About Our Studio

About Our Studio

Established in 2002, Bikram Hot Yoga Long Beach is Long Beach’s original Hot Yoga studio! We are a soulful community studio located on the beautiful Long Beach Marina at the Marina Pacifica shopping center. Here, you will find support and skilled instruction to help you improve flexibility, lose weight, build strength, relieve stress, achieve mental clarity and optimal health with every breath and drop of sweat!

We offer traditional 90-minute Bikram Hot Yoga, 60-minute Bikram Hot Yoga, Hot Fusion, Hot Pilates, Restorative, and Deep Release Yin Yoga classes. We invite you to participate in a special free Bikram Hot Yoga community class held the second Saturday of every month at 10:30am.

BHYLB is independently owned and operated.

OHYA

meet our team
Cynthea Morris

Cynthea Morris

Yoga Instructor

Cynthea Morris

Cynthea Morris

Yoga Instructor

Cynthea has a background in art, design, and holistic health. After suffering physical injuries (2 total knee replacements, surviving cancer, and the roller coaster of life), she has always come back to yoga. Her personal and professional practice has evolved to embrace not only the physical benefits of asana, but also the emotional and spiritual. She has a unique teaching style that combines strength and grace with genuine joy and humor. She is dedicated to assisting students of all levels in experiencing how the practice of yoga can benefit health and inspire daily life. Cynthea considers yoga not only a physical activity, but a lifestyle. She believes in an integrated system of wellness that uses nutrition, breathing techniques, postures, and meditation to bring about total health. Her interests lie in an energetic practice using graceful flows and attention to breath combined with intention setting and good music to ensure presence and joy in each moment on the mat. Living in an international city, like Long Beach, with such a diverse population has given Cynthea the honor and privilege to work with students from all walks of life: students from France, China, Japan, and Mexico; students who have disabilities, as well as different cultural and class backgrounds; students from young to elderly; and students who are English speaking or non-English speaking. She is able to help them develop and grow in their yoga practice and, in turn, grow in themselves.

Doreen McGill

Doreen McGill

Yoga Instructor

Doreen McGill

Doreen McGill

Yoga Instructor

Doreen has always been an athlete and has done numerous marathons and triathlons. She found Bikram Yoga after tearing her ACL ( knee injury) in a skiing accident 13 years ago . She was instantly hooked by the physical challenge of the practice and how it helped rehabilitate her knee. Her mentor was Jason Winn who was a highly recognized senior teacher in the Bikram community and the owner of the Laguna Beach Bikram Studio. He taught her so many amazing ways to challenge her body and push for perfection. She still uses all those tips today and passes them on to her students. After 15 years of practicing Bikram yoga, she became a certified Bikram teacher. She decided to leave the corporate environment to a job that gave her complete fulfillment and meaning. It’s so rewarding for her to see her students change their bodies, become stronger, more fit, flexible, and recover from past injuries. She loves sharing the love of this practice to her students and seeing all the amazing benefits that come with it.

Francisco Rufino Baeza

Francisco Rufino Baeza

Yoga Instructor

Francisco Rufino Baeza

Francisco Rufino Baeza

Yoga Instructor

Let me introduce myself. My name is Francisco Rufino and I’m originally from Mexico City. I graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in San Diego in the fall of 2010. After the training, my journey as a teacher began, and I have been sharing my passion with the yoga community in Mexico for the last several years. As a practitioner, I discovered the unlimited potential that hatha yoga practice gives us day by day: that’s why it’s called practice! Each day, we learn together: the teacher learns from the student, and the student learns from the teacher. It’s part of the union; it’s part of the process. I’m happy to start learning with the Bikram Yoga Long Beach community. Let’s work together. Let’s discover day by day who we really are with our unlimited potential. It is my privilege to be part of your 90-minute meditation, locking the knee every day. In Lak’ech. (I am another you.) Ala K’in. (You are another me.)

Hobey Echlin

Hobey Echlin

Yoga Instructor

Hobey Echlin

Hobey Echlin

Yoga Instructor

Hobey discovered hot yoga while living in New York City in the wake of 9/11. “After my second class the teacher said, ‘Remember, when you leave here today, if things seem different, it’s not the world that’s changed – it’s you.’ That really resonated with me.” Within a year, Hobey had completed teacher training with Bikram Choudhury and relocated to Los Angeles, where he was soon teaching hundreds of students a week, from skeptical first-timers to pro football players and celebrities, at Bikram studios around the area. Hobey also spent four years studying the Classic 84 Asanas with Yoga College of India Senior Instructors Emmy Cleaves, the late Jason Winn, and Bikram Choudhury himself. “It was a room full of yoga legends, gymnasts and dancers who would all go on to win world yoga championships – and me, this guy with a bad knee, in the back. But when Emmy said, ‘The posture isn’t the object, the body is the object,’ I knew this was once in a lifetime opportunity to learn and absorb this classic hatha yoga series.” Hobey is so grateful to share this yoga with you. All are welcome.

