Sydney 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?