SydSenior Bikram Hot Yoga Teacher

2Sydney Saboonchian began her Bikram yoga practice in 1990 with Jimmy Barkin in Fort Lauderdale Florida.

At the time, it was one of three Yoga College Of India schools in the United States. After years of Ballet training, this was surprisingly less competitive. The yoga began to open up parts of her body she never thought possible and so the healing began.

After getting a college degree in English at Emerson College Boston, jobs were hard to find, so in 1998 Sydney went to Bikram’s teacher training. This is where she met Helen Currie. Helen’s relaxed style of practice and study were a much needed balance to Sydney’s hyper intense need to perform and get perfect anatomy scores. They hit it off and became fast friends.

In 2000, Sydney opened the first Bikram Yoga College in downtown Boston, with her then partner Jon Burbank. Helen, during that time, came and helped Sydney and Jon teach and build a studio that is still thriving now, under different ownership.

Coming to England was always about seeing friends and family. Sydney has had the pleasure to return some of the support for Helen, as she built Chiswick. Now, 5 years on, with a lovely yoga practicing husband, it is even more wonderful. Chiswick is her home away from home, with close ties to other instructors and, of course, Chiswick students.

Sydney’s teaching style is based in the old school form of Bikram yoga. No distractions, holding postures, working hard to change the body.



What’s your favourite/least favourite Bikram posture?

I used to dread the 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga many centuries ago. Now it isn’t so much about that. I try to look at all aspects of postures. If I have pain then I listen, maybe adjust the posture. If I hear in myself “no not this one!!” then I ask how is my breathing. I see if there is tension in Savasana. Each class is new. Each day I try to bring curiosity to the practice instead of judgement.
What’s your favourite food?
If you could have a Super Power – what would you choose?
X-Ray Vision!!!
Your Perfect Day?
Fourth of July!!!
What did you do before you became a Bikram Yoga teacher?
Received a BA in English Literature. Not an employable degree at the time. Tried publishing and they said- we are so powerful you can work for free. I got in
my car with my dog and drove across the US of A where I went on the crazy Bikram training. Met Helen and the rest is history.

Start typing and press Enter to search