Kurt Schroeder

Kurt Schroeder

Yoga Instructor

Kurt Schroeder

Kurt Schroeder

Yoga Instructor

Kurt is a graduate of the University of Arizona, and the University of Southern California. He has been involved with sports since he was a small child. Some of his favorites included soccer as a child, football in High School, and rugby in college. He joined a Bikram Yoga studio in Seattle three years ago with the hope of decreasing some chronic back and knee pain he had developed from his years of playing sports. In conjunction with his Bikram Yoga classes, he started to take hot pilates classes and was immediately hooked. Within a few months, his knee and back pain had disappeared! He decided at this point that Bikram Yoga/Pilates was something he wanted to do the rest of his life, so he became a Hot Pilates instructor. After completing the Inferno Hot Pilates teacher training, he became a steady teacher at his studio in Seattle. His recent job transfer has enabled him to continue his teaching at Bikram Hot Yoga Long Beach. His advice to new hot pilates students is, "Don’t be intimidated by the workout. Try it, and you will become hooked, too."

Lili Zazueta

Lili Zazueta

The Studio Manager

Lili Zazueta

Lili Zazueta

The Studio Manager

In 2011, I was training to run the Los Angeles Marathon when I sprained my ankle. I was looking for a low-impact workout when my sister encouraged me to take a Bikram Yoga class. Immediately, I was drawn in by the physical challenge of the practice. After a few classes, I decided to sign up for a 30-day challenge. I was excited with the changes and improvements I saw in my flexibility, strength, and mental focus. By the end of the month, I knew I had found my passion. A year later, I suffered a knee injury. It was then that the healing power of this yoga became evident to me. I experienced mental and emotional benefits to a greater extent than I had before and knew I wanted to share this beautiful healing practice with everyone. I completed Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Fall 2013 and have been teaching at several studios in Southern California since that time.

Maggie

Maggie

Yoga Instructor

Maggie

Maggie

Yoga Instructor

Maggie began her yoga journey over 15 years ago while living in New York City. She had a successful career as an actress but there was an inner longing for something more. She came down with a virus that overtook her body for several weeks. The virus was diagnosed as induced by stress. This led Maggie to her fist Bikram yoga class. Such clarity and peace came to her that she never turned back. She got certified in Bikram Yoga in 2005 and taught in Bikram studios throughout New York City for several years. Her acting career brought her to Los Angeles. She continued to teach Bikram Yoga while acting in various films and commercials. Since then, she has become certified in Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, Pre/Postnatal Yoga, and Children's Yoga. She is also certified in Ayurveda—the sister science of yoga—DASc through Kerala Ayurveda. Yoga has remained the one constant in her life. It is her lighthouse, continuously bringing her back to her inner light and strength. Maggie is honored to guide you on your yoga journey.

Mayu Halgren

Mayu Halgren

Yoga Instructor

Mayu Halgren

Mayu Halgren

Yoga Instructor

Teaching and practicing are all connected for me. I learn about different kinds of bodies from teaching, and I also learn how to teach from my practice. I want to practice what I preach. I don't mind if students look at me while I take classes because I want to be a better model for my students. Of course I am not perfect and my poses are not the best, but I want to try hard in every single class I take. I believe the best students are the best teachers. I also know that everyone is different in terms of flexibility, strength, and conditions they have (including injuries). I cannot ask too much of students who have severe injuries, so I do my best to help them not to injure themselves further and, at the same time, reduce their pain through yoga. vision and intention for our students is for them to feel a connection to the postures, learn about their bodies, and LIVE in their bodies. I love teaching because every class has students with different body types, injuries, and energy levels, so I try to teach in different ways, and it’s magical to see transformation in each person. Although Bikram Yoga is a static series, none of my classes are the same. In class, the students and I constantly evolve, explore, and connect to fuller expressions of the postures, which creates a different feeling, a sense of accomplishment, and learning. Expect love, encouragement, corrections, and humor from my class!

