Bobby Javier’s yoga journey, advice that helped him become a better yoga student and teacher.


I started my “yoga journey” unknowingly and unprepared in April 2009.  My first class ever was at Bikram Yoga Silverlake. It was sweaty! Challenging! And “Weird!” (Half the time I barely understood what the teacher was saying).  Curiosity got the best of me and I kept coming back.

I stopped for about 10 months and, on the interim, experienced a loss in the family and a broken heart. 

Feeling like I lost both legs below the knee, I made my way back to Bikram Yoga Silverlake and sheepishly bought a single class.  That very quickly became 5 class cards, then 10 and finally a monthly unlimited.  I could barely afford it but it was the only place I felt safe and whole and wanted after a relationship that was nothing short of tumultuous and abusive.

When I was almost done with my first and only monthly unlimited package, I received a call from the studio manager and voila - I signed up to be a cleaner for free yoga!

This is where I hit my stride!  I took class-after class-after-class and enjoyed my time at the studio so much that many people joked that I probably lived there.  That was almost true! I cleaned on Wednesday nights after the class which ends at 1130pm, finish at 3am and I’d be back again at 11am to take a class and stay all day. 

I made new friends with the students and teachers alike.  I took class with open ears and eyes and most of all with an open heart.  I allowed myself to sweat out the toxins - both real and sometimes probably imagined - and get carried on a journey which swept me towards wanting to become a teacher myself. 

I received so much love from all the teachers there - Catherine, Hannah, Nancy, Valerie, Whitney, Kacie, Tom, Emily, etc that after 2 years of practice, I felt it was time to share the love that I had received. 

I became a certified Bikram teacher in the fall of 2012.  A couple of years after that, I followed up my training with a 200 hr vinyasa training with Noah Maze.  Just last year, I also began my journey into the 300 hr training. 

From all these teachers - including Bikram himself, there were tiny nuggets that I took with me which I never really thought that I would eventually share with others as I stepped into the teacher’s seat.  I didn’t even imagine I would become a teacher. 

But this is the path I chose.  It is where I found myself walking taller, speaking louder and sharing myself so passionately with nearly no expectation of any form of return. 

1. Teach from the Heart - You Will find Love.  Bikram told me that at the very first day of teacher training.  He told me when I recited Half-Moon pose in front of him and 435 other trainees that I teach from the heart and I should continue to do so.  Today, almost 6 years after I began teaching, this still holds true.  I still find love every time I teach and I tell my students to open their hearts too. 

2. You are exactly where you’re meant to be.  I heard this from one of my favorite teachers.  The first time I heard it, I believed it. It wasn’t just the pose at the moment.  It was the class and everything else that came along with it.  Years later, when I began teaching, this exact line came out of my mouth as I made the class do a quarter turn to face the left side of the room.  No extra movements.  Just a turn.  After the class, a woman from the class approached me and said that she had been going through some stuff and when I said that “she was exactly where she was meant to be” she cried in class and found the affirmation she was seeking.  It was like a lightbulb turned on in her head. 

3. Just Breathe.  When all else fails - find your breath.  Reconnect with it.  Breathe!  I took this advice to heart.  And I have never stopped sharing it with my students.Outside the four walls of the yoga room, when it’s almost not obvious and almost always taken for granted, I reminded myself this:  just breathe. 

4. Be patient with your body.  Be kind to yourself.  Having started doing yoga late in life,  I recognized early on the many limitations my body had to contend with.  But it’s not to say there was no improvement.  There were tons of it.  I always speak of this example:  When I first practiced, I couldn’t grab my foot.  9 years later, I’m now able to grab my foot and kick forward!  I am still working on the next step - maybe another 9 years? Perhaps.  But I’ll have patience and kindness.  Another one of those nuggets that I carry with me - inside and outside the yoga room. 

5. Don’t hold your breathe.  For anything.  For anyone.  This last one, is all me.  I made a joke about it.  It came out with not much thought.  And then it made a lot of sense.  Self care.  Self love.  Moving forward.  Forgiveness.  Patience.  Kindness.  None attachment.  Peace.