Meet our experienced staff
Our team of certified yoga instructors is passionate about our number one goal: to guide and challenge you along your path to discovery and positive change. Take a moment and get to know these amazing individuals a little better.
Her greatest joy is helping people discover their strength and supporting them to be their best. She is passionate about yoga and transformation. When she was in middle school her parents dragged her, kicking and screaming, into her first Bikram Yoga class. She has been sweating in a hot room ever since. She is a certified Bikram Yoga Teacher, faculty for Open Hands Institute and Raja Yoga Academy Teacher Trainings, and the Founder of OHM School Teacher Training.
She has been a facilitator for transformational work since she was 18. She started at the Omega Vector, a free self-knowledge program founded by George Addair and later became a Hero's Challenge Workshop leader, certified by Alison Armstrong through the PAX Mastery Program.
OPERATIONS MANAGER, TEACHER
Todd Deacon is head of operations at BYAZ. His greatest joy is being part of a community that is collectively moving toward a more enlightened world. When he was just 15 he took his first Bikram Yoga class, but it was almost 20 years later that it changed his life forever. After years of chronic back pain from playing professional golf, his sister Nicole encouraged him see if a regular yoga practice would help. In just six month he lost over 40 lbs and has transformed his back completely.
In his fourth year of practicing consistently, Todd has competed in both the USA Yoga Asana Regional and National Championship, recently placing first in the 2016 Arizona Regional event. He graduated in the inaugural OHM School Teacher Training and received his 200 Hour RYA Certification in December 2015.
GENERAL MANAGER, TEACHER, and DIRECTOR OF TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
Heidi-Jo began her journey to yoga on the road to recovery from a debilitating eating disorder and bouts of depression and destructive behavior, as well as lower back pain as a result of scoliosis and poor posture. After searching so long for a place to feel safe and comfortable "in her own skin", it was in front of a mirror, in a room full of strangers, sweating her face off and pushing herself to her limits that she finally came to accept and even love herself — and experienced relief from back pain and scoliosis entirely. This turned the course of her life from destructive, to constructive. Heidi-Jo started working at BYAZ in 2004, and in 2008 she attended Bikram's Teacher Training program, in Acapulco, Mexico. Heidi-Jo is also a 200 level RYT, and serves on the faculty at the OHM Yoga School.
DIRECTOR, TEACHER, and RETAIL MANAGER
"I am forever inspired to lead people through this series that allowed me to heal."
Bikram Yoga began for Niki after a devastating loss. For her, the yoga room started as a mental escape, a place where she could mentally and emotionally let go of everything else that was going on in her life. "I don't actually remember physically learning any of the postures, but I do remember the mental and emotional breakdowns and breakthroughs that I went through during my first months of practicing Bikram Yoga. I know that people, just like me, use this yoga to heal themselves, physically, mentally and emotionally. I am forever grateful for how Bikram Yoga has changed my life and I will share the beautiful gift of Bikram Yoga to everyone willing and ready to experience it!"
Niki was born and raised here in sunny Arizona! After graduating from ASU in August of 2008 she left for Acapulco, Mexico for Bikram's Teacher Training! Niki graduated in November of 2008, and has been teaching full-time ever since. Niki is also the director of the Paradise Valley studio, and Retail Manager of all 3 studio locations!
MARKETING MANAGER, TEACHER , NUTRITION COACH
I am not a naturally flexible person, I have to work hard at it, and Yoga has made me the most flexible I have ever been. It has also given me strength that I didn't know I had. I also really love the mental challenge it presents. There is a lot of focus and concentration that this series requires so I feel like I am growing stronger both physically and mentally.
I went to Arizona State University and earned my Bachelor's degree in Nutrition with a concentration in Human Nutrition. I went on to graduate from Bikram’s Yoga teacher training in the fall of 2013. Having my nutrition background and being able to practice, teach, and still learn Bikram Yoga gives me a healthy, happy, and balanced lifestyle.
MANAGER and TEACHER
Since Megan began her practice back in 2004, Bikram Yoga has carried her through many different seasons of life. Originally, it helped her to overcome years of eating disorders and depression. Megan has always used Bikram Yoga to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Bikram Yoga supported her through two pregnancies and helped her to have healthy homebirths. Today, as a busy homeschooling mom of two, Bikram Yoga provides an outlet and community for her outside of the home. Practicing yoga provides her with mental clarity, which helps her to balance all of her daily responsibilities.
