training, yoga

Calcutta Yoga by Jerome Armstrong

Calcutta Yoga: Buddha Bose and the Yoga Family of Bishnu Ghosh and Yogananda is a 596 page [easy read] book of needle-in-the-haystack research by Jerome Armstrong. This is a must read for every Original Hot Yoga teacher and studio owner to understand the history of our unique system of yoga.

Mardy and I first met Jerome Armstrong in October 2015 at Ghosh’s Yoga College, along with Scott Lamps and Ida Jo Pajunen (see Jerome led us to all corners of Calcutta, including the homes of Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi) and Vivekananda (Raja Yoga). We immersed ourselves at the school of Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury, with pictures of the latter all over the women’s yoga room at the college. We experienced the conditions they practiced yoga in –noisy streets and sweltering heat — and imagined what it must’ve been like to practice yoga 50 years ago.

Even if you don’t attend the Ghosh’s Yoga College Teacher Training, it is still worth a visit to Calcutta to visit the school and other places to see for yourself the origins of hot yoga. And if you can’t get to that, try reading “Calcutta Yoga!”

-Jeff Chen





How to Speak so that People Want to Listen

Finding your “teaching voice” can take several months after teacher training, which is often devoted to rote memorization of class dialogue. Learning the proper sequencing of commands to teach effectively (and nonstop for 90 minutes!) takes tremendous effort.

It is never too early to learn the importance of vocal qualities that enable class instruction to truly sink in with students. Julian Treasure studies sound, and his Ted Talk is a great way to begin understanding the “yamas” and the “niyamas” of speaking, and the vocal qualities in your toolbox that are the cornerstones of “How to Speak so that People Want to Listen.”

Julian describes the seven deadly sins of speaking:

  1. gossip
  2. judging
  3. negativity
  4. complaining
  5. excuses
  6. lying
  7. dogmatism

He goes on to describe the four foundations of our speech with the acronym “HAIL”:

  1. Honesty = be clear and straight
  2. Authenticity = be yourself
  3. Integrity = be your word
  4. Love = wish them well

How do we SOUND when we speak? Begin to understand these aspects of voice available to you in your “toolbox:”

  1. Register (falsetto voice vs. speaking from the “gut,” or in-between)
  2. Timbre (the way your voice “feels,” e.g., rich and smooth)
  3. Prosody (sing-song vs. monotone)
  4. Pace (fast, slow, and silence)
  5. Pitch
  6. Volume

Enjoy the journey!


Class of 2018: Get Ready to Hydrate!

Proper hydration is essential to maintaining a steady pace of eleven (11) Original Hot Yoga (Bikram Method) classes per week for nine (9) weeks! While we love simple and  “natural” sources of hydration (try adding lemon and a pinch of sea salt to your water bottle), there are several great supplements on the market that we highly endorse through our personal experience.

Our favorite is Superieur Electrolytes, which uses pink Himalayan sea salt and real vitamin C. We’ve found this to be a great every day supplement for a steady yoga practice.


A “heavy duty” product we like is Metagenics “Endura”, a rehydration supplement with a significant quantity of magnesium (44% RDA per serving), a key nutrient in energy production. Research has shown that Americans consume inadequate levels of magnesium from their diets. The special form of magnesium found in Endura allows for excellent absorption, which is especially important for rehydration. Endura also supplies carbohydrates in the form of glucose polymers and fructose, designed to help delay the onset of fatigue during strenuous activity.

Mardy and Jeff have used Endura regularly for intense stretches of Bikram Yoga and recommend it as an important supplement during Teacher Training.


Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

PURE Yoga Institute’s inaugural training was held in Austin, Texas, U.S.A. in the summer of 2017. All three trainees successfully graduated and are well on their way of reaching the requirements for an Original Hot Yoga Level 1 Teacher. Congratulations to April Vidal, Cindy Lemus, and Vanessa Reynolds!

You can find April and Vanessa on the teaching schedule at in Austin, Texas, and Cindy on the teaching schedule in Dallas, Texas. As graduates of the PURE Yoga Institute, we will follow their teaching careers closely and provide all the support they might need!