BYRD Student Testimonials

From time to time, we'd rather let our students do the talking. Check out these testimonials from our studio. To read about Bikram Yoga testimonies world wide, visit Bikram's Yoga College of India.


Debbie Haukedal

The benefits of my Bikram Yoga practice has been extraordinary. Over these first 10 months my back, hip, neck, and shoulder pain have decreased 90 percent. My lung capacity has increased dramatically. I ran a 1 hour 10k with no other training than Bikram. As a pre-menopausal woman I have experienced a more consistent cycle without back pain or cramping. My increased muscular strength and flexibility is hugely surprising to all my friends who won't yet join me at Bikram . The best part of BYRD is that I learn something new everyday which allows me to improve my practice everyday. The reason I can do this is because the teachers want to teach and have the intention to help every student do the postures correctly so their bodies are able to operate at optimum efficiency. The friendly atmosphere and sense of community all add to my great experience. Taryn MarinekI has been going to Bikram Yoga Red Deer for almost four years...all I can say is say that is has changed my life. I have never liked the gym and I totally believe you shouldn't be sore every time you work out! After years of chronic back and shoulder pain, I started at the yoga studio and was pleasantly surprised at the results. I had previously done physio for 5 months with no results, seen specialists and then all of sudden I try this type of yoga and I am pain free! This isn't a choice for me, this is a lifestyle and as long as I keep up with the yoga, my pain doesn't return. Even if you think you don't have time, make time, even if it's once a week or every day of the week...the results will be incredible. For all those people who say they don't like the heat,it will be too hot...challenge your mind for your body's sake....find that peace that we all deserve.

Brenda Raven

One of the best things, in my opinion , about Bikram Yoga is the staff. After going for nearly a year I am continually amazed that the instructors can come up with new subjects to share with the class during practice. From breathing techniques to better ways to get the most out of a posture each instructor has something interesting to share. Amazingly the information is never presented the same way ; always new , always fresh. But the very best thing about our wonderful studio is the culture of acceptance. It doesn't seem to matter if you are very fit and able to do every posture correctly or new, stiff, plump and totally incapable. EVERY student is treated with enthusiasm and respect. All the instructors show their devotion to both the budding yogi's as well as the more experienced yogi's with gentle guidance, useful advice and loads of humour. From nutrition and hydration advice to special ways to manage a difficult posture the staff are really there to promote the therapeutic benefits of hot yoga and help you to achieve the best you you can be. They support the body you walk in with and help you to work with what you can do today with an eye to feeling stronger and better tomorrow. If it sounds like I am waxing poetic and over selling the joint, I am really not even scratching the surface of what this place offers. I can, without ANY reservations, wholeheartedly recommend this studio. You haven't enjoyed yoga until you have experienced the many benefits of Bikram Hot Yoga Red Deer. :)

Vicki Lane

I have been practising Bikram Yoga for almost 18 months now and can say it has improved my quality of life immensely. I am a 48 year old twice divorced mother of 4 and wanted to see if Bikram could help me to better manage my stress and anxiety. What I didn't anticipate was the wonderful community of people who work and practice at the studio. I recently considered a move out of Red Deer and one of the biggest reasons I stayed was because I love this yoga studio! It truly is a wonderful place to improve both your body and your mind. And it has also made the cold snowy winters more manageable - I can escape to the tropical heat and humidity of my yoga class all season long!

Vince Blondeau

I started Bikram Yoga back in February after trying out the free weekend and then signing up for the intro offer. After years of running my body was beat up and I needed something different. I'm not a gym guy so I decided to give it shot and am I every happy I did.

The first couple of classes made me want to cry and I thought to myself how the hell do you people do this on a regular basis? The next thing you know I've become part of the madness! The more classes I attend the more I realize how much I need this in my life. It's become an addiction. I love it! Plus the teachers and the staff are super friendly and are always encouraging you and cheering you on. They're kind of like my adopted family.

My mind and body are definitely feeling the benefits since making Bikram a part of my routine. My flexibility is much better and I just feel better about life. What's that old saying don't sweat the small stuff, oh your gonna sweat but also forget about all the all the things that life throws your way or at least learn to deal with them better. I'm more at peace with myself and treat every 90 minute class like my own personal vacation from life's little curve balls.

