At Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley, our teachers have completed a rigorous 9-week Bikram Yoga Teacher Training program, with over 600 hours of training. The teachers receive their training directly from Bikram Choudhury, the founder of this hot yoga practice, and a staff of teachers with years of experience. Teachers at BYMV continue their education by mentoring with Teri Almquist and other experienced teachers. They attend workshops and seminars to learn more, always striving to become better teachers.
Teri Almquist has been a certified Bikram Yoga teacher since the spring of 2005 and studio owner of Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley since 2008. She excels at mentoring teachers and is consulted by teachers and students from all corners of the globe for her expertise in healing injured bodies through yoga. Teri is also the author of The Toolbox: Tools for Teaching Bikram Yoga (available on Amazon.com), the main reference guide for Bikram Yoga teachers worldwide.
In 1991, while working in the mental health field, Teri sustained a severe spinal injury which left her unable to move her head for 13 years. In an effort to put off a seemingly-inevitable surgery, Teri took her first Bikram Yoga class in April of 2004 and it changed her life forever. With a regular practice, Teri was able to regain full range of motion in her neck and avoid surgery. She has been dedicated to sharing her knowledge of the healing power of Bikram Yoga ever since.
Teri believes Bikram Yoga is for everybody, regardless of where they start. Her knowledge can be applied to any body, so that practitioners of all levels can continuously grow, both inside and outside of the room. When not teaching or taking yoga classes, Teri can be found at her kitchen table, talking to teachers about Bikram Yoga.
Teri is the founder of Teach From Love, an organization dedicated to the continuing education or Bikram Yoga teachers. She brings her knowledge of this healing practice to teachers worldwide through seminars, workshops, webinars and mentorship. For more information see: www.teachfromlove.yoga
Jeni took her first Bikram Yoga class in November 2010 at the insistence of her daughter, Ashley, who was attending Bikram Yoga Teacher Training at the time. After not exercising for nearly a decade, Jeni had gained weight and was suffering from numerous ailments, including severe back pain, headaches, acid reflux, and plantar fasciitis.
After practicing for only a month, all of her ailments were gone, and over the next two months, she shed 30 pounds. She was hooked! In 2011, Jeni completed a 365 day challenge, and then made the decision to become a teacher. Jeni completed her teacher training in the fall of 2012.
What Jeni loves most about Bikram Yoga is that anyone can do it, no matter how old, sick, or broken they are. She loves bringing her enthusiasm for the yoga to every class she teaches. When not teaching, Jeni enjoys practicing Bikram Yoga with her husband, Mike, as well as her three daughters.
Larry started practicing Bikram Yoga in 2008 and quickly discovered its many benefits. Years of running had taken its toll on his lower back and he suffered from herniated discs. Larry noticed, in his own practice and that of others, the amazing healing power of regular yoga practice.
Larry finished his Bikram Yoga teacher training in 2010. Being a Bikram Yoga teacher is one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. "I enjoy connecting and sharing this yoga with students. I’m honored to be able to share the knowledge I have gained from great teachers. The students continuously inspire me, and I’m dedicated to helping them reach their potential."
Cassie has been teaching since 2010. Besides being a yoga teacher at several studios in New England, Cassie is a full-time nursing student. She works as a Nursing Assistant at Lawrence General Hospital.
Michelle is a Merrimack Valley native, growing up in Andover and attending Andover public schools. Previously Michelle worked as a certified early childhood educator at a local daycare facility. While she enjoyed her work, Michelle felt alienated by her healthy lifestyle and lacked connection with her co-workers. She took her first Bikram yoga class in early 2012, after a parent at the day care suggested she give it a try. She immediately felt a strong connection to the yoga, loving the sweat and the elation she felt after each class.
