OUR INSTRUCTORS

Jamie Weil; Owner/Director at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Jamie Weil

Owner/Director

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My initial yoga experience began as a young adult working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, when a friend and colleague introduced me to meditation and yoga. But after some time passed I drifted away from it.

I suffered for ten years with increasing back pain during which I tried chiropractics, acupuncture, deep tissue massage, pain medication, gravity machines and the like.

During this time I was diagnosed with multiple herniated discs and after meeting with many doctors and having many MRIs the consensus was that I should stop exercising and receive spinal fusion.

I was extremely resistant to any type of surgery and decided to seek out natural remedies. At this point in time, when my pain was increasing, mobility decreasing and with the use of stronger pain medication, I happened upon a Bikram Yoga studio on my way to work. I took my first Bikram Yoga Class in the Spring of 2001. I found the class to be extremely physically challenging and struggled through the first couple of classes but immediately saw the benefits of practicing Bikram Yoga on a regular basis. After some time I was attending three to five classes per week. I was starting to experience increased mobility, flexibility, strength, reduction in pain and improvement in well-being. Within a year of practicing I was a different person having dramatically decreased my pain and I was filled with a feeling of wellness, peace and clarity. I soon came to realize that a regular Bikram Yoga practice helped me to not only feel physically stronger but also dramatically helped to reduce the stress in my life and improve overall clarity of thought. As a senior VP of a major bank, Certified Financial Planner, and money manager - stress is a significant factor in my life. Bikram Yoga has given me the tools necessary to deal with these stresses in a healthy and thoughtful manner. As time progressed Bikram Yoga has become an increasingly important element in my life and it has become a passion that I have grown to feel so strongly about that I want to share the benefits of this practice and self-healing. As a result I attended a Bikram Yoga training in the Fall of 2011 in Los Angeles so that I could open my own Bikram Yoga studio to share these benefits. After twenty-five years as a financial planner I feel like it's important to give back to society and humanity as a whole.

Debbie Franzese; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Debbie Franzese

Instructor

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I began Bikram yoga 14 years ago because of a major back injury. When training with kettlebells a trainer pushed me so hard that I herniated three discs in my neck causing major pain in lower and upper back. Finally in a brace after a few weeks, still not able to play tennis, go for a run or wear a favorite pair of heals. I tried healing myself with the chiropractor, physical therapist, lots of rest and everything that was suggested. Exhausting every possible avenue I gave into a friend’s suggestion to try Bikram yoga.

Bikram yoga healed my herniated discs putting my back in alignment. The yoga enabled me to become better at everything!, giving me a better quality of life.

Bikram yoga is better then any type of therapy or medication a doctor can prescribe. It helps me with mental clarity and concentration. It increases my balance, coordination and energy levels. The yoga has toned and strengthened my muscles while reshaping my body.

My favorite posture is Half Tortoise Pose - Arda Kurmasana. Making me feel more relaxed I love the forward stretch. My least favorite posture is Locust Pose - Salabasana. Locust Pose is the most challenging which means I need it the most. This posture increases spine strength especially in the lower and upper spine proving again that this is a posture that has helped most with my healing from injuries.

Adil Rida; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Adil Rida

Instructor

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French born in Paris, an 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 L.A.

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 and 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.

He has taught worldwide including Stockholm, Riga, Casablanca, Montreal, Quebec, NY, Las Vegas, L.A., Funky Door - San Francisco, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Melbourne-Sydney, Avondale AZ, D.C., Mexico etc...

Dan Gwirtzman

Instructor

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Dan began doing Bikram Yoga in 1999 when he had an office job in New York City.  Sitting all day gave him back pain, insomnia and constipation! Bikram Yoga fixed everything. He went to the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in the Fall 2001.  He taught in New York City, Washington DC and Reno.  In 2005 he bought the Bikram Yoga studio in Locust Valley, NY and was there until 2010.  Afterwards, he did an immersion in Anusara, another style of yoga based on alignment, attitude and action.  In 2011, he met his wife Karina, a Brazilian who was teaching Bikram Yoga in New York City.  In 2012 , they moved to Brazil to start a hot studio called Yoga Lab in the Vila Madalena neighborhood of Sao Paulo.  They sold the studio and moved to Colorado in 2017. Dan thinks yoga is a great way to maintain health and quickly restore our vital energy when we feel tired.  He enjoys teaching yoga because it gives him a chance to demonstrate pranayama, make friends and tell stories.

Kim Khazzam; Studio Manager at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Christina Salavec

Instructor

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Christina's bio is coming soon!

Mary Griffin; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Mary Griffin

Instructor

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I was immediately drawn to Bikram after my first class in 2001. I started to switch out running days for yoga classes and put away my running shoes completely in place of a consistent practice by 2003. Moving to the city allowed me to focus on building my practice and open myself up to all it had to offer. Most people wouldn't choose Manhattan as the ideal location to clear your mind and find stillness and patience, but that's what I found in the hot room. After many years of working at a yoga studio, I was able to fulfill my goal of teacher training in Spring of 2009. The physical benefits of this practice, while incredible and life changing, have always been secondary to the mental clarity, focus and emotional growth that I've gained. This practice teaches you something new about yourself every time you step into the room, and being able to share that with students has been my greatest joy.