Next up will be trying out a 30 day challenge because that's what its all about challenging yourself. I would highly recommend Bikram Yoga to anyone no matter what your fitness level because once you enter the hot room your life will be changed forever! You'll have way more energy and never be short of energy. So what are you waiting for sign up today and begin your own personal journey.

Billie-Jean Logan

Bikram Yoga has been, and is a mysterious and magical experience! I started just over a year ago, with a personal 60 day challenge. Even though I was out of shape, I just kept going. Every morning I was confused on what was moving me in the direction of the studio, but the truth was, I was following my higher consciousness, and keeping my ego out of the decision making process. My energy increased immensely, I've become way more flexible, and just feel all around way more healthy. I can't explain why I love it so much, because sometimes the truth has no words, it just is! Bikram Yoga is something one has to personally experience to truly understand what it's all about. It is more than I ever imagined it to be, and I have the incredible staff and owners at Bikram Yoga Red Deer to thank for their amazing attention to detail, creating a positive environment, superb dialogue, and making an all around wonderful place to visit, hang out at, and oh yeah, to do some life changing Bikram Yoga classes!

Joanne Beraska

When asked what I love most about BYRD, I am stuck for the answer. Not because I don't love anything, but because I love so much that I cannot pick what I love most! My practice has brought the following: I have touched places within me that I buried for so long that I cannot give enough thank you's....I have looked at my mistreatment of my body and have made a conscious decision to be kinder, and more loving....I have connected pieces of the "life" puzzle that were so scattered....the list goes on. The yoga is healing my body in ways I never believed possible! But not just the yoga, the support of the teachers and other yogis is awesome! There is a great amount of energy to receive just by coming in and being present. The hot room is so inviting in our climate! I love the messages that stay long after the class is over. Maybe it's because I have finally made the mind-body connection after really listening to the dialogue and to what my body is saying. Through a very difficult 15 months, the yoga, the staff and the community within has been a source of great and gentle support. Life is not without difficulties now, I have been given a new way to deal with the pressures and accept their gifts. I feel blessed every day to have found what is waiting at BYRD for anyone who is open and willing to experience it! It will change your life if you let it!! ~Namaste~

Peter Uppenborn

So I've had the feeling that I would like to practice yoga for a few years now. I didn't start until nearly two months ago when a few guys from work started talking to me about Bikram and got me into my first class. My original intention was merely to limber up and improve my balance, but I would have never dreamed what its become for me now. The hot room is hot. It varies EVERY day, some days I feel like I can't take it any more and others its cake, it feels like it like nothing, the heat isn't there, I can just go deeper and deeper. But no matter how difficult the class is I always walk out of the building feeling absolutely amazing. I would of never thought something so intense and physical could become so meditative and relaxing. I've missed class a total of four days since I started and I don't plan on missing another unless its out of my control. I have never felt so good, in my body or my mind. It has changed me so much in such a short time, It's hard to believe, but honestly I couldn't be happier about it. Not to mention the staff! I don't know if I've ever seen a group of people so happy with with their work. They're a bundle of joy every day, and never lacking smiles. They've been tremendously helpful and do a wonderful job of making you feel at home. I've had my class today at 10am, and already, I just cant wait for the next. Thank you very much everyone at BYRD, staff and fellow students, you are all a real blast to be around.

Kelly Quarin Bird

I won't lie. My very first Bikram Yoga class was absolute h*ll!! It was not like any yoga class I've ever been to. While in your first class they strongly encourage you to return to another and am I ever grateful I did! My second class turned into the newbie deal which meant I practised 3 times and up a week which lead me to the 30 day challenge. And conquer it I did, in stride. What is amazing about Bikram Yoga Red Deer is their amazing, personable and extremely open instructors and staff. I've never felt uncomfortable either emailing calling in with questions or just asking in person. They are incredibly knowledgeable and quick to respond. Another thing that completely amazed me is their check in calls. In this day and age with customer service this blew me away. I love their genuine concern for your health and well being. I would highly recommend Bikram Yoga Red Deer. You will not regret your second class. I sure didn't!!

