Camel pose

Standing head to knee

I interviewed a couple of my favorite yoga instructors who are very experienced and knowledgeable and wanted to share with you why they choose to practice, and teach yoga, in hopes that it may inspire you to try the practice yourself! For me I almost exclusively practice 26:2 sequence yoga,(Bikram) but on occasion, practice Vinyasa and Yin. I choose sequence yoga because of the heat, but also, the postures seem to give me the strength and cardio benefits without the stress on my shoulders, knees and hips.


What style of yoga were you first introduced to?

Sandy Rubin
Bikram yoga instructor

I began my yoga journey with a non-heated Hatha yoga practice which included asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), mantra (chanting), mudra (hand gestures) and various types of visualization.  

Bikram Yoga.


When did you first start practicing yoga and what brought you to it?


I first started practicing in my late teens as a means of relieving stress and anxiety.  I was not athletic or very physically active as a kid.  My mom went to our local gym on a regular basis and she encouraged me to join her for Vinyasa style yoga classes. I loved the fact that it was challenging but accessible and easily tailored to one’s natural strengths and weaknesses.  


Cleveland Willis
co-owner of Still hot yoga Decatur Georgia

In 2003, a music manager by the name of Nicole Jurovics worked at ASCAP and Columbia records at the time, while she would be involved in my music a few years later at this point I had had a tragedy with my friend, a roommate , a professional musician Rick, who overdosed on Heroin. (long story short) I was there and gave him CPR, tragically it did not work, and so while I had already gotten sober, I was at risk for a relapse. You can say, Rick saved my life by losing his. Nicole stepped in and all but forced me to try this f-k-ing Bikram yoga and at first I HATED it!  But I went every day until I fell in love with it .



What have the benefits been to you, physically, emotionally and spiritually, if any? 

Numerous! I was overweight most of my young life and a regular yoga practice helped me begin to shed pounds, pay more attention to my nutrition (mindfulness!), build lean muscle and learn to love parts of myself I thought I never could. I noticed my self-efficacy began to improve not only in the yoga room but in other parts of my life.  And I slept like a baby 😊 

YES, physically I feel great, emotionally I believe it helps as well as mentally, to just keep me in “check”. It allows this very impatient person to become more patient, and to have less criticism toward myself.


What style yoga do you practice now and why?

These days I mostly practice Bikram Yoga, the original hot yoga.  Often imitated but never duplicated. It is sometimes referred to as Hot Sequence or Hot 26&2. I have come to crave the healing and transformative benefits of a heated practice. I also love the structured nature of Bikram Yoga specifically.  We do the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in the same sequence so class never changes but the practitioner does.  This makes it a terrific barometer for noticing the natural fluctuations of the mind, body and spirit. While I enjoy other styles of yoga, I have found 90 minute Bikram to be the most therapeutic modality. 

Traditional Bikram , it is the only yoga I have found that shuts my brain up and gives me this natural sort of “high” feeling….. clearer and free, and by that I mean, free from my self, my own shit, no ego.

When did you start teaching and what style do you teach? 

I completed a 9 week immersive training with Bikram Choudhury in Khao Lak, Phuket, Thailand September-November 2014.
I’ve been teaching Bikram yoga since January 2015.

Bikram yoga. I went to Tony Sanchez in Mexico for Teacher Training in 2013, and learned the 84 postures. Tony was Bikram’s right hand guy and did training with Bikram for 25 plus years. After that I went to East valley Bikram yoga in Pheonix Arizona for continued education.


What do you enjoy most about being a yoga instructor? 

I love connecting with the students through this intense practice and watching them realize things in themselves they never thought possible. We all come to this earth with the same question…why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? Yoga helps to reveal the answers because yoga makes YOU, YOU! 

That I am not like most yoga people , I don’t care about being a yogi or instagram famous or meditating at a damn park somewhere ……none of this is me, the yoga itself is my meditation. My mentors were authentic, and that’s what I try to be ( I am not trying to be a “cool”, or “trendy” yoga teacher) AND more importantly, I strive to be a safe one who loves to see people progress and get that awesome feeling from hard work in a class!


How do you respond when people say they can’t do yoga because they are not flexible, or they aren’t strong enough or have no balance? 

First of all, you don’t “DO” yoga because yoga is your natural state. In a Hatha yoga class you are doing YOGA POSTURES to find the resistance to your natural state. Bikram yoga specifically is designed for the stiff, inflexible, weakened, injured and/or unbalanced body.  These are the very reasons to get inside of the hot room. You will notice marked improvement in all of these areas and you will notice it rapidly if you stay committed to a regular practice. 

I always respond with “oh shuuushhhhh” or “settle down”. At my studio we have an NBA guy in the same class as my 79 year old lady who kicks his ass! (She has practiced 5 days a week for several years). Yoga is not about how it looks, do not be attached to that,  instead learn to love yourself and body wherever you are in your practice (and out) on that day. Be patient and kind to yourself, flexibility will likely start to happen over time.


Should everyone try yoga? If so, is there one style that is best for beginners? 

Of course, yoga is for everyone!! In fact, did you know that yoga is a mandatory component of student curriculum in other parts of the world? It’s my humble belief that the world would be an even better place if everyone added a little yoga practice to their daily routine.  While Bikram Yoga is incredibly challenging, it is designed for beginners.  The instruction is clear, simple and precise. And as mentioned above, it never changes so the practitioner who attends regularly and listens well will pick it up rather quickly. 

I recommend Bikram to everyone. It truly is a challenging AND a beginner style for anyone (by design). Sometimes this style is called sequence or 26&2 , however be mindful and ask if it’s overall a traditional class with more traditional teachers.


 Are there any “myths” or misconceptions about the practice of yoga that you would like to clear up? 
Yoga is not just for young or in-shape people, it’s non-discriminatory. Come as you are. One of my favorite Bikram yoga quotes is…”You are never too bad, too good, too big, too small, too old, too young, too sick or healthy, too rich or too poor to start from scratch once again”.  
While there are certain benefits to taking class at a yoga studio, it can also be done from the comfort of your own home, backyard, really anywhere!
“Yoga is only for females”…this one cracks me up. Yoga is for all genders. “I have to wear fancy, expensive yoga clothing from brand names”…not at all. While you do want to wear the appropriate clothing for the style you are practicing (for example moisture wicking fabrics in a hot class), it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Be comfortable! Also, while some find a spiritual component in their yoga practice, yoga is not religious. Do your research, try different styles and find one what works for you.Never give up because it’s never too late!!

Instructors should stop trying to be famous yoga teachers, and students should be mindful of those teachers. The practice is about you as an individual, not about them as an instructor. I started doing yoga to get away from a life that was public, (former professional musician) yoga gave me the chance to get away from that lifestyle, of the  “look at me” “follow me” bullshit. As a practitioner make sure to find authentic studios and authentic teachers. The practice keeps me humble and grounded and it is something for yourself to better yourself and your health.

If you want more information on either one of these amazing instructors or would like to discuss other styles of yoga, you can email me at


Sandy Rubin in standing bow pose



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