Meggin Thompson

Meggin Thompson

Meggin Thompson

Meggin Thompson

Back in 2000, as a fresh-faced 17-year-old, a friend’s mom invited us to join her for this new thing called "yoga." There were practically no yoga studios at the time, so class was held in a small, dark room in the back of a private gym. People of all sizes, ages, and abilities were practicing, moving, breathing, and meditating together. It was beautiful. I was instantly hooked. I sought out every type of yoga I could find after that. I even studied two years of B.K.S. Iyengar yoga during my college years at CSULB.In 2005, a colleague challenged me to a type of yoga I’d never heard of: Bikram Yoga. I took my first Bikram class the following day . . . and I hated it! It kicked my butt; the mirrors, the heat, the discipline, the endless sweat! It was not like any kind of yoga I had known. But the results I felt in my body made me curious to come back. To my surprise, staring into my own reflection in the mirror was the hardest part of it all. Coming to terms with past trauma, low self-esteem, and body-image issues was extremely challenging. Looking at myself under the bright lights, with no makeup, messy hair, cellulite, and all my perceived flaws was utterly terrifying. Over time, I let go of judgment and replaced it with acceptance and understanding that I was getting stronger—both physically and mentally—with every class. Within a year, my body and mind had completely changed. I learned to love myself again. This practice taught me how to respect my body and be kind to myself. I realized that every day on the mat is completely different and brings its own challenges or breakthroughs. I knew then that I wanted to become a teacher and share this yoga with everyone. Unfortunately, the timing was not right, but I never gave up on my dream. Fast forward to the present day. After 13 years of dedicated Bikram practice, I finally took the leap. I graduated from teacher training in 2017 and now get to teach the practice I wholeheartedly believe in. Students can expect my classes to be disciplined, yet compassionate. I like to emphasize proper alignment in the setup, moving together as one, and synchronizing breath with movement. It will be my honor and pleasure to guide you through your practice. Namaste, Meggin

Melba Johnson

Melba Johnson

Yoga Instructor

Melba Johnson

Melba Johnson

Yoga Instructor

I started practicing 33 years ago with Bikram himself. I never exercised as a youth or teenager because I was a sickly child who suffered with asthma and kidney problems. I practiced through two pregnancies, delivering healthy and strong children who now practice. I worked in the corporate arena as an owner/partner in a senior-level, retained executive search firm named Berkhemer Clayton for 13 years, and took the Bikram teacher training in 2003. My intention for our studio is to try to make every class an experience that is never the same each time students show up to practice. My mission at BHYLB is to expand the student’s journey of yoga, and to inform and remind students of the benefits of their practice on and off of their mats. What to expect from my class is to be excited to practice, breathe, surrender, and let go; to be guided through a supportive meditation of postures with suggested corrections to build a strong practice, with no expectations other than being enlightened and encouraged, which excites students to return for the next adventure/journey.

Melissa Luyben

Melissa Luyben

Yoga Instructor

Melissa Luyben

Melissa Luyben

Yoga Instructor

Melissa started practicing Bikram Yoga in February of 2004. Her instant love for it encouraged her to sign up for a 3-week trip to India with the founder, Bikram Choudhury, and 40 other Bikram yogis that December. After that incredible trip, she knew she wanted to be a Bikram Yoga teacher. Melissa attended the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles in the spring of 2005. Since then, Melissa has lived and taught at several studios in the United States: Bikram Yoga in Naperville, Illinois, and Bikram Yoga in Williamsburg, New York. She has also taught at many of the studios in Southern California: Bikram Yoga Long Beach, Bikram Yoga Fullerton, Bikram Yoga Costa Mesa, and Bikram Yoga in Laguna Beach. Melissa attended the Advanced Seminar Series in Hawaii and has taken several advanced classes at Bikram Yoga International Headquarters in Los Angeles. She has a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and recently graduated from Chapman University with a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Melissa began teaching in Long Beach during the summer of 2005 and loves the community here at the Long Beach studio. She is so grateful for the opportunity to teach at such an amazing place and hopes to inspire others to practice Bikram Yoga and help them transform their lives daily with this powerful practice.

Rachael Melford

Rachael Melford

Yoga Instructor

Rachael Melford

Rachael Melford

Yoga Instructor

Rachael attended her first Bikram Yoga class in 2010. She had never done any type of yoga before, but was up for the challenge. At the time, she was working as a criminal defense attorney, and was looking for a way to de-stress and find balance in her often-hectic life. After years of distance running, she wasn’t sure she would get as good a workout from yoga, but after her first class, she found herself driving to a neighboring city for more and more. She loved the way she felt after class, not just physically, but spiritually. She felt more grounded and calm, and saw changes in not only her body, but her life perspective as well. She knew this yoga was very powerful, and it had become a necessary part of her life. Shortly after attending her first few classes, a new studio opened up closer to home. She met the new owner and immediately became a part of the local Bikram community, helping to clean the studio, participate in 30- and 60-day challenges, and attend workshops. She had always wanted to attend teacher training, but with the demands of her legal career, could never find the time to make it happen. In 2014, she took a leap of faith and quit her job, making the decision that her spiritual growth was more important than her professional success. She embarked on her yoga journey in late 2014, traveling to Thailand for her 3-month Bikram training. She returned with a goal to share her experience and continue her yoga journey through teaching. The mat has taught her many invaluable life lessons. Most importantly, this yoga has taught her that life really is about the journey; that it is the people and experiences that color our souls and make this a beautiful place. She truly appreciates the power of this yoga and its ability to transform lives. She is excited to continue teaching and sharing the lessons this practice has taught her.