After practicing for about a year, Michelle participated in her first Yoga Asana Championship, an experience that caused her to delve into her practice even more. She was seeing major changes in her physical and mental health, getting more flexible and less angry. She started arranging her schedule around going to class and knew she wanted this yoga to be her main focus. Michelle attended Teacher Training in Spring 2014 where she was on the demonstration team and won the award for Best Female Yogini. She loves being able to share her passion for this life changing yoga with others and hopes to inspire students the way her teachers have inspired her.
Dorothea found Bikram yoga in the fall of 2013. She was trying to find an alternative to prescription drugs to manage her anxiety and insomnia. After nearly a decade of dealing with the side effects of medication, she was able, with the help of yoga and her doctor, to stop taking medication and still manage her symptoms. She attended training in Thailand and became a certified Bikram teacher in 2015. Dorothea is a staff teacher here at BYMV as well as a teacher at other Bikram studios. She is also a hair stylist and keeps our staff looking good, inside and out.
Melissa started practicing Bikram Yoga in December 2012 at the insistence of her mother. She tried her first Bikram class and loved it immediately. During her school years, Melissa was involved in dancing, cheerleading, and gymnastics which took a toll on her body. She tore her Achilles tendon and ACL which both had to be repaired surgically. She tore her ACL a second time and doctors advised her to have surgery again, which she refused. After a few months of practicing, she started to experience the physical and mental benefits of Bikram yoga and knew one day she would want to teach. MJ is a graduate of Bentley College in Waltham Mass. Melissa attended the fall 2016 Teacher Training in Thailand where she was selected to be part of the graduation demonstration team. She is excited to share her passion for this healing yoga with the world.
Briana is a Rhode Island native who began her Bikram yoga career in Pawtucket, RI. She decided to try Bikram yoga because she hoped it would heal her bad knees and because she’d read that Lady Gaga did it. After practicing consistently and seeing amazing results, she became a teacher in the Fall of 2012. Since then, her teaching career has taken her across the world and helped her satisfy her love of traveling. She’s been all over New England, and around the world to teaching in Australia, New Zealand and Africa.
Bee is a great student of yoga as well as a great teacher – if you have a question about a posture and she doesn’t know the answer right away, she’ll go out and find it! She teaches a compassionate class and is always ready to help you improve your practice.
Maggie graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in India Spring 2016. She was born in New Orleans, raised in San Francisco and, when she's not teaching or practicing, she is raising an active family in New England with her husband, John.
Maggie was exposed to and practiced many different forms of fitness and therapy before experimenting with Bikram Yoga. But, in the 26 and 2, she has found connection, discipline, and balance "inside out from bones to skin, fingertips to toes".
A dedicated teacher and student, Maggie loves sharing her passion for the practice through all of the challenges and triumphs in the journey to perfect health and wellness.
Steven is our studio manager and an integral part of our team. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, he has been teaching Bikram Yoga since November 2011. Steven now spends a lot of his time away from Massachusetts but he never stays away for too long because of his profound love for the community at BYMV.
Before becoming a yoga instructor Steven taught meditation in one-on-one and small group settings. His favorite part of teaching is watching new students grow and learn to believe in themselves. When not in the hot room, Steven can be found out playing in nature, or inside playing acoustic guitar and mandolin.
Elaine is our studio ambassador and living proof that it's never too late to start from scratch again—she took her first yoga class when she was 72 years old. Back then she had diabetes, high cholesterol, and uncontrolled blood pressure.
Today her blood pressure and blood sugar are normal and she requires no medication. More importantly she lives independently and without pain and she'll be the first to tell you that she feels better now in her 80s than she did in her 60s.
Elaine is not a Bikram teacher but as our ambassador she is always eager to talk about the healing benefits of Bikram Yoga. She will tell you that it's hard work to improve your life but it's always worth the effort. Come in today and introduce yourself to Elaine!
“Every student deserves a great teacher, and every teacher deserves the opportunity to be a great teacher.” –Teri Almquist
BYMV often hosts visiting teachers from around the globe. These teachers come to study and learn under the mentorship of the studio owner, Teri Almquist. They are a very special part of our BYMV Community.