Studio Owner — Originally from northern California, Hannah studied the social sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. She married a USAF fighter pilot, moved to South Carolina, and graduated from the USC School of Law. Hannah was a practicing attorney for several years before starting a family, and finally made Charleston her home in 2003. She loves living here with her husband and four children.
A long-time running/spinning/tennis cardio junkie, Hannah went to her first Bikram class on the suggestion of a friend. Having attended several other types of yoga classes, Bikram was the first yoga class that satisfied her necessary “intense workout” component–in fact, she was “blown away.” Hannah spent the next year logging as much time in the hot room as possible, and now she practices daily. Although she still loves the difficulty of the workout, Hannah feels that the transcendence of mind is Bikram Yoga’s true jewel. In Standing Head to Knee posture, her mind simply cannot be elsewhere than with the body at that moment.
Hannah went to Bikram teacher training in Los Angeles in 2013, and greatly enjoys connecting with the practitioners in her classes. She also loves the sound of her children’s laughter, the rush of standing up on a wave, the beauty of the Lowcountry, and the unique energy of a Bikram class moving together.
Sam’s whole life has been about balancing the physical, spiritual and creative. Growing up her activities were painting, ballet, and piano. Sam went to art school in Brooklyn at Pratt Institute after transferring from the College of Charleston. She rode her bike into the city to take dance classes whenever she could fit it into her schedule between college courses. After college she worked at The Juilliard School, The New York Public Theatre, The Guinness World Records Museum and Spoleto USA as a painter and scenic artist. Eventually she moved back to Charleston and did art shows while always perusing a physical outlet, mostly at the gym at that point. On June 1, 2003, Sam took her first yoga class and it was da bomb! She bought an unlimited membership and started taking yoga every day. Six years later Bikram Yoga Charleston opened and it became her new yoga home. In 2011, she became a Bikram yoga teacher. Her journey is like the tortoise, slow and steady. Through asana practice, mediation and study, she is growing and learning more about all the aspects of yoga every day. She is thankful to have yoga in her life and be able to share it with you. Sam is inspired by nature. She sees its beauty in its many facets found every person, flower, animal, ocean, everywhere. Sam incorporates nature, and often yoga, into her artwork. It can be seen at www.SamiKatLong.com.
A native of Atlanta, Marianna was introduced to Bikram yoga 25 years ago by Raquel Welch’s ‘Total Beauty’ video. Clueless about yoga, she practiced Raquel’s wonderfully addictive ‘routine’ in her college dorm nearly every night while studying philosophy at the University of Texas- Austin. Years later, a friend introduced her to the Bikram practice. Inspired, Marianna attended teacher training in Los Angeles in 1999, studying intensively with Bikram, Rajashree and Emmy Cleaves. Upon certification, Marianna taught in Houston for Mike Winters and later opened her own Bikram studio.
Drawing on 15 years experience as general manager/wine buyer at Robert DelGrande’s Cafe Annie in Houston, Marianna moved to Charleston with former husband chef Ben Berryhill to build a family and a restaurant. Raymond was born in November 2004 and REDDRUM restaurant opened in May 2005.
Still going strong, REDDRUM has been voted ‘Best Mount Pleasant Restaurant’ for 10 years running. Raymond was voted funniest 4th grader.
At Bikram Charleston Marianna is most happy sharing with students the therapeutic techniques and benefits of the Bikram series, as well as the more subtle esoteric aspects of yoga. An avid researcher, collector of ideas and student of most anything metaphysical, she likes to color outside the lines of straight dialogue. Emmy Cleaves is the voice in her head while she teaches. Marianna hopes her teaching is always informative, detailed and kind. She believes that knowledge empowers the practice, increasing student commitment to the yoga, and leading to greater self-understanding and awareness. It is her goal in each class to help students realize the very practical, spiritual, all-natural, beautifully powerful, medicine-magic that yoga delivers to the total body/mind.
Heather was born and raised in the snowy mountains of upstate New York. After years of running and skiing in the cold, she was invited to a dear friend’s hot yoga class and quickly hooked! A lifelong athlete, she loved the challenge of Bikram yoga and ”warm” escape the 105 degree room offered. Bikram became a daily practice for her five years ago. It also led her to discover and study several other styles of yoga, meditation and spirituality, eventually completing a 200- hour, hot power vinyasa teacher training in 2013.
Heather believes that yoga can open students’ hearts to the limitless joy of life– because she has experienced it firsthand. She feels the gift of yoga is priceless, and hopes to share this gift through lighthearted, positive, challenging classes. A promotion at work offered her the opportunity to move to Charleston last July and it has been one of Heather’s greatest blessings. Beach living agrees with her completely. When she’s not in the yoga room, you’ll find her surfing, biking or playing with her sweet pup, Honey Bear.
Sally took her first Bikram yoga class in September 2011. She has always been physically active but was looking for some peace amidst the chaos of teaching elementary school and raising 3 boys. What she found was not only a challenging workout but also a meditative practice that required immense mental and physical discipline. She was instantly hooked and practicing Bikram yoga became part of her everyday routine. She notices an immense calm and peace after practicing Bikram. She sleeps better, has more patience with others, worries less and loves more. Sally enjoys watching students transform and the smiles they get after accomplishing something new in their practice. She lives on the Isle of Palms with her husband Ryan and their three boys. Sally loves backward bends, coffee early in the morning, and walking the beach with her family and yellow lab. She is so grateful to have found Bikram Yoga Charleston and looks forward to teaching and practicing alongside you in the hot room!
