Owner, Bikram Yoga Teacher, Co-Founder of Torched Barre
I took my first Bikram class in April of 2011. It was LOVE at first SWEAT! I had always been active, but never really loved any of the activities I was doing as an adult to keep myself healthy. With a dance background, being a disciplined person, and my love of heat, Bikram was the perfect workout for me. One month into my practice, I could not get enough Bikram Yoga. I knew I had to make it a larger part of my life. I quit my job and I left for Bikram’s 9 Week Teacher Training in Los Angeles. It was a fabulous experience and one of the best decisions I have ever made. After Training I taught and took as many classes as I could and tried to soak up knowledge from my Studio Owners. Coming from a business background, I wanted to make more of my love of Bikram Yoga.
My husband and I are both Columbia natives. He already owned multiple businesses in Columbia and spent a lot of time there while I lived and taught Bikram Yoga in Florida. We decided it made the most sense for our family and my passion to open a Bikram Yoga Studio in Columbia. We opened in October 2012 and it has been a truly amazing experience.
I am now a mother of two, Olive is 3 and Enzo is 1. I practiced and taught Bikram Yoga until the day I delivered both of my babies and I truly believe my yoga practice contributed to an easy delivery and ability to remain calm in difficult situations. I am so thankful to have the studio to practice and the support of our staff and clients in all life experiences.
In 2017, Marie Russ and I created Torched Barre. We were eager to create an exercise that combined our love of barre and Bikram Yoga. Torched Barre is a full-body workout combining barre and yoga in a heated room for 60 minutes. After conducting much research, participating in various trainings, years of experience taking barre and yoga classes, and spending countless hours writing and revising the curriculum, Marie and I are confident in the ability of Torched Barre to transform the body - inside out, bones to skin, fingertips to the toes.
It’s so inspiring to see the transformation of students’ bodies; physically and mentally through consistent attendance of our classes. We have changed the lives of many in the Columbia community and that number continues to grow as we add more classes to our schedule and consistently grow our client base. Thank you Columbia for having us and supporting us! xoxo
I did Bikram yoga for the first time in January 2012 while visiting Lacy Carbone in Jacksonville, FL. When I left the class I thought everyone in there was insane & Bikram yoga was not for me. The next morning, I woke up feeling sore in muscles I didn’t even know existed. I couldn’t believe how much my body was affected, so I started doing research on the yoga. The more I researched, the more challenged I felt to return. I had always suffered from scoliosis & thought Bikram yoga might finally be the solution to my problems. I began practicing a lot at my home studio, Bikram Yoga Charleston & then went to work for Lacy as Studio Manager once she opened Bikram Columbia in 2012. My posture improved drastically and my back pain disappeared. With a lot of encouragement from Lacy, I finally decided to go to Teacher Training. I attended Teacher Training in the Spring of 2013. It was the hardest & most amazing experience of my life. I made some amazing friends & learned so much about myself. I am now happily married with a baby girl named Luna. I practiced Bikram Yoga my entire pregnancy up until the week before I delivered and I believe it aided in a smooth delivery. I can't wait to introduce my daughter to yoga one day! Bikram yoga has changed my life in so many positive ways & I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share it with others!
The Columbia area has been my home since I was a child. As a new mom, I’m thrilled to be raising a family of my own here in our wonderful capital city. Family and fitness are true passions in my life. In the summer of 2013, I learned about hot yoga from my father-in-law. His encouragement to experience the practice of moving meditation in a hot room led me to give Bikram Yoga a try.
I have always loved fitness and working out and the hot room was something I had never experienced before. I loved it and wanted more, instantly falling in love with the dynamic total body workout. I couldn’t get enough. I completed my first hot room challenge in 2014, doing 30 classes in 60 days. The confidence I gained along with the strides I made in my yoga practice spurred me on to complete my second challenge, 30 classes in 30 days.
Once my son was born, I was determined to pass along a lifestyle of fitness to him from the very beginning of his life. This meant returning to the hot room. The introduction of Inferno Hot Pilates by Bikram Columbia was a perfect supplement to my yoga practice. After only a couple classes I was seeing results and positive changes in my figure. My excitement for this intense interval workout that combines everything I love from my Bikram practice and the heart pumping workouts of CrossFit inspired me to attend Inferno Hot Pilates Teacher Training. My completion of the training course has allowed me to take my commitment to a healthy, fit lifestyle to another level, reaching a long awaited goal of becoming a fitness instructor. I’m thrilled to share this amazing, high intensity workout with Columbia and I look forward to seeing you get stronger and stronger every day in every way!
