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South Florida’s Yoga Yogi: Jimmy Barkan

When the Miami Dolphins’ Dan Marino ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in 1993, Jimmy Barkan helped bring him back with yoga. When the Florida Marlins won the World Series in 1997, someof the team’s players praised Barkan’s yoga, too. When local TV stations wanted a celebrity teacher, they turned to … Barkan. Talk about a growing brand name: Barkan is starting his 27th year in South Florida. His Barkan Method of Hot Yoga, created in 2002, has drawn more than 300 teachers from all over the world to his studio for certification. It’s not a stretch to say he is South Florida’s best-known yogi.

What did he do next?

Barkan started his own method, similar to Bikram, but incorporating other yoga techniques. Barkan keeps the room at about 95 degrees. Barkan teaches three to four classes a week; 12 other teachers do the rest, and their variety of teachings has helped his studio grow, Barkan says. His big focus is on his Teacher Training program. He loves watching teachers-to-be “break out of their self-consciousness and find out who they really are.”

On Jimmy Barkan

City of residence: Pompano beach
Native of: Pittsburgh
Other students: Former Miami Heat player Rony Seikaly, PGA golfers, Martin Sheen, Jerry Seinfeld and Quincy Jones.

Barkan’s Yoga

Non-Bikram aspects of Barkan yoga: The sequence of poses can change, while Bikram’s do not. There are also more poses, such as the revolving triangle, lunge twist and Downward Dog.


  • Hot Yoga (95-degree room)
  • Hot Vinyasa (continuous flow)
  • Warm Yoga and Yoga to Sacred Music

Economy and Yoga

Classes that used to draw 20 to 30 are now drawing as many as 50, Barkan says. “People are looking to quiet their chatter.”

Let’s talk about Hot Yoga…Part 2. By Meredith Hesse


I know that some of you have been waiting anxiously all week for part two of the Hot Yoga series.  Here it is folks.  My interview with Lana Vogestad.  Lana teaches the Barkan Method of Hot Yoga in the Atlanta area.  If you have not had a chance to experience her class for yourself, I strongly suggest that you take time out of your busy schedule and do so.  Lana holds Barkan level I, II and III certifications, as well as helping assist Jimmy Barkan in his teacher trainings.  This is what Lana had to say about the practice and its benefits.

MYS:  What drew you to the Barkan Method of Hot Yoga?

After passionately practicing Bikram Yoga for 4 years in 2004, I was curious to broaden my horizons with the Hot Yoga practice. When Jimmy Barkan came to the studio I was practicing at in New York, I was excited to take part in it. I had heard wonderful things about him being the most senior teacher for Bikram in the 80’s and 90’s, and at the time I was considering going to a teacher training. I found his wisdom and insight into Hot Yoga very enlightening and refreshing. Even though the Barkan Method is just as physically intense as Bikram, there are more spiritual and philosophical elements integrated with a nourishing approach. I also love the variation, including more upper body strength, rotation of the spine, as well as different postures, which transformed my practice. I deeply respect Bikram but felt my body changing even more when I started delving into the Barkan Method. With the guidance of my Barkan teachers, my practice became spiritual bliss. I learned on many levels how Hot Yoga goes well beyond the physical and how there are deep roots and history to this practice. As Jimmy Barkan teaches, Hot Yoga is a specific lineage of yoga, it is not just yoga in a hot room. He also spends a great deal of time in his teacher trainings helping people find their voice and speak from their heart. Jimmy Barkan is a very humble yet extremely knowledgeable yoga guru. I feel truly blessed to have studied with him (attended 5 teacher trainings and continue to learn more!).