Wilmari Myburgh

My name is Wilmari Myburgh and I am a college student who has been doing Bikram Yoga on and off for the past year. However, during the last couple of months, I am proud to say that I have gotten my act together and began to commit to a regular practice. When I think about where I am now and how the yoga has changed me, it’s funny to think back to my first class. I can still remember walking in thinking “Seriously, what is all the hype about, it’s just yoga.” Of course as soon as the class started, that thought was replaced with “I think I’m going to die, good lord where is the door!” Surprisingly though I didn’t die and as soon as the feeling of nausea passed, I was getting pumped to go back for more. It’s funny to me how many people see this yoga practice as either completely masochistic, or some kind of “sham yoga practice.” Well, I am here to say that it is neither of those things. I understand the masochistic accusation, but honestly I have never done a form of exercise that unifies my body, mind, and spirit so seamlessly as this yoga practice. Yes it’s hot, yes it’s hard, yes I think I’m going to die more often than not when I am practicing in the studio practicing. But when it’s all said and done, I like the person I am when I walk out of the studio a lot more than the person I am when I walk into the studio.

Bikram Yoga is not a form of exercise that changes only your body; it changes your whole life in ways that you would never even think of. It changes your relationships with those around you, it changes the way you approach your life, and most importantly it changes the way you approach yourself. In the yoga studio, it is like your body and your mind finally get the chance to learn how to work together again. In today’s society I believe that we have completely lost awareness of the concept of the body/mind connection. We don’t allow our body to work with our mind or vise versa, we don’t even perceive our own body as anything but too fat, too wrong, or too ugly. This yoga teaches you to see your body as a vehicle than can do anything that your mind is set on. This attitude then is propelled into absolutely every area of your life. Inside the Bikram studio, I have learned to push not only my body but also my mind, and most importantly I have learned to love my body, not only for what it looks like, but for what it can do. You would be surprised how much more willing your body is to work for you when you stop criticizing it inside your head. This yoga teaches you not only how to love yourself, but also how to respect yourself. These are things no amount of time on a treadmill ever taught me.

The next thing that is so amazing about Bikram Yoga is that it never changes. It’s always the same, you can go to a class in Red Deer, or a class on the other side of the world, and you’ll see the same 26 postures. This is a really cool thing for me, because I go to school in New York so when I am feeling homesick, I can just go lie on my mat in a studio on West 72nd street and feel like I am back home at class in Red Deer. Also as someone who is pursuing a career in musical theatre (a sometimes unstable and nerve wracking pursuit), it’s nice to have a constant in my life. No matter how bad an audition went, how crazy a director I am working with, or how stressed out I am about school, I can always go sweat it out with the same 26 postures. That being said, it’s awesome that you don’t ever really hit a plateau with Bikram Yoga. It stays challenging, and it challenges you to push yourself harder every class. And let me tell you, my skinny jeans can do all of the talking!

I guess my final point would be, I have never done anything better for myself than walking in to my first Bikram Yoga studio. It was scary, it was hot, and I felt like puking, but afterwards, I felt invincible. It’s so easy as human beings to forget how strong we are, and how capable we are, but there is no better reminder than a Bikram Yoga class. So what are you waiting for? Go to a class and get ready for the journey of a lifetime. You will do things you never thought possible, sometimes you will want to run out the studio and never look back, but I promise your life will change for the better. Go to class, change your life, and change the world!

PS: The studio in Red Deer is the best studio I have ever been to. It is clean, it is well taken care of, it is well run, and the energy there is so beautiful. There is no better place to go for your first Bikram Yoga class. Josh and Jenna are such kind, awesome and beautiful people and their passion for Bikram Yoga is inspiring. They will take care of you, inspire you, and make you work harder than you have ever worked in your life. But it will be worth it. I promise.

PPS: My favorite yoga posture (besides Savasana… yes the one where you lie on your back) is double bow pulling pose on the floor. I think it’s my favorite because it looks the coolest, and I feel like a rock star when I am doing it. Also, it’s the once I can do for sure very single class. (even on the “get me out of here” bad days).

Bryan Jimenez

I found my way to Red Deer’s first Bikram Studio through a friend who wanted to check this new yoga studio BUT had to bail out on me as I was waiting for her at the parking lot because she got called to work as she was leaving her house. Needless to say, I was already there so I thought “why not go alone” — and I have returned many many times.

I have always maintained an active lifestyle, however as with any programs out there I always seem to plateau so quickly and was losing motivation constantly. In the short time that I have been practicing Bikram Yoga I have revived my interest in leading a healthy and active lifestyle once again. We may do the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises repeatedly, every yoga practice feels different from the last one completed. I love that I am constantly being challenged with Bikram Yoga; I feel that it’s not about perfection all the time but rather a lifelong practice.