Bikram Yoga Teacher, 200 HR Power Vinyasa Certified
Lets be honest - I can't live without hot yoga :) I went to Bikram Yoga teacher training in Spring 2011 after 4 years of practicing Bikram Yoga. It wasn't until after I married my husband that I was actually able to go train and then share my love for Bikram Yoga. Being married to my husband in the Army, I have been able to teach Bikram yoga at various studios in the US. While pregnant with my second son, I decided to widen my yoga and get 200 hr Power Vinyasa certified through Rolf Gates. Since then we have completed our family - two boys and one girl and I am so grateful to have practiced through all three pregnancies. I have a deep passion for yoga, as it keeps my mind at ease, re-centers my body and helps me feel strong and confident in an otherwise uncontrollable universe.
Now at Bikram Yoga Columbia and with Lacy's help I have been able to offer a mixture of both Bikram Yoga and a Power Flow class in the Bikram heated room. I am so grateful to have found this space!
As a person that needs and requires a good workout in order to function, I’ve always been accustomed to dedicating time to physical activity and thrive whether someone is barking demands or I’m pushing myself independently. I can honestly say I never imagined being the one leading a group of others. Over the past 20 years I have tried everything from marathon running, hiring a personal trainer, spin classes, strength training and every type of group fitness class out there. I love trying new things, with all kinds of people, in various locations. I also take my workouts very seriously. Time is precious and there’s nothing worse than finishing a workout and feeling like you could have been pushed a little more or maybe didn’t achieve that burn that you were hoping to.
My love of barre was unexpected. As a person with very little rhythm and no dance moves I had many assumptions about what a barre class would look like. In my mind I envisioned very thin women doing ballet inspired moves in leotards and tight buns in their hair. What I actually experienced was very much unexpected. It was a workout that integrated a lot of different movements using light weights for shaping your upper body, the barre itself as a tool or for balance, and incorporated great core work. I soon left my other gyms and joined a studio that was strictly barre and herein lies the problem. One gym and one style of workout. Committed as I can become I would go religiously for maximum results, but became bored and increasingly sore from overusing the same muscles. That’s when a good friend I met through attending barre classes, Marie, suggested I try Bikram yoga to complement barre classes. Hesitant and somewhat fearful of the heat, I was reluctant until I suffered a muscle pull and my doctor suggested trying yoga before taking the physical therapy route. After only a few classes I was feeling much better and soon noticed some changes in my body for the better.
When Lacy first mentioned the idea of merging postures from Bikram with the intense exercises of barre all in a heated room, I instantly knew this had the potential to be an amazing workout. After taking a couple classes I soon learned that not only was this a great workout, but challenging as well. Incorporating stretching between the postures helped improve my flexibility and also allows you to get the most out of the following exercise. I like to think my barre background is pretty extensive as I’ve tried all types of methods at various establishments and have been able to learn and master some of the most difficult postures. That being said, as a high school teacher I never envisioned myself taking on an additional role as barre instructor. In fact, after spending most of my days talking, teaching, and telling others what to do it was the last thing I wanted. One of the perks of taking a class was having someone guide you through the whole thing.
After completing the Inaugural Torched Barre Teacher Training back in September it really sparked my interest and I began to think this was an adventure I’d like to pursue. Two months later after taking a lot of classes, memorizing dialogue, trying to perfect cues, instruction and lots of practice I’m finally on the mic. I love watching people with varying levels of fitness abilities come together in a nonjudgmental place and push themselves with a common goal of improving overall health and wellness.
I was first introduced to Bikram Yoga in 2013 by my boss at the time who loved the Yoga and knew I would fall in love with it too. At that time, I was working in a hair salon and was excited to find a physical activity that would help me lose weight, as well as balance out the repetitive arm and wrist movements I was becoming accustomed to. Little did I know, I was about to discover much more.
My first Bikram class was, well to say the least, a bit of a mess. I decided to come back the next day to try again, noticing that during and even after class, I felt a little better than the first day. I loved that my teacher was so positive, compassionate and encouraging to ‘never give up’. A couple of days turned into two months of mindlessly driving to the yoga studio when I had free time. I became addicted to the feeling this Yoga created within me, and so I completed a 30 day yoga challenge my third month as a student.
In the Fall of 2014, I attended the Bikram Yoga teacher training in Thailand. I made friends from all over the world, but most importantly, this life changing experience showed me more of who I am. I never really believed that I could be a teacher, but through this training I fell in love with helping others heal themselves and experience what I had felt.
I attended recertification in the fall of 2017, spending one week with Bikram during a teacher training, it was a mini dose of what I went through initially 3 years prior.
I have a passion to travel, and through teaching, I hope to experience different areas of the world. I’ve been lucky to teach in NC, RI and New Zealand. I’ve also practiced in studios in NYC, Mexico, London, Glasgow and Dublin.
Bikram Yoga Columbia is now like a second home to me. I am thankful for such an opportunity to teach and learn from other teachers and the hardworking students. Cant wait to see you in the hot room!
