Mike Johnston (Owner – Instructor)
Mike was born in Montreal January 22, 1981. He attended both high school and university in the city, graduating from McGill University in 2003 with a BA in political science. He played on many sports teams, and was captain of the Marianopolis rugby team. He started Bikram yoga in 2005 after a motorcycle accident. It soon became clear that Bikram was the answer he was looking for. After many years of back pain, insomnia, and injuries due to playing contact sports, he finally found a way to rehabilitate his body. He attended Bikram yoga teacher training in the spring of 2007, in Hawaii
Anni started Bikram yoga in the Spring of 2005 and became a certified instructor in November of 2008. In her own words hear why Bikram Yoga truly changed Anni’s life…”At the time I took my first class, I was stressed out at work, I was training for a marathon, and suffering from terrible anxiety and insomnia. I smiled politely when the person at the front desk told me that my only goal my first time was to stay in the room, but what I really thought was… It’s just yoga, how hard can it be? Of course I ate my words around 3 minutes into class. My love affair with Bikram yoga did not start at the first class. I did not enjoy my first class, and even made it pretty clear to my teacher at the time that I would not be back. And yet 3 days later, there I was again, sweating through the postures, swearing that THIS time would be my last time. Of course it wasn’t… Something made me go back again and again, and each time I swore it would be my last. But eventually something magical started happening to me during those 90 minutes. I didn’t understand it at first, until I realized that the gut-wrenching anxiety I had been feeling almost 24/7 suddenly disappeared. Only for those 90 minutes at first, but those tough, sweaty 90 minutes suddenly became the most wonderfully peaceful 90 minutes of my day. The room may have been hot, the postures may have seemed impossible, the teacher may have been tough, but none of it mattered. My mind was quiet. And, as anybody suffering from terrible anxiety would know, this was the most amazing gift anybody could have ever given me. The experience of following my instinct gave me the courage to keep going with it. It is a beautiful thing to learn to trust yourself. It eventually led me to teacher training, to quit my job, and to completely change my life. Today I am anxiety-free, insomnia-free and have the honor and privilege to share this powerful yoga with others. And I have never looked back.”
Luna Ohayon (Instructor)
A Fashion Designer by trade Luna was certified as a Bikram Yoga instructor in 2007. She discovered Bikram yoga in Montreal after suffering from injuries due to running and other sports. It has become her new “addiction” and she is extremely thankful for the physical as well as spiritual benefits she has gained and continues experience from Bikram yoga.
Suzanne Matte (Instructor)
Suzanne’s life is peppered with favorites.
She practiced running intensively for more than 15 years when, in 2001, she discovered Bikram yoga when the first studio opened in Montréal. Since then, she has set aside her sneakers to dedicate herself to the daily practice of this discipline. In 2007, she decided to go to Hawaii in order to complete the « Teacher training » at Bikram Yoga College of India. Since then, she enjoys sharing her passion for yoga through teaching.
For Suzanne, Bikram yoga is now part of her life; besides working on flexibility, strength, discipline and toughness, this form of yoga allows her to go further, another opportunity to exceed previous limits!
French born in Paris, and an ex- martial arts competitor, Adil began practicing Bikram Yoga in the fall of 2002 through the direction of his voice and acting coach.
He started practicing in Los Angeles with Emmy Cleaves,Craig Villani, Bikram Choudhury himself and the rest of his staff. It was in the spring of 2005 when Adil became certified at the Bikram Yoga College of India in LA.
After those challenging and transforming 9 weeks he felt compelled to pursue his dream to become a trained circus performer and decided to leave for Montreal where he endured the most severe acrobatic physical training of his life with a strong trained mind & discipline acquired through Yoga.
Today, he is grateful for this gift to be able to teach, help and empower people beyond their limits through Bikram Yoga and also strives continuously to better himself as an instructor through his students & teachers.
Christine is a native Montrealer and West Islander who has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2009. She found that Bikram Yoga provided her with both the physical and mental intensity she required to manage a hectic schedule and stressful work environment. Within one year of practice, Christine decided to participate in the intensive 9 week Bikram Yoga teacher training in Los Angeles in April 2011. Christine works full time in the social service field with youth and families. She is interested in the mind-body connection and feels that yoga offers the perfect balance. She is also interested in exploring how the Bikram Yoga method can help those suffering with mental health issues.
Michelle graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in 2010, in San Diego, California. An Interior Designer who discovered Bikram Yoga after practicing a myriad of other varieties of yoga, she felt an immediate affinity to the discipline and challenge of the practice. She feels there is a balance to be found between superseding your own limitations and being kind to yourself. Michelle loves sharing all of the aspects of the practice that promote and foster well-being in body, mind and spirit with her students at BYMTL.
“the darkest place is under the light”
Nicholas is originally from Ottawa, Ontario, and discovered Bikram Yoga with the help of his husband, Damon, in January 2009 and looks to Damon for guidance and inspiration, both as a student and as a teacher. Having spent many years studying Kung Fu and tumbling, Nicholas appreciates Bikram Yoga’s ability to heal and mend old injuries. Nicholas graduated from the Teacher Training Program in Los Angeles, California in June 2011.
