful completion of the 9 week course she returned to corporate life and her consistent practice but with an even deeper understanding and appreciation for the Bikram series. Three years later Janet decided to give teaching a try and joined BYM’s team of teachers.

Having been a part of the BYM community for so many years Janet feels it is an honor to be on the podium leading fellow students through class.


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 rubin2Sandy 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”.


Kara Yonker, Yoga Instructor

Honest effort equals honest results.”

Kara 250Kara 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

 

Rena Cash, Front Desk and Work Study Manager

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” -Joseph Campbell

Prior to attending my first Bikram Yoga Marietta class, I had become interested in cardiac rehab and the benefits of stress management for optimal heart and lung function.  I began to learn meditation in earnest in order to teach it to people coming to see me for Neuromuscular Therapy and Natural Health Lifestyle Strategies.  I started with simple recorded, guided meditations based on loving-kindness practices; However, I needed something more…

I craved something that would deeply challenge my mind and body, pushing me past the threshold, igniting the latent potential within me that needed to be expressed.  I committed to one month of unlimited yoga at BYM and attended class a minimum of three times weekly.  The laser beam focus and determination in the heated room calmed my busy brain and cleansed by body inside-out.  “Oh, the glorious discomfort” of fascial re-arranging postures!  This type of guided, moving meditation combined with deeply therapeutic postures and calm, intentional breath heals from the inside out.  The Bikram sequence makes the heart happy, the body strong and graceful, and the mind even keeled.        

After five consecutive years of consistent practice, I became a BYM team member.  I am so grateful!  I love meeting and greeting the sweet faces of BYM and it is an honor to serve you all and support you the best I can.  I know what it takes just to “show up” and have utmost respect and admiration for all of you who commit to such a profound, dynamic, and  transformational form of self-love.

Breathe, Smile, Repeat!


 

Mimi Channavong, Front Desk

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.” -Jesus, by (Luke 11:9-10 NLT)

I feel grateful and honored to be here at Bikram Yoga Marietta as a front desk associate. My Yoga journey began as a 10-year old living on the Central Coast of California. I was scrolling my old TV set and came to a channel in which a female yoga instructor was stretching and talking about energy and meditation and challenging the viewer to reach gently for the stretch. It was the most challenging and calming exercise all at once. Being from a Spanish background, I had never seen or heard anything like this. I not only felt awake and ready for the day after practicing every morning, but I saw an overall increase in sensory perception and understanding. Since then I believe and know Yoga can cure and heal our bodies and minds, and in this process, in my opinion, the spirit as well.

In 2005 I suffered a vehicle accident in which I hydroplaned into the wall on I-285. Via yoga exercises, I was able to restore complete mobility to my body and never skipped one day of work at the office. Also in 2016 I experienced third-degree tears on both calves via a ninja course and was unable to walk for months and or exercise without injury and pain from scar tissue. Again via yoga, I was able to restore complete mobility in both calves and now have zero pain from training.

One blessed day I drove to Bikram Yoga Marietta, and I was welcomed into this beautiful yoga practice. At Bikram I have found a diligent, reliable, strict and yet gentle practice unlike any form of yoga I have experienced before.  Climate rendition and the careful guidance of the instructors have elevated the love I have for Yoga and all of the energy cleansing effects this practice brings. Bikram Yoga has helped me restore balance in physical chemistry and assisted in cleansing when doing my veggie juice fasts. In addition to natural balance and restoration, I believe emotional cleansing also occurs when submitting to this practice as the results I have incurred are the cleansing of the mind, body and spirit.

Bikram for me is an internal battle from within to separate the outside from what should remain pure. Every day we get bombarded with toxic energies and the process of this practice assists with not only the separation of the toxins from our bodies but the elevated sense of purity in what would remain.

Take good care of this Mind, Body, and Spirit for it has been entrusted to us for safekeeping.


 

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!