Inferno Hot Pilates Teacher, Torched Barre Trainee
I was introduced to Pilates in 2001, shortly after my daughter was born. I was intrigued by the apparatus used in a Pilates session, but I was more taken with the focus and concentration each session required. I soon discovered Pilates is something to be practiced over time, paying attention to detail and fundamentals with each class. I practiced Pilates for about one year, I decided to complete the required training to become a certified apparatus (Reformer, Cadillac) and mat Pilates Instructor. In 2005, I completed my training through the PhysicalMind Institute of New York with my home training studio being Personalized Pilates of Scottsdale, Arizona. I have since completed several Pilates related workshops including The Anatomy in Clay Course and am a member of The Pilates Method Alliance. I also attended the Inaugural Torched Barre Teacher Training in September of 2017 at Bikram Columbia
Our family moved to South Carolina from Arizona in 2005. My husband, Brian is from Columbia and we thought Columbia would be a great place to raise our children. I have taught Pilates since then in group settings and privately. When Lacy introduced Inferno Hot Pilates to her studio, I gave it a try. After trying a few classes, I decided to take the Inferno Hot Pilates Training. I have been a fan and student of Bikram Yoga Columbia since the doors opened and this was a great opportunity for me to become part of this awesome studio and staff!
My first yoga class was 8 years ago at a Bikram yoga studio in Orlando… in the middle of summer. My mom convinced me to try it, and even though I thought I was going to die, after class I felt amazing! We went back the next day! Again I thought I was dying, but the after class feeling was like nothing else. I practiced Bikram yoga while studying in London, England. To my excitement when I came back to Columbia the next year Lacy opened BYC!
In August 2017 I decided to attend a Hatha Yoga Teacher Training at Asheville Yoga Center, and now have my 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certification. It was truly a life altering experience that I am beyond grateful to have been apart of. Not only did it deepen my practice, but help build confidence in myself and make connections with people from around the world.
Shortly after attending teacher training, I underwent surgery for a back injury I had been living with since high school. When I was finally cleared to start exercising again Lacy reached out to my mom about the two of us attending her Torched Barre teacher training. Barre was something I had been doing for a while, being low impact it was one of the few types of exercising I could do with my back. We decided to do the training, and I have been teaching Torched since July 2018.
Since January 2018 I have been apart of the Bikram Yoga Family between working at the front desk, teaching Torched Barre, and now teaching vinyasa yoga! I am completely in love with the community at Bikram Yoga Columbia and the opportunities it has provided me. Since the doors opened 6 years ago, it has been a safe place, and I am so thankful to be apart of this team!
At first glance my tall, lean build would have most believe I have always been physically active. Growing up in Sumter, SC, I began dance at the age of three. As a child, my passion for dance became my workout routine. When I began my freshman year at the University of South Carolina, my physical activity waned, but with much luck, I managed to avoid the dreaded freshman fifteen. My college years were such a wonderful experience and granted me the opportunity to join Delta Zeta Sorority, which is where I met my best friend, Lacy Carbone.
Fitness did not become a part of my life until Lacy opened the doors of Bikram Yoga Columbia in October 2012. After ending an engagement and making the move from North Carolina back to Columbia, I knew I needed something to bring me balance. Unsure of the whole fitness lifestyle, I went to my first Bikram Yoga class to simply support Lacy’s new business. I’m certain Lacy would echo the sentiment that no one thought I would every stick with yoga. However, it turned out that Bikram Yoga was the glue that helped me hold it all together; it brought me the sanity I was looking for, and as a bonus, got me into shape.
Before I knew it, Lacy had me taking my first barre class. Having grown up doing ballet, I instantly fell in love with this workout. I loved the small isometric movements and feeling my muscles shake! However, there was something missing- heat! Lacy and I realized that we were eager to create a workout that combined our love of barre and the heat. After conducting much research, participating in various trainings, years of experience taking barre and yoga classes, and spending countless hours writing and revising the curriculum, Torched Barre was born! I am confident in the ability of Torched Barre to transform the body- inside out, bones to skin, fingertips to toes!
I am a believer in the saying, “no grit, no pearl!” A pearl begins with a humble piece of grit. Grit is not only the nagging inside the oyster, but also in our lives; it is also what we need to make our own life pearls. Fitness used to be my grit. However, the healthy lifestyle I now lead, along with my mental and physical strength, is my pearl.
When I am not working as a curriculum consultant or working out, I love spending time with my family and friends, especially my niece and two godchildren.
Fitness has always been a part of my life. Being the daughter of a Pilates instructor, I grew up playing on my mother’s Reformer and trying to mimic the exercises she was practicing. I have played all sorts of different sports, from basketball to tennis to swim team to soccer. I currently play on the Women’s Varsity Soccer team at Spring Valley High School. I first visited Bikram Yoga Columbia at the age of 12 but didn’t start practicing regularly until 2017. As I started to practice the Bikram method more, I noticed both physical and mental benefits. I have enjoyed every second of practicing and working at this studio alongside such amazing people!