Personally, what I have noticed as my own personal accomplishment through my practice of Bikram Yoga is my ability to focus and calm myself through life’s challenges. I have a very busy life and through my practice of Bikram, I have found that sense of calmness, that one can breathe through life’s challenges and just let things flow.

Bikram yoga has allowed me to prove to myself that anything is possible – I completed the 60 day challenge last winter in 59 days and again in the spring time I completed my own personal 44 day challenge. Doing these challenges had allowed me set my priorities and given me the satisfaction of knowing that I CAN do it.

I always try to encourage family, friends, acquaintances and business associates to try Bikram Yoga because I always tell them how great I feel after each session. While it is true that being inside is never easy, completing each class always brings that wonderful sense of accomplishment; that after each class one always feels like a renewed person , recharged and ready to tackle the world! and I want everyone around me to have this same positive aura!!!!

For any first timer practitioners, I always tell them to just breathe and to hydrate very well before each class. I have done my share of yoga practices in the past (and variations of); while it helps to have this background, the heat is a different factor for those new to Bikram. If you learn to breathe through the pain, you’ll succeed in your Bikram practice.

Bikram Yoga Red Deer has allowed me to meet many different people, and this has allowed me expand my network of friends and acquaintances. There is this truly wonderful sense of belonging and a genuinely caring atmosphere amongst those of us who practice regularly at your studio. I truly believe that your goal (and I’m quoting Josh) “to create a true community hub: a safe place in which people can connect with each other, create a sense of individual well-being and self-worth, and continue to learn about themselves and life” is alive like a flower petal blooming.

My favourite yoga posture? It’s always a challenge but when I am able to balance, my favourite is the standing bow pulling pose. I have not managed to successfully hold on to this posture in the last couple of weeks that I have been coming to the studio, however it’s still my favourite – one looks elegant, and well put together when one is in this posture — a true measure of being fully in tune with one’s body.

Janet Spafford

There isn’t much things to say about Bikram Yoga Red Deer that isn’t positive, aside from the fact that I am certain they are plotting my demise some days as my core temperature reaches the spontaneous combust zone. Yet it’s those days that the practice is training my mind not to panic, to be self-reliant and perhaps hope my neighbor will rescue me if little red men with pitchforks start to dance around my body as I lay in savasana. There is no athletic challenge I’ve ever completed before that matches some of my days in the studio and it’s for those days that the next practice is that much sweeter. You have to go back the next time to see who you are that day, see where the practice takes you and swap war stories in the change room about the class or plot a rebellion against instructor/Yoga Mussolini of the day. Every imaginable part of my life has changed for the better since finding BYRD: there’s patience where there used to be frustration, there’s peace where there used to be chaos and there’s acceptance where there once was nothing but resistance. Initially going for purely physical benefits, now walking into the studio is like going home, (minus parental guilt and horrible meat loaf). I love it….unconditionally!!

Kristin Fraser

What do you love about Bikram Yoga or the studio? I just love the way I feel after a Bikram class. (Well, most days!) But even on the days I don’t feel so good, it’s just an indication that I haven’t been coming for a while or taking care of myself the way I should. And the studio in Red Deer is top notch. Great instructors, beautiful studio and great support. I just love it!

What advice would you give some one for their first class? If you’re taking a Bikram class for your first time, don’t have any expectations on yourself. Just keep breathing and focusing on you throughout the class. Stay in the room. Lay down if you need to. This is “you” time. So don’t be afraid to take care of “you”.

Describe the community at Bikram Yoga Red Deer. The studio in Red Deer is a lot of fun. Jenna and Josh are always keeping you posted on upcoming events, always offering ways to better your practice and everyone that comes to class is trying to attain the same things you are. It’s a great way to meet new friends into good things.

How has Bikram Yoga changed your life? Bikram yoga has allowed me to overcome my own self doubt. Having more energy, clearer thoughts and a great feeling of accomplishment starts to show both on the mat and outside of class. I’ve started working towards things that really matter.

What is your favourite yoga posture? Camel. Because I always feel some sort of release. You start to understand what opening your “heart chakra” really means.

Holly LeBlanc

Bikram Yoga has given me flexibility and strength in my knee that I haven’t had since my first knee surgery 20 years ago.

After 6 months of Bikram I was able to get into postures I thought would be impossible given the history of my knee.

For the first time in 20 years I had the confidence to go downhill skiing with my family (brace free).

