Summer Solstice is this weekend and we’ve got a hot event for you. Bikram Yoga NYC and several other prominent yoga studios will be taking over Time Square Friday for a full day of serious yoga. Between 15,000-20,000 are expected to participate in Solstice in Time Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga event. Five 1-1.5 hour classes will be taught over the course of the day, from 7:25 am to 9:00 pm, when the last class ends. Celebrate the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere – and the official start of summer –with thousands of yogis in what is otherwise the most frenetic spot in the country.
We got a chance to sit down with Bikram Yoga NYC Co-Founders, Jen Lobo and Donna Rubin, who will be leading the 1:00-2:30 pm class in Time Square, to get the inside scoop on how they are keeping things hot at their studios, after almost fifteen years in business!
As fate would have it, Jen and Donna met at a yoga class. Jen, a sports marketing professional, had been an avid sports enthusiast but had never been particularly taken with yoga. Donna, a professional ballet dancer and musical theater performer, had recently started taking yoga classes as a way to help increase the longevity of her career. Several Bikram classes later, both saw enormous potential for the Bikram brand to grow and expand within New York City. Bikram Yoga NYC was born!
BT: You teamed up in 1999 to open up the first Bikram Yoga studio in New York, Bikram Yoga NYC, so it is safe to say you put this popular practice on the map. What advice would give to a beginner?
A: (JL) Don’t push yourself too hard. Pace yourself. And make sure to eat that day!
BT: Fill in the blank! The number one mistake people make when getting their Bikram on is ____________________.
A: (DR) They give up too soon, expect too much, and don’t give themselves a chance.
BT: What are some things you always keep in your gym bag?
A: (DR) Definitely my Sweat Mate! A little yoga outfit so I can always pop into a class at the last minute. And my Bikram Yoga NYC hydro-flask – we’d been looking for the perfect water bottles for a long time. These keep the water freezing cold!
BT: You offer $8 classes 22 a week at all four of your locations and a 30-day challenge with rewards upon completion! It is clear that you both want to make Bikram available to everybody. What makes you so passionate about the benefits of Bikram?
A: (JL) We don’t want people to give up yoga because they can’t afford it. When they are going through tough times, we believe that that is really when people need their yoga the most.
BT: Do you have a favorite pose?
A: (JL) – Triangle. (DR) – Camel
BT: It has been 14 years since you first opened your doors, where do you see Bikram NYC in another five years?
A: (DR) We always aspire to do more community oriented events. And because our roots are in the theatre, and we have so many performers in our community, we love to involve them in events. We did a great Valentine’s Day Violin event, with performers in class. And, of course, we are really excited about the Solstice event in Times Square.
BT: We love a great retreat! Do you have a favorite yoga getaway we need to check out?
A: (JL) We are always here working so we don’t have much time to get away on retreats! But we dream about doing a ski-yoga retreat for Bikram Yoga NYC. Stay tuned!