Erin & Rafael

Salsa Party: July 10

On July 10th we are bringing the salsa party to our Lefferts yoga studio. Take the 8 p.m. class with Roody to music and bust a move on the yoga dance floor afterwards! BYPS teacher Erin and her husband Rafael will be there to get the party started.

Rafael will be teaching the entire Beginner Class so please come even if you have no experience or a partner. Rafael owns a salsa dance school in his home town of Santiago de Cuba and he is very good at what he does…i.e. he’s totally used to teaching non-cubans how to dance! Read more of Erin’s story below about how she became a yoga teacher and met the love of her life on the dance floor.

What’s your yoga origin story?

I started practicing Bikram Yoga in Jan 1999 in San Francisco at Mary Jarvis’ Studio (which I randomly found in the yellow pages of the phone book.. when we still used phone books). I got into it as a way to stretch after long bike rides while I was training for the California AIDS Ride. I quickly started doing more yoga and less cycling. I expressed to Mary that I wanted to become a teacher. At the time I was working for a mental health clinic in SF and my goal was to incorporate yoga into the counseling and crisis work we were doing. She was very supportive. I went to training in December 2001 (thats where I met Roody). I taught for Mary for a year before moving to Brooklyn and teaching at various studios around NYC. I began teaching for Roody in May of 2003 and I’ve been with him since.

When I moved to New York, initially I was working as a social worker at a nursing facility for people with an AIDS, mental health and substance abuse issues. I also taught Yoga in this facility, while continuing to teach yoga at Roody’s studio. I went to nursing school 7 years ago and became an Oncology nurse. Now I teach various postures and breathing exercises to my patients while coaching them through the cancer treatment. Being a nurse also serves my yoga teaching. My knowledge of anatomy, physiology and disease process fuels my teaching and my drive to assist people in taking care of themselves…to practice preventative medicine.

Because I am in two caring professions, the yoga is vital to my own self-care. I HAVE to do it in order keep my body strong, my back healthy and my mind clear. It is impossible to care for others properly if we do not care for ourselves first. I would have burnt out long ago if not for my own practice.

When and why did you start dancing salsa?

I started dancing Salsa in 2013. I had been to Cuba once before and when I returned to Brooklyn I vowed to learn how to dance. I was fed up standing on the wall watching everyone else have fun. I started taking classes here in NYC and in 2013 I set up a “dance boot camp” trip for myself as a birthday gift. I met my husband on that trip at his salsa school in Santiago de Cuba.

What are the parallels between dance and yoga?

In yoga you have to focus on your self and build a better connection with your own body. In Salsa, you have to focus on your partner and build a connection with them. If you take your focus off your partner, the connection is broken and you can lose your step or balance. Same in yoga… if I break my focus in a balancing posture, I can break my connection and lose my balance. Salsa, like yoga, is a moving meditation that requires you to stay in the present moment. And of course, if you hold your breath in either activity, you will lose your endurance. I have to remind myself to breath while I am dancing just like in yoga.

Finally, both yoga and dance are challenging and it’s easy to get frustrated and give up in the beginning. We have to be patient as we stumble, trip, lose our balance or melt into a puddle on the floor, but step by step we learn, create a new muscle memory and then succeed.

There is no better feeling than accomplishing something we never thought we were capable of doing.

Channing Burt

Teacher of the month: Channing Burt

BYPS teacher Channing Burt shares about her practice…

Why did you start practicing Bikram yoga and how long have you been practicing?

I took my first class in May 2005 looking for some grounding at a time of change in my life soon after moving to Brooklyn and finishing graduate school. That first class was at Troy and Aiko’s studio in Brooklyn Heights and I never looked back. Not long after I moved closer to the BYPS Flatbush studio and practised there 2-5 times a week for almost 10 years including the final New Year’s Eve class in December. I’ve had the chance to travel and practice at studios farther away including Berlin, Glasgow, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Melbourne.

How has your practice affected your life (this can include, health, work/career, relationships, etc.)

Bikram yoga has helped me develop and maintain discipline, focus and courage along with physical strength and flexibility. It is an investment in my health and those around me. It’s been so wonderful sharing this experience with fellow BYPS practitioners and instructors over the years.  

What keeps you coming back for more?

It is always and never the same. Bikram yoga is an essential part of my life. It is like breathing; it is breathing.

