Studio Directors – Derek and Suzanne Cummings
Derek and Suzanne met online in the winter of 2000. Each mentioned their passion for yoga in their match.com profiles. Derek was practicing Bikram yoga, and Suzanne was an Iyengar girl. For one of their first dates Derek invited Suzanne to class with him. She fell in love with Derek and Hot Yoga and the two of them were married. Shortly afterward they attended the intensive 9 week Bikram Training in the Fall of 2002 to become Certified Teachers. Despite the admonitions of Bikram to only focus on their studies during their training, they managed to find the time for some ‘extra curricular activities’, and the on the very day they graduated, found out that they were to become parents! After their 6 month internship with Lynn Whitlow at the famous Funky Door Bikram studios in the San Francisco Bay Area, they moved to the beautiful Pacific Northwest in the Spring of 2003 and started their career together as studio Directors. Their son, Sutter (now 11 years old was born 3 months later!
Derek and Suzanne have been Directors of three Bikram yoga studios in the Portland metropolitan area over the last decade, and finally realized their dream in April 2010 by designing, constructing and opening a truly State-of- the-Art facility for students to practice this healing discipline.
They both remain committed to the style of teaching that was passed on to them by Bikram, but in light of the recent allegations of his abuse towards female teacher trainees, they made the bold decision to drop the Bikram name and follow in the footsteps of the other highly respected yoga masters and mentors of the Bishnu Ghosh lineage such as Tony Sanchez, Rajashree Choudhury, and Emmy Cleaves. As the letters that spelled BIKRAM were coming down off the building there was an epiphany… The letters I AM remained, and the rest is history….*I**AM YOGA was born!
The *I**AM YOGA studio was engineered and built literally from the ground up to be the very best and safest hot yoga studio in Portland (maybe even in the country)!. We are very proud to have a state-of-the-art system that not only heats and humidifies the air to a very consistent 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% relative humidity, but cleans, purifies (using low level ozone treatment) and filters it. An E.R.V.(Energy Recovery Ventilator) equipped with CO2 sensors continuously monitors quality and circulates fresh air and oxygen regularly. Before it reaches you, the air is pulled through HEPA filters, so what you are breathing in the yoga room is actually cleaner than the air outside! The ERV and the specialized radiant heat in our floor are Green Technology and help keep our fabulous space insulated and environmentally efficient.
The “Carpet” in the yoga room is not actually carpet, but a fantastic vinyl flooring system called Flotex. The real beauty of Flotex is that it provides a safe non-slip surface and is completely moisture proof so it does not soak up stinky sweat! Because it dries quickly and contains a permanent antimicrobial agent, Flotex inhibits the growth of mold and mildew, guards against the spread of athlete’s foot and protects against bacterial growth. There is no stripping or waxing so we don’t need all those harsh (toxic) chemicals that other floor coverings require. We keep the studio floor clean by deep agitation extraction on a regular basis using a nontoxic enzymatic formula.
Thank you Alberta Main Street!
We are incredibly grateful to be a part of the thriving Alberta Arts District. We were awarded a matching mini grant from the Alberta Main Street organization to help beautify our street and improve the pedestrian experience.