Born and raised in Richmond, VA, Ragin Kammer began her love for physical activity by dancing for 12 years of her childhood. She moved to the Lowcountry for college in 1993, and after falling in love with the area and her soulmate, decided to call this beautiful area home. It was during college that she reignited her passion for fitness by teaching group sculpting classes, Spinning©, and even took up running. Over time, between her dancing years and the impact of running and traditional aerobics, her skeletal system really showed signs of wear and tear. After a doctor diagnosed her with untreated scoliosis, that same doctor suggested yoga in order to strengthen the muscles around her spine. After one Bikram class, she was hooked! Although she is still passionate about teaching Spinning© (and the occasional long run), it is Bikram that has truly stolen her fitness heart. Ragin is also incredibly enthusiastic for encouraging people both in and out of the hot room, as she fully believes in helping others setting and achieving their goals. When she’s not at the studio, Ragin and her husband James have three beautiful daughters, who are all very athletic and active. If she had spare time, she’d love to read or travel. Be sure to ask her about her love and passion for foster children!
Wendy took her first Bikram Yoga class in 2002 and was immediately hooked! She never felt better in her life. Traveling as an International Flight Attendant for more than 20 years, she has found the health benefits of Bikram yoga to be unsurpassable. Her under active thyroid condition started to improve, and she is convinced this practice is changing her life. In fact, Bikram yoga has become her practice for the rest of her life! Graduating from Bikram’s Yoga College Teacher Training in 2003 was by far one of the most challenging events she has ever experienced. Wendy believes it was well worth the financial investment, as she knows it’s a return on a healthy, well balanced life — better than any 401K.
Wendy taught yoga in Atlanta for 8 years before moving to Charleston in 2011. She is also certified in Yin Yoga, and Pre Natal Yoga. She is a part time teacher with Bikram Yoga Charleston, as she is still with American Airlines. Wendy loves practicing Bikram Yoga around the world on her layovers as it helps with jet lag, and she always learns something new from the teachers. Here at home, Wendy is an advocate for protecting the Charleston waterways and marine life, and volunteers and organizes fundraisers for Charleston Waterkeepers.
“I learned about Bikram Yoga through one of my friends who had purchased Bikram’s book. I loved it. After that, I researched the Internet to learn all I could about Bikram. I especially enjoyed the 60 Minutes story about Bikram himself. I saw him running around and making students work hard. I said, “Man, I am coming there one day”. The closest studio to where I lived was five hours away. Finally after six months I end up taking a Bikram Yoga class at the North York studio in Toronto when I was visiting my friend. I was immediately hooked at the age of 55. Like Boss (Bikram) says, “You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to start from scratch once again.” And I did.
“The Asheville, NC Bikram Yoga studio opened in spring of 2008. At that time, I drove 4-5 hours to practice Bikram there. I also took any other opportunity available to practice somewhere else. One day, when the Asheville studio owners were looking at teacher training pictures, I told them I had a dream to go to training. They told me I was ready. So I went to training in the Fall of 2008. That was the best time of life.
“I am a dialogue- driven teacher and my effort is always to put 100% of my energy into teaching the class. I am very compassionate and try to never hurt any student’s feelings.”
Jesse started consistent yoga practice four years ago in his home town of Santa Cruz, California. About six months later he decided to go off to teacher training in Los Angeles. Since then, he has taught in over 17 studios in four countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and America, where he began teaching in California.
He then moved around teaching in Arizona, Florida, and most recently, South Carolina.
Jesse has been an active being from a young age, participating in many different sports. He found Bikram yoga while attending the University of California at Riverside and playing the small forward position on the Basketball team. He quickly discovered how beneficial and complementary the yoga practice was; exercising not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. One of his main aspirations as a teacher is to give people the opportunity to explore the depths of their mind, body and soul. He believes that with a consistent yoga practice and the right intentions, we can ultimately maximize our full potential as Beings. His teaching style is more a calming delivery, with bits and pieces of information along the way to allow students the space they need to learn and understand their own bodies. As a student of the practice, he believes the best gift you can give to yourself is the effort you give each time you step on the yoga mat.
Nikki started practicing Bikram yoga by accident, six years ago in Philadelphia, when a friend dragged her into the hot room. She hated her first class and swore never to return – until the next morning when she felt amazing and went back for more. Her regular practice developed quickly as she noticed the benefits and loved the new opportunity to grow and progress in a measurable way. She felt almost immediately the call to become a teacher, but bade her time as a poor college student, studying environmental studies at Temple University and waiting to stumble upon $10,000. Five years later she went to teacher training, with a deep appreciation of the opportunity to finally share something so healing with others.
A natural wanderer, she’s been exploring the world since high school, preferring to spend extended periods in each place in order to grasp the reality and feeling of each one. Teaching yoga was the perfect opportunity to continue traveling, so she inquired about a studio in New Zealand. Of all the places she’s been – including Spain, Peru and India – it far surpassed the others as her favorite; shockingly beautiful and serene, with a sparse population of friendly people.
She’s been traveling and teaching yoga for a year now, appreciating in every place the change she sees in her students– their confidence, brighter smiles and general lightness of being that develops as they build their mind-body-spirit connection. She tries to facilitate this connection in her classes by channeling wisdom from wiser beings, giving nuanced asana instruction, and allowing enough space for her students to discover their own, personal version of Self-union.