PARTNERS – KIM TANG & DENISE DUBARRY HAY
Kim Tang – Director – Co-Owner
Certified Bikram Instructor Kim has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2003 although her advanced practice would indicate otherwise. Her passion and dedication of nearly daily practice has transformed her body and prepared her to win the Southern California Regional Yoga Asana Championships in November 2010! At the age of 11 Kim’s son, David became the Junior World Champion in 2009! Kim will be the primary teacher at BYUV...Read more about Kim
Denise DuBarry Hay – co-owner
Certified Bikram Instructor Denise has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 1979. She founded and owned Malibu Yoga in the late 80’s. The motivation for her practice is to stay fit and youthful. Her actress daughter, Samantha Lockwood, became the youngest certified Bikram Yoga Instructor at the age of 17 and will also teach at BYUV.Read more about Denise
I discovered Bikram Yoga in 2003 at the age of 36, by the recommendation of a friend. I had been an athlete my whole life, involved in gymnastics as a child, instructing "all things aerobic" in the '80s, and completing 7 marathons between 1995 and 2006. When I started Bikram Yoga, I was still running heavy mileage 5 days per week, and trying to squeeze in a yoga class once per week. I had no idea at that time that I would transition into my best life, the yoga life! As I started to notice the benefits of the yoga, AND HOW AMAZING I FELT, I ran less, and did yoga more. By 2006, I had opted for a full practice of 5 classes per week average in lieu of all other "sports". I am, by far, in the best shape of my life; but more importantly, I have created excellent overall health, from the inside out.
Yoga, by definition, is not a sport. Yoga is a therapeutic practice, a restorative practice, a system of health, in which all muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, all glands and organs, all systems of the body are stimulated through circulation of oxygen rich blood, combined with increased heart rate, the tourniquet effect, and dilated vessels. The body is brought into alignment; the body is cleansed; but for me, the most valuable aspect of the practice: the mind. What I loved about running long distances was the ability, the necessity, to access a deep level of determination. I found that Bikram Yoga allowed me to access a level of depth previously unavailable to me, even after 26.2 miles! Each pose in the series presented an opportunity for breath, self-awareness, and concentration; my mind learned to be still and silent. My intention and "single pointed focus" developed and strengthened and then one day, I realized................ yoga is a practice that works through the physical to the mental. In other words, in the process of creating a strong, flexible, balanced body, I gained the mental attributes of strength, flexibility, and balance. I learned that what happens on your mat is a microcosm of what happens in life, and that the lessons learned in a Bikram Yog class are applicable in all aspects of life. I learned that each class is a 90-minute series of choices; a 90-minute meditation; a 90-minute breathing exercise; 90 minutes of presence and connectedness between mind, body, and breath. I tell my friends.......no, I tell everyone, that this yoga has ROCKED MY WORLD, MOVED MOUNTAINS!!
As a dedicated and passionate yogini, thirsty for "more", I began attending the annual National and International Competitions in Los Angeles in 2006. For approximately 6 hours each day, I was captivated, enthralled, overwhelmed, by the beauty of the practice, the grace of the contestants, the level of depth, strength, and poise displayed. I learned volumes about form and precision, and tried to incorporate that vision into my practice. I participated in the Southern California Yoga Asana Championship for the first time in 2007, at the age of 39. In fall of 2008, I attended teacher training in Acapulco, Mexico. My son, David, had been practicing Bikram Yoga from the time he was 8 years old. He had finally "come of age" in terms of his ability to be a part of the youth division competition. In my absence, my esteemed teachers took on the task of crafting and polishing his routine. With their guidance, David won the Regional event and went straight to Internationals. (I am forever grateful to my teachers.) In February of 2009, David was awarded the title of 2009 International Youth Champion. David's purpose as the Youth Champion is to inspire kids all over the world to discover the benefits of yoga. That summer, I traveled with my son to Wisconsin and Illinois to train in a group of 20 with 2005 world champion Esak Garcia and one of Bikram's senior most teachers. This was a life changing experience for me. It changed the way I thought, it changed the way I practiced, and it changed my body. Later in 2009, at the age of 41, I participated for the second time in the Southern California Yoga Asana Championship, and was awarded third place. "Third time's a charm," as I received 1st place in Southern California in November, 2010. By this time, my mission statement was well established: It is my purpose to inspire people in their 30's, 40's, and 50's to take up the practice of yoga. It turns out to be true: the yoga is ageless; whether you're 8, 9, 10, or 11 years old, such as my son was at that time, or a teenager; whether you're in your 20's, 30's and 40's like me, 50's, 60's, 70's..........we've even seen 80's!!! In the words of our beloved Guru, Bikram Choudhury, "You're never too old, too sick..it’s never too late to start from scratch."
And now, in 2010, my dream come true: to be a part of a studio through which I can offer the gifts that have been given to me through this incredible practice. I would like you to think of Bikram Yoga University Village as your studio. Here, we hope you'll feel a part of the community. Here, we hope you'll find yourself in the mirror. Here, we hope you'll LOVE YOUR YOGA LIFE, too!!
