From Our Editors
After two decades working as a competitive gymnast and instructor in Europe, Beatrice Samson needed a change of scenery. Intending to start a wellness-oriented business that would help her back injuries, Beatrice moved to America's west coast and immersed herself in yoga. The bikram series soon captured her attention, leading her to eventually complete the discipline's certification program and open Bikram Yoga Thousand Oaks. Today, she likens her newly opened studio's environment to her own personality: organized and optimistic.
Beatrice and her staff helm 90-minute classes within a room heated to around 105 degrees to render muscles more malleable and prompt detoxification through sweat. They guide students through 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, which are specifically ordered to stretch every part of the physique. As students hone their flexibility, concentration, and balance by isolating and relaxing different extremities, they push freshly oxygenated blood throughout their bodies, engaging in the "tourniquet effect" that typifies the art. Though the practice can appear formidable to first-timers, the teachers stress its universal accessibility, as well as the studio's judgment-free atmosphere. Beginners remain just as welcome during class as the advanced yogis who balance on top of them unnoticed. Beatrice has also instituted a "Karma Yoga" program for those in need of financial aid, whereby patrons can take on a weekly cleaning shift in exchange for unlimited lessons.