Harriet is originally from Brighton, UK and started practising Bikram Yoga in 2004. After her very first class she knew she wanted to teach, and started the long journey of changing her life one step at a time. Very quickly she changed her stressful work schedule so that she could practise yoga every day, and pretty soon after that made the very real decision to leave her job and take part in teacher training in LA. This finally happened in Autumn 2006.
Since then Harriet has taught in Brighton and London and now, more recently, in Montreal. She is an energetic and compassionate teacher who very much believes in the discipline of Bikram yoga and the philosophy that “if it’s easy, it’s not working”.
“The benefits you can get from this yoga are overwhelming; it changed my life – inside out, bones to the skin. But don’t take my word for it, come and do your yoga as often and as regularly as you can and see what it can do for you!”
Jennifer began practicing yoga at home when she was 15. She started Bikram Yoga at 17 and a year and a half later, in 2010 completed the Fall Bikram Yoga teacher training in San Diego. She feels that this intense yoga practice has changed her life in so many different ways, as yoga is a tool that has allowed for personal growth and self-discovery. She say’s “In that room, everything melts away, all the layers disappear and all you have is your breath, and somehow, you begin to see everything clearly. You realize that everything you’ll ever need, or have ever needed, you’ve always had, you just couldn’t see it.”
She has become stronger, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually through Bikram Yoga, and continues to grow every day because of it.
David started Bikram yoga in 2005 after seeing an interview of Bikram on television. The next day he was doing Bikram yoga and instantly fell in love with it. With knee and back problems sustained from years of doing Brazilian martial arts (Capoeira), hot yoga was the perfect cure. Bikram yoga has changed his life not only physically, but on a personal level. He decided to attend teacher training in the fall of 2011 in order to give back to the community he loves so much.
Maria José believes in a strong, energetic and compassionate yoga class. She uses her love of teaching to awaken the yogi within each of her students and motivate them to the best practice possible. Born in Chile, Maria José takes every opportunity to strengthen and perfect her class. Maria’s first Bikram Yoga class, taken less than a year before she went to teacher training instilled in her a love and profound respect for the practice. For Maria it is important to teach a class with energy, encouragement and compassion. Upon graduating Bikram Yoga teacher training in Spring 2007, Maria José brought her passion for yoga to Vancouver. She loves talking about yoga and is always open for feedback, or to answer questions after class. Now, presently living in Montreal with her family and very happy to be teaching on the East coast.
About her teaching style:
“My style of teaching reflects the way this yoga was taught to me. It is a fast paced yoga, energetic and should guarantee you a hard work out. Expect a faced paced cardio work out in the standing series, be prepared to enter my class to work. on the other hand, I encourage gently, respect my students’ limitations and the individuals boundaries. My favourite posture is awkward because it’s a challenging endurance posture that anyone can excel at. My least favorite posture is standing separate leg head to knee pose because my hips are never aligned and after working so hard to get the posture perfect, it’s still a struggle for me.”
“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”
Sarah is always on the lookout for the next challenge in life, and in 2009 she didn’t hesitate a moment when the opportunity presented itself to complete the physically intense and spiritually fulfilling task of Bikram’s Yoga College of India Teacher Training. Since becoming certified, Sarah has been on a personal quest to dive deep into the knowledge and philosophies of Hatha yoga, wanting to become the best she can be in both her practice and teaching. Sarah has an insatiable curiosity of the Human body through movement. Another thing Sarah loves to do is travel, grace to Bikram Yoga Sarah has had the honor of teaching in Switzerland and France. Visiting Bikram studios from Canada to Thailand and Europe in between, Sarah has experienced great treasures that life offers through Bikram yoga.
Nancy started practicing Bikram Yoga in January 2010 and instantly fell in love with the overall feeling of wellness. After three months of practicing, she knew she wanted to become a teacher. Her training took place in Los Angeles during the Spring 2011. She had the opportunity to learn from the Yoga Master himself, Bikram Choudhury, during a nine-week training period. It was hard and rigorous work but she believes it to be the best job in the world. She loves contributing in helping people live a healthier lifestyle. She knows it works; it cured her from depression. Just like Bikram says: “You’re never too bad, never too old, never too sick to start from scratch again!”
Jessica Sergi started practicing Bikram Yoga in 2008. She fell in love with yoga after her first class and hasn’t stopped practicing since then. Looking to gain more knowledge on yoga and to challenge herself mentally as well as physically, she knew she had to go to the teacher training. After being granted a leave of absence from her full time job as a Project Manager, she was able to fulfill her dream.
Jessica graduated in June 2014 in Los Angeles and is now a part of the BYM team. She feels blessed to be able to share her passion for yoga as a part time teacher as well as keeping up with her regular practice.
Jessica is looking forward to continue to grow not only as a student but also as a teacher.
She is very thankful for the support from her fellow teachers as well as the student community.
Her favorite quote she takes away from teacher training is: “Be the student you want to teach”.