Love and Namaste,
Denise Du Barry
Denise DuBarry - continued
I remember first hearing about yoga when I was about 10. My mother called me in to look at a television show featuring a young girl my age touching her feet to her head from behind, it stuck in my mind and like everyone during my teen years, I’d hear the word “yoga” but I never knew what it really was. When I was 19, I became an actress and started thinking about my body. Dance and aerobics was a given. I thought that those were the only options for having a great body, so I did both. I was a regular at Richard Simmon’s “Roughage and Anatomy Asylum” and thought my body was pretty good. Paramount cast me to play a leading role in a mini series with a big all-star cast including Sonny Bono, Wayne Rogers, and Gary Lockwood among others and I was told that I had to share a dressing room with Paula Prentiss and Elke Sommer. By that time, I was 22 and I thought I had it all together. That is until I saw Paula Prentiss’ body while we were changing into our street clothes. I don’t usually check out other women’s bodies, but she was in her 40’s and her body was better than mine! I had to know her secret. Well, she told me about Bikram Yoga. When I got back to LA, I went straight to Bikram’s Studio, which in those days was a tiny studio hidden in a parking garage at the corner of Doheny and Sunset. When I went in, I was a bit star struck. Martin Sheen, Quincy Jones, Shirley McClaine, Raquel Welch, Jeff Bridges, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Candace Bergen were just a few of the celebrities that frequented this small sweat shop.
As I entered my first class, I thought this yoga was going to be a piece of cake. Hey, I was a ‘Joe Tremaine’ dance klutz and a’ Richard Simmons’ aerobics person with stamina. I did not expect to get my butt kicked in a yoga class for God’s sake; I thought those people sat around chanting.
I now understood why all of these celebrities had fabulous bodies, this yoga worked every muscle, stretched every ligament, tendon, twisted and aligned the spine and massaged all internal organs and burned hundreds of calories! I eventually learned how to get my ego out of my practice, do what I could do to improve MY body, not worry how good or bad I was doing or what others thought of my practice and learned how to be inspired by others who had been doing it for years.
Well here we are 30 years later, I’ve learned a few things about Yoga.
1. You can’t take yourself too seriously, the older you are when you start, the bigger sense of humor you have to have.
2. Yoga really can change your body dramatically but it takes a little time. I say that Yoga does for your joints, spine and bones what braces do for your teeth.
3. When I do it regularly, I’m happier, my body feels amazing and I have less aches and pains.
Back in those days Bikram taught every class and I drove from Malibu to Beverly Hills to take his class and I took literally thousands of classes with him. After a few years the drive became too much and I did my own practice at home. Pretty soon I had a few friends interested and I began teaching them. ‘Malibu Yoga’ was officially born in 1986 and had a great clientele including many celebrities and athletes. We even had a kid’s class and my daughter, Samantha, started doing yoga at age 5. I moved to the desert in 1990 and turned over Malibu Yoga to a friend. It lived on with a succession of owners for another 16 years!
Over the years, I have literally seen miracles occur with this yoga.
- Like, the woman with one arm and one leg who did what she could and improved her strength, balance and coordination.
- - The woman who fell down an elevator shaft, and came to class in a wheelchair was able to walk again.
- - The woman with a brace on her bad back who was told she would need back surgery, cured herself and was pain free after 10 sessions.
- - The tenacious one armed student who went through teacher training with one arm and able to do every posture beautifully with a slight modification of the poses.
- The man with diabetes who was eventually able to get off his meds.
- Countless people who have dropped huge amounts of weight.
- Lots of people with knee, hip, feet, shoulders, elbows, necks and even finger pains due to injuries, bursitus or arthritis were improved or cured.
These people were at a point of desperation and they listened to Bikram who likes to say, “You’ve got nothing to lose because you are starting with nothing, so do your yoga. The pain kills the pain” and I personally witnessed them.
My Personal Miracles:
- MRI in my neck showed bulging discs pressing against nerves creating extreme pain forced me to get back to my yoga, after 15 classes the pain was gone.
- Sciatic pain from a water skiing accident – doing what I could and gently working the area in class helped cure my sciatic pain.
- Quick recovery from shingles residual nerve damage and pain.
- My butt looks 20 years younger than I am. ;)
There were many years in the 90’s when I didn’t do my yoga at all. I got too busy working and building another business. That does happen even with diehard yoga fanatics. Sometimes you lose focus and other parts of your life get too busy. Getting back to it is sometimes difficult and humbling but I did commit to a practice at least 3 times a week.
In 2005, I got my official Bikram teaching certificate (even though I had literally taught thousands of classes before Bikram had his official teacher’s training) in the hopes of one day opening another studio. I was looking around the La Quinta area for an ideal location but couldn’t find one.
When I found out that Kim Tang also had aspirations of opening a first class studio, it seemed like a perfect fit. Our visions were aligned and now our dreams are coming true. We’re thrilled to bring the new Bikram Yoga University Village to the desert community and I’m thrilled to have yet another reason to do more yoga than ever!
I hope to see you in class!
Denise DuBarry Hay
P.S. My daughter, Samantha Lockwood, 28, became a certified Bikram Teacher at age 17 and teaches at Headquarters in LA. Other family members you’ll see doing yoga here are my mother (62), my father (78), my sisters, my husband and all of my children. I truly believe that you will be healthier, live longer and have a better quality of life if you make Bikram yoga a part of your life.
Denise DuBarry 1987.....