Do you have any advice for new yogis?

Don’t underestimate yourself.


Student Story: Karen Del Moral


Why did you start practicing Bikram yoga and how long have you been practicing?

In 2006 I was going through a divorce, and one day I was walking on Flatbush Avenue on my way from court and stumbled upon my life saver. I had never practiced yoga before but I knew I needed to do something, I was always so angry and sad during that period, and most of all tired from not sleeping at night.I noticed some happy sweaty people in that studio on Flatbush Avenue and a guy (ChiChi) gave me a flyer. The next morning I took the 10:00 am class; As soon as we began the standing series, I kept thinking, “What the hell did I get my self into? All these people are surely CRAZY and out of their freaking mind!!!” I grabbed my mat and tried to exit the room but the teacher, Namjin, talked me into staying and just laying on my mat. I think I finished the first breathing exercise and then I really did grab my mat as soon as I could and exited the class, however that night, for the first time in 2 1/2 years I slept thru the night and woke up feeling like a different person. Strangely enough I wanted more, and I showed up for class for the next 6 days of my intro offer. Nine years later BIkram Yoga has become a part of my life, and I am not the same if I don’t get in that hot room. I’ve become one of those crazy happy people!

How has your practice affected your life?

Bikram Yoga has helped me to be a nicer, stronger, and happier person.

What keeps you coming back for more?

I cannot live without it. My practice is my medication, my therapist, my drug … its an essential part of my life.

Do you have any advice/insight for new yogis?

The class you don’t feel like going to is always your best class – mind over matter!


Community Acupuncture

Drop in any Tuesday from 3 – 6 p.m. at our Lefferts studio to receive community style acupuncture from Maryam Mehrjui, LAc, RN of HeartBodyMind Acupuncture.  This is acupuncture made affordable by treating patients simultaneously in a large and comfortable community room, such as our commons space in our Lefferts studio.

Maryam offers personalized acupuncture and herbal treatments as well and sees this work as part of a growing movement in affordable healthcare. She is committed to making holistic care as affordable and accessible as possible. These treatments are offered at a significantly reduced fee compared to the standard, private room acupuncture treatments.  The rate is $25 for each visit.

Community AcupunctureMaryam is a Registered Nurse and a Licensed Acupuncturist in the State of New York.  She is also a Nationally Certified Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, which includes Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology from the National Certification Commission for Acupunture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).  She has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and Holistic Nursing at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and holds a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine.As a Registered Nurse, Maryam has worked in many New York City hospitals, mostly in Emergency, but also in Pediatric, Psychiatric and Neo-Natal ICU.


Please visit for more information.



Self Healing with the Bach Flower Essences

As compassionate yogis, we take care of everybody else and many times we forget to take care of ourselves, there is not enough time, not enough energy at the end of the day… Even though we know that in order to take care of those around us we need to “put the oxygen mask first”

Do you ever wish there was a way to make Self Care easy? Well, there is!

In this interactive, personalized FREE workshop you will get clear on:

  • Your specific emotional challenges that stand in your way for better Self Care
  • Which remedies to use to remove what’s standing in your way
  • How and when to use the remedies
  • The connection between Self Care and Inner Child
  • And more…

Self Care is a term that being thrown around a lot lately…Come hear a fresh approach to the topic and leave with insights and inspiration that you can start applying in your life right away!

Where: Bikram Yoga Park Slope, Lefferts (Entrance at 1120 Washington Avenue)
When: Sunday, June 14th at 2pm
This is a Free event!

About Bach Flower Remedies:

  • The Bach Flower Remedies® are a safe and natural method of healing. They gently and safely restore the balance between mind and body by transforming negative emotions and attitudes to positive ones.
  • The Bach Flower Remedies® allow peace and happiness to return and stimulate the body’s own capacity to heal itself.
  • There are 38 remedies, each one for a different type of personality, situation or emotional state.
  • They are 100% safe for the whole family including babies, children, pets and even plants, and for every stage in life including pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Noga Kreiman Miller“In my work with clients my goal is to facilitate conscious exploration to remove any blocks from living life full of love, joy and peace. My extensive training in Holistic Healing as well as my own spiritual path makes me uniquely qualified to guide clients from all walks of life to higher consciousness.”