172 Allen Street, 2nd floor (btwn Stanton & Rivington)

Ben Sears

1) Why do you like it hot?

The heat makes the yoga therapeutic and approachable for all bodies and is the great equalizer and humbler. It shows us our patterns and excuses and offers the chance to work on them. Teaches breath. It’s a human restart button. Kills jet lag. Honestly, when I started, without the heat I would have just given up on a very stiff and beat-up body.

2) What are your personal tips to Bikram Yoga Lower East Side students?

Be precise and accountable. Class is about you so be your best, trust, be honest, take pride in the details and you will get better, not hurt. Above all, breathe. Take a day off when you need one, be consistent and eat well.

3) As a child, what did you want to be “when you grew up?”

Astronaut, then every possible incarnation of professional athlete. Since elementary school, a writer.

4) Tell us about your first kiss: who, when, where?

Like real sloppy kiss? Tanya B. at a Bar Mitzvah. I was 12 and she was 5 inches taller.

5) What’s your most prized possession?

My health. My kitchen. My mom. That’s three but if you know me, they go together.

6) What’s your guilty pleasure?

Um, boots. Or clothes in general. Feels really guilty because right now I’m on the subway heading home with new boots.

7) What is your most embarrassing moment on the teacher’s box?

In retropsect, the entire first two years – and any time I taught in my practice shorts.

8) What were you doing the day you decided you were going to be a Bikram Yoga Teacher?

Day-dreaming at work

9) What’s the best/worst thing about being a Bikram Yoga teacher?

The sweating and the responsibility are both the best and worst. Sometimes there’s not another drop to give and sometimes it all comes back. Also: talk about a lesson in presence.

10) What was the first concert you went to?

Steve Miller band. I was 12. Fell in love with the woman who bought me beer and was sure the feelings were mutual.

11) Who was your childhood celebrity crush

Can’t remember but she was in Sports Illustrated.

12) Describe your perfect yoga shorts.

They do yoga for me. Still working on the design in my secret, underground, mountain lair.

13) What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

Wow – I wish I could be profound here but I usually have to pee pretty badly.

14) What’s your sign and birthday?

June 24 – Cancer.

15) Have you ever been in love?

Yes

16) Say one nice thing about the person who first told you about Bikram Yoga.

Honestly I think I found Bikram online. The first teacher that took an interest in me was relentless, faithful and cared deeply.

17) Words or phrases you overuse:

Facilitate.

18) What song(s) best describe you?

Most of the Time – Bob Dylan
Animal – Miike Snow
I am Waiting – The Rolling Stones

19) Do you remember what your first Bikram class was like?

I wore sweatpants and a thermal long-sleeve shirt with a t-shirt over it. Class was at the old headquarters in LA. The room is gigantic and as soon as I put down my mat at least 3 people immediately moved away. I had no change of clothes and drove home sopping wet.

20) What was the first album you purchased with your own money?

My brother set me on the right track with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here which I was too young to understand so I probably bought Motley Crüe or something.

21) What’s your guilty pleasure? (Answered above)

22) Do you have a “most memorable Bikram moment”?

I started off on a really good foot at teacher training. Everyone has to say why they came to training and we are like 250 people in and I’m bored and a wise-arse and this woman says Bikram came to her in a dream and I’m up soon after and say “yeah, Bikram came to me in a dream also – but he wasn’t wearing that outfit or i wouldn’t have come” (boss has a penchant for interesting fashion choices). The whole room busts up and Bikram then makes it imminently clear that my life will be hell for 9 weeks. All told, he was pretty fair.

23) If you could have any job, what would it be?

Coolness Consultant and Arbiter of Taste. But seriously, I run yoga retreats. My life is ok.

24) What’s your favorite smell?

Basil. Or a really good tomato.

25) What’s your favorite place to hang out in the Lower East Side (besides Bikram of course)?

I’ve been traveling so much recently for my business that I haven’t done much hanging out. I love the baked delicious vegan treats at Babycakes and the store Assembly. And brunch. Brunch after yoga is amazing.