I would definitely recommend Bikram Yoga for anyone who is recovering from a knee or other joint injury.

Lori Farrell

This was written October 2011, halfway through Lori's 30 day challenge.

I discovered bikram yoga just three months ago when my friend & I decided to give it a try. I had never practiced any form of yoga before so I was a little skeptical on trying ” hot ” yoga for my first time.

Day one in what they called ” the torture chamber ” was day one towards the start of a new life. The room was hot.. really hot and the instructor (Andy) encouraged us to pose in postures I couldn’t even pronounce. 90 minutes felt like forever! I won’t lie.. I felt like leaving the room a couple times that day.

After that first class I was hooked. I now take time for myself and try to get to the studio five times a week. After the first month of coming I noticed so many positive changes. One, I noticed right away.. my mind was clear. I suffered from migraines often and haven’t had one since i started practicing. Maybe it’s because I learnt to tame my “monkey mind” as the instructors always quote. This testimonial is after just 3 months of practice.. I can’t wait to write the benefits after 30 years of practice!

My current favorite pose is half-tortoise pose ardha-kurmasana. I always want to stay a little extra longer here.

The instructors at BYRD are so encouraging and inspiring! Their practice reflects in their teachings. Each instructor has their own way of teaching that makes every class unique. We all do the same 26 postures every class but somehow, no class is ever the same.

This is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Thank you Bikram & BYRD

Dan Doyle

I began my practice with Bikram Yoga Red Deer in February 2011. Bikram Yoga is one the best things I have ever done for myself. It has truly changed my life. Mentally, it has given me more peace with myself and the world around me; physically, it has also taught me that my body could do things I never dreamed it could do.

I have always been active athletically and thus have paid the price with numerous injuries. As a result, I’ve had to endure double knee surgeries to both my knees, (one being an ACL reconstruction), shoulder surgery, broken foot/hand not to mention countless muscle sprains and strains. The straw that broke the camel’s back is when I was diagnosed with gradual deterioration of the disc between the vertebrae which is referred to as Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). Simply put, the nerves in my upper back, due to the deterioration, were being pinched resulting in numbness in my neck, arms and hands. I had sought medical help and treatment, still to no avail my condition wasn’t improving. I taught myself how to deal with the discomfort and move on. As a result, my physical activities were limited, I was consistently taking medication for the pain and I began to seriously wonder if this was the end of the road to an active lifestyle.

In early January 2011, my wife attended a hot yoga class at Bikram Yoga Red Deer and came home and said I should try hot yoga as a means to off set some of the discomfort I was experiencing. I thought to myself, and you guessed it, WIIFM (What’s in it for me). I was a grown man and besides guys don’t do Yoga. After some discussion and thought I decided to explore what my wife was so enthusiastically talking about. I thought, since I had explored other forms of exercise and treatment to regain control of my health this wouldn’t hurt. Thus, after a long journey, I discovered Bikram Yoga. At first, I simply expected a physical workout. What I discovered was much more than that. I have transformed. I no longer suffer constant pain nor am I taking medication. I’ve lost weight and developed lean muscle mass and can contort my body into positions I never thought possible. I have gained a peace of mind I previously never knew existed and have transcended many limitations within myself – mentally, physically and emotionally. I am accomplishing things I once thought impossible. So much so that since beginning my practice I have completed both the 40 and 60 day challenges.

I remember all too well, as do most that begin their introduction to Bikram yoga, how those first few sessions felt, the heat, sweat, the pain for 90 minutes. Welcome to the “torture chamber”. To quote Bikram Choudhury ” Regardless of your age or current physical condition you’ll laugh, cry, moan, groan, sweat and experience the most exciting, hardworking and effective therapeutic yoga routine in the world.” We’ve all been there but whenever you speak with those who practice at Bikram Yoga Red Deer I think to a person they will all confess that Bikram yoga has altered their life in a positive way. This is also due in part to the staff at Bikram Yoga Red Deer who are great from the moment you enter the studio. They’re professional, friendly and always eager to assist with any questions you may have relating to your yoga practice.

For myself, I’ve learned to accept responsibility for making changes in my life. Bikram Yoga Red Deer has taught me to look at the challenges in front of me, smile and meet them head on. Case in point, standing head to knee and standing bow. I have learned to focus on the tasks at hand and live in peace with myself and the world around me. This is the gift that yoga has brought to me, a gift which I share with all of you.