Our Story

Bikram Yoga NYC opened its doors in August 1999 and became Manhattan’s first Bikram Yoga Studio! Owners Donna Rubin and Jennifer Lobo had both been avid practitioners of Bikram Yoga in other cities and knew that no city needed Bikram Yoga more than New York!

In choosing the first location, Donna Rubin, a former Broadway performer, felt that there was a need for a place for pre-show warm-up in the theater district as the theaters themselves offered no space for stretching. In its first year, many performers, musicians and stage workers filled the classes at the 8th avenue location as a new way to stretch, de-stress and stay in shape.

Word quickly spread about the amazing benefits of Bikram Yoga and in in 2001 Bikram Yoga NYC opened two more studios on the Upper West Side and downtown. In 2002, the Flatiron location was opened and in 2006, Bikram Yoga NYC opened its largest studio on the Upper East Side.

In the past decade, Bikram Yoga NYC’s mission has been to spread Bikram Yoga to as many people in the city as possible by offering almost 300 classes per week.

Bikram Yoga NYC strives to create a warm and an encouraging environment for all students so that each student can work at their own pace and achieve the many benefits that Bikram Yoga has to offer. In our ongoing efforts to improve our studios, we welcome all comments and suggestions from students and teachers. Thank you for joining us and we hope to see you in class for many years to come!

Meet the Owners

Donna Rubin, certified Bikram yoga instructor since 1998 and co-founder of the first Bikram Yoga in NYC, began her professional career as a dancer with the National Ballet of Canada and went on to star as Meg in the original Canadian cast of ‘Phantom of the Opera.” She then brought her career to Broadway where she performed in “Carousel” at Lincoln Center and on the National tour.

Donna was able to apply her dance and yoga background to exclusively teaching the 26 pose Bikram yoga method. Teaming up with Jen Lobo in 1999, the duo has opened 4 Bikram locations in Manhattan in the last 12 years. Donna was one of the first yoga instructors to be certified as a judge for the regional and national yoga asana championships and, along with Jen, Bikram Yoga NYC produced the very first Yoga Asana Championship in New York, which it has continued to produce and host for the past 8 years.

Bikram Yoga NYC was one of the first yoga studios chosen to participate in the Yoga Madness event in Times Square where Donna taught class to over 500 enthusiastic yogis in the heart of The Crossroads of the World. In addition to Bikram, Donna also completed a 200 hour certification in Ishta yoga with Yoga Master Allan Finger.

Donna has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, New York Post, Elle Magazine, Jane Magazine. She has appeared on Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC and WPIX television networks, most recently on the Today Show and The Kathy Lee and Hoda Show. The studio has also been featured on cable networks such as MetroChannel, New York 1, and on such programs as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Single in the City.

Bikram Yoga NY has become involved in fundraising for worthy causes by hosting a monthly cabaret, proceeds of which are entirely donated by the studio. Recently, Donna performed at one of these Bikram Yoga NYC Cabaret Nights for Cystic Fibrosis, the Sunny Shores Sea Side Camp, to honor her niece Nicole who is living with the disease.

Donna is currently working on the documentary “Curtain Up” about her experience growing up as a young dancer in the “National Ballet School of Canada.”

Donna is married to Elliot Matlin and has one son, Ari.

Email Donna

 Jennifer, a native New Yorker, is the co-owner of Bikram Yoga NYC. Prior to her last decade with Bikram Yoga NYC, Jennifer served as the Communications Director for IMG, the largest sports marketing company in the world. With a background in marathon running, soccer, tennis, skiing and golf, Jennifer discovered Bikram Yoga as a great cross-training tool, which after a few short months became her favorite form of exercise. With her marathon days behind her now, Jennifer finds that Bikram Yoga really fills her need for a hard workout and a great feeling afterwards.

Jennifer has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, NY Magazine, Yoga Journal and the Japanese press. She has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, NY1, as well as cable programs such as New York Naturally and MetroChannel.

Jennifer is married to her husband, George Plamondon, and they have three sons, Tate, Luke and George. Jennifer practiced Bikram Yoga regularly throughout all three of her pregnancies and felt great. The whole family practices yoga now!

Email Jen