Vidya Ramanathan

Vidya Ramanathan

Yoga Instructor

Vidya Ramanathan

Vidya Ramanathan

Yoga Instructor

Vidya Ramanathan is a certified Yoga Alliance 300 Level Instructor and, as a Meditation Instructor through the Chopra Center for Wellbeing (Carlsbad, CA). She holds additional certifications in Sound Healing, Ayurveda, and is currently pursuing her 1000-hour certification with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) through Soul of Yoga in Encinitas, CA. Vidya has studied under many master teachers (Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. David Simon, Davidji, Vijaya Stern and Dr. Richard Miller to name a few) and unites these teachings in her classes. She teaches in workshops, private and group settings, and contributes regularly to several teacher training programs in Southern California. Vidya brings a sense of purpose, balance and harmony into her classes, providing practitioners a sanctuary to release stress and an avenue to explore the mind-body connection by artistically weaving together physical practice sequences with breath-work, meditation and soulful music. She encourages students to break through limitations while staying mindful and creating a more authentic relationship with their own body and mind.

Rosa Lauper

Rosa Lauper

Studio Director

Rosa Lauper

Rosa Lauper

Studio Director

In 2002, Rosa was invited to her first Bikram Yoga Class but she politely declined. A former dancer, collegiate athlete, and avid outdoor fan, she had heard the rumors about Bikram Yoga and honestly could not believe anyone would want to do yoga in 105 degrees with 40% humidity. In 2008, Rosa was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and began to deal with the symptoms (such as fatigue) associated with a slower metabolism. A friend’s repeated suggestions that Bikram Yoga could help finally got her to her first class. Her mat has taught her so much: how to breathe, how to find peace in the most stressful of situations, how to work incredibly hard for the sheer joy of how yummy it feels, and how to source incredible energy sans caffeine or other short-term fixes. Rosa’s yoga journey led her to evaluate the high stress of her executive corporate position. She describes this time as the perfect storm, when neither her work nor marital relationship were in harmony, and she finally hit a wall trying to make it all work. Her journey led her to make the frightening, yet powerful, decision to leave her employment and focus on her personal healing and yoga. She particularly remembers one class where her mentor-teacher spoke the simple words, “Don’t get emotional about it. Relax your face. Breathe.” She finally understood that this was the power of surrender. This power, now a continual, driving force in her life, ultimately led her to seek certification. It brings her incredible pleasure to share this yoga—that has been so physically and emotionally healing to her—with others.

Rosario Wenner

Rosario Wenner

Yoga Instructor

Rosario Wenner

Rosario Wenner

Yoga Instructor

I started practicing Bikram Yoga in April, 1999. I instantly knew that this was going to make an impact in my life on all levels. I took the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in 2000. This led me to open the original Bikram Hot Yoga Studio in Long Beach and watch it grow and thrive. (In 2015 the lovely Rosa took over ownership and I am so blessed to still share my love of teaching here!) I am a certified Bikram Yoga and Kundalini Yoga instructor, Levels 1 & 2, and a Certified Pilates Instructor (my latest passion), and I have completed the advanced teacher training for 84 Asanas with Tony Sanchez, and Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training with Tamal Dodge. I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. My yoga journey has opened many opportunities in my life. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and learning more through my practice and learning from my students. I remind myself daily that life and yoga are never going to be perfect, they are to be practiced. I look forward to meeting you in class!

Vicki Johnson

Vicki Johnson

Yoga Instructor

Vicki Johnson

Vicki Johnson

Yoga Instructor

our values

Twenty-six and two: the system that works

The Bikram Yoga series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises is like a prescription for health. The series systematically works through your entire body unlike any other form of workout. Each posture moves into another, and builds upon each other, in a sequence designed to optimize the effect on your body and systems as a whole.

Private sessions

Do you have a group of friends interested in trying Bikram Yoga? Are you a student looking to gain more insight and depth in your practice? Whether you’re looking to practice with your friends, or desire the intimacy of a singular practice, a private session might be right for you. Bikram Hot Yoga Long Beach welcomes individuals, groups, sports teams, and social clubs. Please email inquiries to [email protected]