Yvette Valasquez; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Yvette Valasquez

Instructor

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Yvette began practicing at the age of 19. She was introduced to Tracendential Mediation while she was living in Colombia. Coming back to NYC in 2003 she found herself at a Bikram studio, the intensity and sense of mind body renewal gave her the discipline she needed with the demands of working in Manhattan. Yvette became a Bikram teacher in Spring of 2010, as well as becoming a certified Jivamukti teacher, currently working on her apprenticeship. She has been teaching throughout New York, as well as teaching at different studios internationally. Her teaching philosophy is based on helping students to realize their own ability to move deep within to discover their true self through guided movement. Always on a quest for more knowledge, Yvette remains a voracious student, she practices regularly with Guruji’s Bikram Choudry, Sri Dharma Mittra, Sharon Ganon and David Life, amongst teachers at the top of their field. She makes a constant effort to grow and learn with every class. Her students inspired her to continue her education. She works with the non-profit Yoga Youth Movement, which is dedicated to bringing yoga to children in schools and holds a position as a yoga teacher for the Dalton School. She is currently perusing her degree in science.

Judy Appell; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Judy Appell

Instructor

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After having issues with her back ( scoliosis) Judy was told she had to be active and exercise or she would be in pain. So, she was a runner, tennis player, mother of 3 and grandmother. Did we mention she’s a grandmother! After multiple injuries, she heard about Bikram Yoga but didn’t like the heat. “I loved to sweat when I worked out so I gave it a try. I went alone and the rest is history.” One of Bikram’s quotes is, “you are never too old, never too sick, never too bad to start all over again.” Judy says it has changed her life both physically and emotionally, and always being one to give back, decided to become a teacher. “I wanted to share the amazing benefits of Bikram Yoga. I wanted others to see that one can have physical issues as well as being an older beginner.” It gives Judy pleasure to see students reach the next level in their practice.

Brian Lenihan; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Brian Lenihan

Instructor

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Fifteen years ago, Brian was a successful flooring contractor. He suffered from back pain, and overall his health was diminishing. While trying to heal his back through exercise and chiropractics, Brian discovered a nearby Bikram Yoga studio. When he walked into his first class, he was challenged more than he had ever expected. He continued to practice and began to notice dramatic differences in his body, as well as his mind.

Already a personal trainer, since 2006, Brian decided to enter Bikram Yoga teacher training in the fall of 2010. Training has afforded Brian the opportunity to share his love of the practice with others. He believes that functional movement, with attention to breath and core strength helps to develop a strong mind body connection.

Karina Gwirtzman; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Karina Gwirtzman

Instructor

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A Brazilian and former attorney, Karina started doing yoga in 2002 in Brazil, right before she moved to the U.S.  Her Bikram practice started in 2006 while she was living in Manhattan, and she observed the results of the practice in one of her co-workers.  She went to the Bikram teacher training in Hawaii and got certified as a Bikram Yoga instructor in 2007.  During the next five years she taught at Bikram studios in NYC and Brooklyn.  In 2010 she did a vinyasa teacher training at Reflections Yoga with Paula Tursi in midtown Manhattan.  Karina is also certified in Thai Yoga Massage and Reiki.  In 2011 she met her husband, Dan Gwirtzman, at the Bikram studio on the Upper West Side. She continued teaching full time right up until the day before her first son was born.  In June 2012 her family moved to Brazil where she and Dan opened a hot yoga studio in Sao Paulo called Yoga Lab which they sold in 2016 and returned to the U.S. Karina is currently living in Sea Cliff.  Karina likes teaching and giving corrections to everyone in the room. She focuses on alignment in the poses and balance in larger sense in her classes.

Janice Burke; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Janice Burke

Instructor

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Yoga is NOT about being bendy...Yoga is about uncovering who you really are. Its about being kind to yourself so that you can be kind to others. Yoga is about discovering some of the thoughts that we create in our heads are not always reality. It's about slowing down to get strong. It's about breathing, moving and smiling. It's the hardest thing i've ever done and also the best! Janice's philosophy teaches with close attention to alignment guiding her students with compassion and humor so that they can gain knowledge, awareness and understanding of themselves through their practice. Janice got her Bikram certification in 2008 and 200 hour RYT through Yoga Polarity 2011. Janice is working towards her degree in Ayurvedic studies as a holistic health counselor.

Chris Olstrom; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Chris Olstrom

Instructor

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Coming Soon

Emmon Quach; Yoga Instructor at Bikram Yoga Roslyn

Marcy Gubernikoff

Manager

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Marcy came into yoga after many years in the fashion industry. She took her first yoga class at Bikram Yoga Roslyn. Her dearest friends brought her as her guest.  Marcy was immediately taken by the profound effect it had on her. Marcy wanted her internal reality to match her external reality.  She knew this would be her long-term goal and path in life. Marcy drove into her yoga practice and teacher trainings with enthusiasm and self study.  She is a Yoga Alliance at experienced register Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200). She has her Restorative Yoga Certification.  Yoga Kids Certification and Certification in ChildLight Yoga for Babies and Toddlers.  Marcy continues to carve a path in the yoga world.