Megan attended Bikram Yoga teacher training in Los Angeles in 2006. She was one of the owners of Bikram Yoga Rio Salado, and she continues to act as manager the Tempe/Rio Salado studio.
Erin loves the consistency of Bikram Yoga. "Even when you take a break from it, you can come back and know exactly what you're in for!" Her favorite posture has always been Triangle, but recently she is loving the forward bends that she had to skip while she was pregnant. "Knowing time is very rarely my own these days, I know that I need to take time for ME, and that is what drives me to come on the days I don't feel like coming. When I practice, I feel more relaxed and less stressed."
Erin graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in the Fall of 2005 in Los Angeles, California.
"I love the way Bikram yoga makes me feel. The energy you gain is priceless!", Terri says. "Watching our students grow and experience amazing changes makes me feel good." Terri took her first class in 2004. As a hiker, a runner, and someone up for a challenge, Terri was initially surprised by the intensity of the workout.
After practicing for three years and waiting for her teenaged kids to get a little older, Terri decided it was time to attend teacher training. She spent nine long weeks in Honolulu and received her certificate in June 2007.
My yoga journey began in 1970. I practiced hatha yoga and meditation on and off over the years and in 2001 I found Bikram Yoga. The first 60 day challenge that I did about 6 six years ago absolutely changed my practice and it also changed my life.
I became a teacher in November 2012 at 70 years old. I am a different person now than I was when I started the yoga. I do not take any medications. I have no chronic illness that plague me, in fact I hardly ever get sick. I am physically strong, emotionally stable and experience a deep sense of spirituality and appreciation for my life. I know that if I can stay in the room on my mat and do my yoga, I can do anything that I put my mind and heart to. Nothing can stop me!
Our Yoga Advisor, Nadine, is here to help you get the most out of your visits to Bikram Yoga AZ! The role of our Yoga Advisor is to help students become acquainted with the studio and be on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding yoga, our studio, the teachers, or your personal practice. She will be in touch with you directly during your first month of practice to find out how you are doing and to offer suggestions and tips that will make your experience even better! She will also help you find the membership or package that suits you best.
Let Nadine know how she can assist you on your yoga journey by sending her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 602-971-6999.
My first Bikram class was in the Spring of 2013, one week before my 42nd birthday. It was the deepest, physical meditation I had ever experienced. My typical multi-tasking, "monkey-mind" was focused only on me; my breath, my body. I was present, in the moment and I was hooked. No matter how drained I felt after Dental Assisting, I always felt better after taking a class - physically, mentally and emotionally. So, I jumped at the opportunity to become a Karma Cleaner, in order to continue my practice for trade.
After 2 years of practice, and thanks to my supportive husband, I've changed careers after 18 years. I graduated from two different Yoga Teacher Training programs and earned my 200hr. RYT from each one. Being a part of the first graduating class of O.H.M. school in December of 2015 allowed me to come full circle and teach at the studio that changed my life, in Old Town Scottsdale. Recently, I have had the pleasure of teaching the kid's club at the Paradise Valley location as well. I know that each day I am a better person than I was yesterday, thanks to my yoga practice. I am grateful to pay that forward with each class I teach. See you on the mat!
HOT PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Julie is an experienced and energetic health and wellness professional. Having been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for over twenty years, Julie's versatile background is what makes her a well-rounded Pilates instructor. Since obtaining her bachelor's in Exercise Physiology from the University of San Francisco and her Master's in Exercise in Wellness from Arizona State University, Julie has had the opportunity to bring her expertise to various fields of health and wellness including rehabilitation and physical therapy, fitness club management, and wellness program coordinating. She continues to inspire others to meet their professional fitness and wellness endeavors as an adjunct faculty for Paradise Community College, University of Phoenix, and Bryan University.
While diverse in her own education, Julie's passion is with Pilates and the principles that Joseph Pilates created. "Physical Fitness is the first requisite of happiness" is the opening statement in Pilates' writings on Contrology. Julie believes that a fit body contributes to a sound mind. Being able to perform movement with intention while improving one's own strength and flexibility is at the core of each workout. Julie is committed to optimizing all clients to the best of their abilities through Pilates!
On a personal note, Julie lives in Phoenix with her husband and three children. While life may be busy managing the daily family operations, she enjoys hiking, cooking, writing and has been a Bikram yoga practitioner for five years.