Overview | Our Instructors
Bikram Yoga Westlake Village is owned by Mahnaz Jahangiri, a practitioner of Bikram Yoga with over 10 years of Bikram yoga experience and over 8 years of teaching experiences. Mahnaz was certified through the rigorous Bikram program in Spring of 2002, and has been instructing classes ever since, teaching Bikram techniques to thousands of students. A graduate of Cal State Northridge, Mahnaz has spent more than a decade working in the Los Angeles-based television industry. Her passion for yoga instruction has gone beyond private instruction, having also taught classes for incarcerated youth at several locations in Southern California.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a form of exercise whose origins lie thousands of years ago, in ancient India. Originally developed as a preparatory stage of physical purification to render the body fit for the practice of higher meditation, yogaʼs spiritual origins have segued into a highly effective form of physical exercise. Yoga was introduced in the United States well over 100 years ago, in the late 19th century, and is currently practiced by over 16 million people in the U.S. alone.
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram (pronounced “bee-kram”) Yoga, is a style of hatha yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury. Bikram Yoga is a unique sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. These 26 postures systematically work every part of the body to give all the internal organs, ligaments, and muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function.
What Happens in a Bikram Yoga Class?
Beginning students will attend a class and learn the sequence of 26 postures, performed over the course of a 90 minute session. The first thing youʼll note is that the room is heated. Heat is a crucial element of Bikram yoga, allowing the postures to be assumed with less chance of injury, while the bodyʼs natural perspiration mechanisms
help to efficiently eliminate toxins from the body.
What are the benefits of Bikram Yoga?
The most immediate benefit is an increase in physical strength and flexibility. The stretching of muscles, ligaments, and internal organs provides a wealth of additional benefits, including stress relief, improvement to immune systems, and better body alignment. Bikram yoga is also an excellent calorie burning solution, with an average class burning between 500 and 1500 calories. People who are rehabilitating from injuries often turn to Bikram yoga for its therapeutic effects, while people in otherwise good condition use Bikram yoga to retain their fitness at every phase in their lives.
Why Choose Bikram Yoga Westlake Village?
Our instructors have the experience and background to ensure that the experience of Bikram Yoga is always put forth using caring, positive, and safe methods. You will never be forced to perform beyond your fitness level at our facility, with instructors who are there to help you achieve your goals while being sensitive to your individual needs. We are located in a beautiful area of Westlake Village, with plenty of natural light in our newly-built studio. For your convenience, showers and changing rooms are provided, as well as plenty of free parking.
Mahnaz Jahangiri - Owner
Although I have been practicing Bikram Yoga for over 12 years, I never stop learning and evolving in my practice. Since I worked in the television industry for over 12 years, yoga has been my saving grace. The yoga has helped me control my stress levels and maintain a healthy body and more importantly a healthy mind.
since I became a teacher 10 years ago, I knew I would want to run my own studio some day. I am happy to be back in the community where I grew up. Westlake Village is a calm and health conscious neighborhood where I knew the studio would be a nice complement.
Although running a studio has it's own challenges, I am most pleased to leave the corporate world and fully immerse myself into a health conscious environment. I am excited to continue the promotion of health and awareness along with overall happiness that yoga brings to each and every person who discovers this new way of life.
I've been indirectly involved with Bikram Yoga my whole life. My grandmother Emmy Cleaves, the senior most teacher in Bikram Yoga took me to my first class when I was eight years old. I remember it being very hot, taking a sip of warm water, and wanting to run out of the room. Years later at the age of 23 I decided to take the teacher training in the fall of 2007.
In the spring of 2007 I graduated with a BS in Kinesiology from CSUN. I’m currently working on getting my master’s degree in public health. Eventually I would like to travel the world teaching yoga and open my own Bikram Yoga studio.
I would recommend Bikram Yoga to anyone who wants to improve their health and relieve stress. Personally it has helped me rehab some nagging injuries from my track and field days. I believe this yoga is for everyone and anybody at any age can practice this yoga. I can only hope that I will still be practicing this yoga fifty plus years from now, just like my grandma!
I took my first Bikram yoga class in October of 2005, after many months of urging from my Hellerwork Therapist, Tom Marshall. I walked into the "HOT" room, and my first reaction was, "Oh Wow!!! Its freakin' HOT in here!!! These people are nuts!!!" However, after the class, I noticed how relaxed my muscles were, and that nothing in my body ached! Nice feeling for a change!, because at that time in my life I was in a lot of pain!!!! :)
The reason I know how beneficial Bikram yoga is, is because I come from a lifetime of training and physical activity. I was a gymnast for 19 years. I was on the U.S. Elite National Gymnastics Team, and an uneven bars Jr. National Champion. Because of my strength and skill as a gymnast, I was given the chance of a lifetime!, an opportunity to play the role of, "Amy the Gorilla" in the movie, "Congo". Since then, I've done several other film jobs that also required heavy costumes (EXTREMELY unforgiving on the body!!!), and various stunt performer roles doubling children in films and T.V. shows.
