10 Historical Facts About Bikram Yoga NYC & Our Teachers
1) We opened our doors on August 7th, 1999
This undated photo shows Bikram Yoga NYC’s original location, Midtown (797 8th Avenue) before our signage went up.
2) Later that year Lynn Redgrave produced “Women at Risk”
Part one of a two part series produced by TV and Film icon Lynn Redgrave features interviews with owner Donna Rubin, former instructor Nancy Cronkite (daughter of the late Walter Cronkite) and Dr. Oz.
3) Prior to opening, Founder Donna Rubin was in Phantom of the Opera
Donna payed Meg Giry in the Toronto version of Phantom of the Opera during it’s 10 year run from 1989 to 1999.
4) In 2000, Bikram Yoga NYC Expanded to our Original UWS Location
We opened an outpost on West 72nd street, but not at our current location, a block West of where we are now. Fuji TV came to visit in 2006, just before we moved in 2007, and here’s the story they filed.
5) In 2001, Jennifer Lobo joined as co-owner
Jen is the proud Mother of 3 boys and practiced Bikram Yoga during all 3 pregnancies. Not only that, but she practiced the day before birth all three times! This photo of Jen in Camel pose was taken in 2015. Looking great Jen!
6) Georgia Balligian, having practiced Bikram Yoga since 1971, became one of our first instructors
Georgia’s amazing life story is briefly covered in the 2015 interview video below. Notably, she was one of Bikram’s very first students in Hawaii in January 1971.
7) In June 2004, the Flatiron studio opened, with only one floor
2004 saw Bikram Yoga NYC expand downtown to 182 5th Avenue, directly across from the Flatiron Building. The following year a class led by John Salvatore was filmed by Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
8) In 2006 Bikram Yoga NYC expanded to Manhattan’s Upper East Side
New York’s Upper East Side neighborhood was without a Bikram Yoga studio until 2006 when Bikram Yoga NYC opened our first eco-friendly outpost there. The studio was complete with environmentally friendly bamboo flooring, EnerJoy heating panels and side by side studios. In 2014 SELF Magazine came by with a couple of comedians and filmed this segment “Girls vs Sweat.”
9) In 2012 we led the largest ever Bikram Yoga class with over 3,000 students
In 2012, Donna Rubin, Jen Lobo and Rajashree Choudhury led what was (and still may be) the largest Bikram Yoga class every produced. With over 3,000 students practicing yoga at the cross roads of the world, the event made headlines and continues to be talked about to this day.
10) Also in 2012, we co-produced the National Asana Championship with the United States Yoga Federation
Nearly 200 champions representing every region in the United States gathered in NYC in early March of 2012. The 3 day event, attended by thousands at the Hudson Theatre on 44th street, is often referred to as the best produced in the event’s 13 year history.