<Bikram Yoga Toronto East - Hot Body Cool Mind
A journey of a thousand miles must
begin with a single step.



Bikram Certified instructors spend nine weeks immersed in an in-depth study of Bikram Yoga with yoga masters Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury and their staff of senior teachers at the Bikram Yoga Headquarters in Los Angeles California. This intensive program consists of more than 500 hours of study covering asana, anatomy, therapeutic applications and benefits of Yoga, nutrition, philosophy of Yoga, Bikram's posture clinic, and the Bikram Yoga dialogue. A major component of the Bikram Yoga training is the required attendance of 2 daily classes of Bikram Yoga taught by Bikram and his senior staff every day for 9 weeks. This ensures that each certified instructor "owns" and understands the postures in their body allowing them to teach from a place of empathy and compassion. This process also teaches that commitment and discipline are necessary for creating positive changes in the body and mind. After certification, trainees are required to complete a six month supervised apprenticeship at an affiliated Bikram Yoga studio. Re-certification is required every 3 years.



Ruzica LeBlanc

Bikram Certified Teacher, Director

Ruzica experienced Bikram Yoga for the first time in 2002. From that first class, she knew Bikram Yoga was going to be a major part of her life. The powerful impact she felt from Bikram Yoga was undeniable, and she made it her goal to help others experience the benefits of Bikram. Having worked towards her goal for the past four years, Ruzica is pleased to open Bikram Yoga Toronto East, the first Bikram Yoga studio servicing Toronto East and Durham Region .Ruzica started her journey to opening the studio in the Spring of 2003 when she completed her certification directly under Bikram Choudhury at the school headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Following her training, Ruzica became an apprentice for six months and taught at a local Toronto yoga studio for 4 years.

In addition to teaching and practicing Bikram, Ruzica has studied and practices Vipassana Meditation, as Taught by S.N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. Ruzica is mom to three boys Ryan, Adam and Aaron.


Bernard Turkewitsch

Bikram Certified Teacher

Bernard discovered Bikram Yoga while practicing one of his  passions – Afro Cuban percussion on congas. It was through performing within this drum circle that he met  Ruzica, who introduced him to Bikram. Astonished by the positive spiritual, physical and mental effects, Bernard quickly engulfed himself into practicing Bikram regularly.  After six months of intensive practice and preparation, he traveled to Los Angeles to the Bikram Yoga College of India for rigorous teacher training.   Subsequently Bernard took his first step on the Nobel path of Vipassana meditation.  The practice of Anapana breathing and Vipassana is a daily part of  Bernard’s Yoga .The Bikram training represented a transformation for Bernard and provided balance in body, mind and spirit.  Bernard applies his training mantra, “Breathe in light and love, breathe out light and love” not only to practicing Bikram, but to all his other passions in life, including architecture, sculpting, percussion , windsurfing and kite boarding.Students can see Bernard’s latest architecture project each time they visit the Birkram Yoga Toronto East studio. Bernard helped Ruzica design and build the new studio with a vision of creating a calm and welcoming space where students can feel comfortable to explore the endless possibilities of Bikram Yoga. 


Denise Crofton,, Bikram Certified Teacher

After years of running and working out in a gym Denise wanted to incorporate yoga into her routine, adding flexibility and a form of meditation to her workout schedule.  After researching various types of yoga she came across Bikram Yoga and was curious to try this form of Hatha yoga in a heated room.  She was surprised to find this yoga not only offered flexibility and meditation, but it also provided a good workout in strength and cardiovascular.  Denise truly believes this yoga is the best ‘anti-aging’ form of exercise anyone can participate in, it doesn’t matter your age or level of fitness.  Shortly after starting this yoga, she participated in her first 30 day challenge taking a class every day for 30 days.  Through this yoga she felt stronger, more flexible and started to see remarkable changes in her body and spirit.  From that point on she filled her spare time taking Bikram Yoga classes  - this was 10 years ago.  In September 2012 Denise went to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles.  She wanted to become a teacher in hopes of sharing the benefits of this yoga with other people.  As Bikram would often say, ‘this yoga is all about the mind, body and spirit’.  This is something Denise experienced in her journey with Bikram Yoga and hopes to share it with all of you.



Marina Jankovic, Bikram Certified Teacher

After loosing her father to a mysterious illness when she was only 13, Marina became intrigued with natural ways of preserving health and longevity. She read many books, tried different diets and became well educated in the field.  Although, she studied to become an architect, her true passion remained in the field of natural ways of improving ones health and well being.

Marina discovered Hatha yoga in her early twenties and studied under prima ballerina, turned yogini, Jasmina Puljo.  That strengthened her fascination by the body’s innate ability for self healing.  She discovered the amazing connection of the body and the mind, and the power of breath.

Upon immigrating to Canada, Marina had a misfortune of being seriously injured in a car crash, leaving her with shattered pelvis, broken ribs, collapsed lung and grim prognoses for full recovery.  After months of rehabilitation she discovered Bikram yoga.  There was something about it so powerful, and so intense that she never felt before.  It also, encompassed all the principles she learned and adopted on her quest for improved health.

With regular practice, she was able to fully recover from her injuries.  After a year she made it a permanent part of her life by becoming Bikram yoga teacher in 2003. 



Maria Bernal, Bikram Certified Teacher

Maria discovered Bikram Yoga in 2008. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, however, it was her experience with Bikram Yoga that changed her life's path. She quickly felt at home after her first class in 2008 at Bikram Yoga Toronto East.

It was a year of so many struggles and a loss, but her practice kept her strong on all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Her life's breakdowns became her breakthroughs through her practice. She decided to fully explore the discipline at the Teacher Training Fall 2009- and once again allowed herself to be transformed. Maria brings to her teaching passion, positive energy, and understanding of yoga's profound impact.

She is most recently inspired by her mother , Linda and Aunt Teresa's regular yoga practice-both proponents of famous saying "never too old, never too sick, never too late to start from the scratch again". Maria is also  certified Kid's yoga teacher.

She would like to witness yoga be part of many communities and all stages of life.


Yasmin Horra, Bikram Certified Teacher

I have always enjoyed fitness, yoga was not a part of my daily fitness regime. In fact, I lead a very busy life and felt that yoga was very slow and would not make me feel the way 'cardio' and 'weights' did. I tried Bikram Yoga class for the first time in January 2008 and all I could say was "wow, what a way to start the year!". I could not believe how great I felt after the class, I had more energy, felt stronger and revitalized.
At the age of 60, I decided to attend the Spring 2010 Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Las Vegas. I attended for two reasons: firstly, because I greatly enjoy Bikram Yoga and wanted to teach and secondly,  because I felt that as a teacher I would be able to reach out to people in my age group to bring awareness of the benefits of Bikram Yoga.As Bikram says, "It's never too late, It's never too bad, and you're never too old or too sick to start from scratch once again."