I have loved all of the jobs; every opportunity I've been given, BUT, they have taken an incredible toll on my body. I've had a lot of arthritic pain, my skeletal system was imbalanced, neck pain, shoulder pain, and an overall tightness in my muscles. How I felt before I discovered Bikram yoga was not good!!! Plain and simple, PAIN!!! Now that I've been practicing Bikram yoga for a little over three years the pain is subsiding!! It is a patient, persistent process. I've gained almost all of my flexibility back. I feel young! I feel great! I feel happy! I feel healthy! No pain! No pain killers! Just Bikram!!! :)
To all of our wonderful students at Bikram Yoga Westlake Village: I admire you! Thank you for inspiring me! Take your Bikram yoga practice one moment at a time, one posture at a time, one day at a time! Practice for your health & for your happiness!
My yoga journey began with Aparna Reddy who, in middle school, showed me dead body pose:"My dad says it's like 8 hours of sleep," she said. We lived in Queens, NYC in a very diverse neighborhood. In college, in a Barnard dorm, Stephanie Gregerman taught me the Bikram series: with a small space heater and a little flimsy mirror from Woolworth's:this was 1989...it wasn't until 1996 I took class with Bikram Choudhury himself, in Beverly Hills...I laughed hysterically -- "He wants us to do what?" The combination of passion, sense of humor, and effectiveness of Bikram Yoga is why I chose this style over many others, in which to acquire my teacher training (Spring 2003). In the last seven years I have traveled to, and taught in -- CA: Claremont, Covina, South Pasadena, Pasadena, Encino, Studio City, Headquarters, Silverlake;FL: South Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, North Miami Beach; MA: Boston's China Town, Back Bay, Waltham, Stoughton, Quincy, North Andover, and Harvard Square. I am very happy to have landed, most recently, in West Lake Village. I write about yoga at email@example.com, I hold an M.F.A in Theatre from Harvard/Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, and live in Van Nuys by Lake Balboa Park. I plan on continuing my studies with a massage therapy license and nursing degree, and of course pursuing my other life-long passion: acting. Once you have experienced life with a yoga practice, life without it seems a little barbaric. Yoga to me means never limiting yourself -- it is the key that unlocks this temporal body and gives it a glimpse of the divine.
I have been practicing Bikram Yoga since late 2006. From my first Bikram Yoga class I was hooked. Bikram Yoga is a perfect fit for my ongoing commitment to a healthy and happy mind and body. In addition enjoying the physical and mental rigors of the Bikram Yoga series, I must admit that I thrive in the heat and humidity!
I am a civil litigation attorney and a partner in my own law firm. Bikram Yoga provides a very important counter-balance to the daily pressures of a heavy litigation practice and managing the business end of the law firm. Practicing and teaching Bikram Yoga restores my energy, clears my head, reduces my stress, and allows me to be centered and focused, all of which helps in my continual efforts to grow and become a better person.
Inspired and supported by the owner of the Westlake Village Studio, as well as the Studio's teachers and students, and with tremendous support from my family and colleagues, I took a leave of absence from my law firm and completed the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in the Fall of 2010. Practicing and teaching Bikram Yoga at the Westlake Village Studio has greatly enriched my life, and I hope that my example will inspire others to do the same.
I was in the pet grooming industry for 9 years working as an employee and eventually owning my own dog salon. The work that goes into grooming is a labor of love. Standing and bending over for 8 hours a day at a grooming table is very stressful for the body. I developed very painful sciatica along with shoulder and elbow problems. Although I love dogs, physically my grooming career was not agreeing with me. It was heart-breaking.
My husband took me to my first Bikram Yoga class in 2005 and my first thought was it's too hot, the class is 90 minutes long, and these people are crazy! I survived my first class and kept going back and discovered my sciatica was getting better. In 2006, I completed a 60 day challenge and noticed I felt stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. I knew this yoga would be a part of my everyday life.
I attended Bikram's teacher training in spring 2009 in Palm Desert, California. I am grateful for my opportunity to teach at Bikram Yoga Westlake Village.
I started practicing Bikram Yoga in 2003 after friend suggested it might help a running injury. The day I started I never looked back and made Bikram a part of my daily routine. I watched my health transform inside and out.
In addition to teaching yoga at Bikram Westlake Village, I spend several months of the year in Thailand, where I teach and manage a school for 215 Burmese Migrant Children living on the Thai-Burma Border.
Coming from a dance background I have always felt very in touch with my body. After my first Bikram class I knew my body was very happy with me. It didn’t take very much convincing to sell me on this yoga, the proof is in the pudding. After just a few classes I knew this was something I wanted to share with others. I made the decision to go to teacher training fall of 2011 immediately after graduating Loyola Marymount University with a degree in dance and photography. The growth I have discovered through the teaching process has been monumental. I cannot wait to continue sharing this yoga with as many people as possible here at the Westlake studio, the very studio I took my first class.
Fitzjoy Hellin has been a world traveling tour manager in the concert music industry for about 25 years. After a back surgery in 2008, followed by a knee surgery, running and martial arts were no longer options for his daily exercise. In search for a new way to release stress and promote healing, Fitzjoy happened to come across a Bikram beginners yoga class. Upon completion of Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in 2012, Fitzjoy traveled to his hometown of Brussels, Belgium followed by some time in Monterrey, Mexico to gain experience in teaching and instructed non-stop while there. He is passionate about people and finds joy in assisting people in their journey towards better health.