Bishnu Yoga® Toronto: STUDENT FEEDBACK

Our 23rd Year Teaching the Bikram/Bishnu Ghosh Yoga Tradition!

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" ...the faithful student will find that the yoga exercises invariably and consciously develop his will power along with his bodily strength."

--- Bishnu Ghosh

Please note: References to "Hot Yoga", "Hot Yoga Challenge", and "Bikram Yoga" in student 'testimonials' below are from our earlier studio that used to be on Spadina and Bloor for 19 years. What we teach hasn't changed much; it only improved, matured and has been expanded. All of our yoga classes are now taught in a comfortably warm room.

I have been with this studio for maybe 5 years.

I started to go when they still had a studio on Spadina as "Hot Yoga Challenge". Now they are in a small studio with nice wooden floor and warm feeling space. It is not hot yoga anymore but they still teach in warm temperature instead of hot. I love this studio because both Sasha and Aranka are great teachers. I like their attitude towards Yoga which is serious and discipline they have. They are really warm people and people who come to this studio are very warm and kind because of that. You can really "learn" at this studio. Also both Sasha and Aranka are great Yogi.
Especially when Sasha leads silent class, when you see him practice, it is an art. It is just so beautiful!
Aranka is always so much fun and serious at the same time. She always practices with us and tries to make us understand our body when to push and when to stop which I find it is very important if you want to practice for a long time. Also they really care about the environment as well. Everything they do is so kind to the earth and natural! I really really love this studio and both teachers! I highly recommend to come and learn from them! I have to say, I never thought I would continue to do yoga for this long but because of them, I am in love with it!
Thank you Sasha and Aranka!
You both are the best!

Best - Etsuko

Really enjoyed the Bishnu Yoga class.

The temperature for the warm yoga was lovely! At 27 degrees, your body gets nice and warm, allowing you to stretch deeply, but without taxing your system with an intense "hot yoga" heat. The pace of the class was reasonable, allowing people of all levels to follow along easily.
The instructor was extremely pleasant, giving encouragement every step of the way - for those who were newer, he made us feel ok about not being super bendy, and to accept where our bodies were at the moment. It was a great work out for my body, as well as being great for relaxing
- a beautiful blend. I'm definitely happy I purchased this package, and am excited to go back!"


I've tried a few yoga studies in Toronto

and this is by far the one where I've felt the most comfortable. Aranka and Sasha are really nice and down to earth people, who make you feel really welcome, no matter your age, size, gender, nationality... I don't like chic and packed studios where you just feel like a number and not a person, and in Yoga Heritage you feel like part of the family from day one. My favourite practice is Yin with Aranka, she changes the sequence in every class, and modifies Hatha asanas to be used as long, still and lovely postures. And the location and prices are great too, so what are you waiting for? :)

Best, Yosiane.

I love that this place is located in a great location,

Sasha and Aranka are awesome people inside and out and great instructors. I love the scent free environment and the no fuss approach. Classes are excellent and challenging. I highly recommend this studio. If you really want to work it...and not just look pretty go here! This is for someone who puts their heart into it...and get the most out of it. Aranka and Sasha are friendly, professional and great teachers. I love Aranka's readings.
I will definitely return.

Rina V.

This is an excellent studio

if you are looking for a down to earth, welcoming non-judgemental space. Aranka and Sascha treat yoga with respect and regard it as a spiritual, holistic practice - and encourage you to come as you are, and to get better with each class. The people who attend this studio are very diverse - in age, ability and cultural background. Its smaller in size, and they take a no-frills approach which is why I love it.

When I started, I was intimidated about doing anything physical in a group setting, nervous because I did not know the postures and needing to lie down and rest multiple times in the middle of the class. I was encouraged to move at my own pace and have attended regularly and seen amazing progress in my health and well-being ever since. If you are put-off by overly chic studios with everyone wearing the latest fashion in 'yoga apparel' and wish to find a more comfortable space - then you will feel right at home at this studio.

S. C.

Yoga Heritage Healing Arts (previously Hot Yoga Challenge)

is run by Sasha and Aranka Shkolnikov. They are both very experienced and advanced instructors, very caring and dedicated to their practice and to helping others advance, always at their own speed and capability. No competition and no pressure. But lots of encouragement to improve.
It is the best studio I have found. Conveniently located on Bathurst. Simple, with hardwood floors, and very clean. Well priced packages.

Kathy T.

Sasha and Aranka are two of the most gifted teachers I have ever encountered,

and are very warm and welcoming. Their approaches are very different, yet complimentary. Their experience, dedication and respect for tradition is apparent in every class and lends an integrity to this place that I have yet to find elsewhere in the city.
The classes are very quiet and focused with little unnecessary babble and overly-intrusive instruction. They teach a complete system, rather than simply a series of calisthenics. Just experience one of Sasha's Bishnu classes and you will know exactly what I mean.
If you're looking for a place to hang out, socialize and be pampered, then look elsewhere. If you're looking to experience what hot yoga can and should be, then you definitely need to check this place out.

Sean M.

A 'new student, a healthy new addiction'

"Everyone is a 'student' here at Hot Yoga".
Those words from Yoga Instructor, Aranka, encouraged me to join a class. After 80 minutes of breathing, stretching, profuse sweating and yes...grunting...I was ready to quit.
However, Aranka gently encouraged me to ride out the next 10 minutes and finish my first hot yoga class. Who knew that that experience would compel me to continue to attend hot yoga classes three to four times per week for the past three months.
I was initially hesitant to join because of my age and weight, but immediately felt welcomed and was never intimidated by the supple younger students.
Hot yoga has brought me an inner calm, leaner muscles, endurance, patience and the desire to work harder to achieve my personal goals.
My focus is sharper, my skin has improved, and I have lost 18 lbs.
These are some of the drivers to keep me practicing hot yoga. The other drivers are the instructors, Aranka and Sasha, who provide expert guidance, motivation, and willingness to help the students find their 'bliss' in life.

Namaste, Marissa Bastidas

After 64 years of a physically active life,

enjoying cycling, dancing, and running up and down stairs, I suddenly developed a variety of severe leg and lower back pains. Massage and physiotherapy provided little relief.
An MRI eventually showed a multi-factorial severe canal stenosis, including a large synovial cyst extending medially from the left facet joint.
The medical options are unappealing: surgery or severely curtailed activity, plus painkillers.
I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.
Talk about Bikram Yoga and its benefits was in the air, and I live quite close to Toronto's original hot yoga studio. And there had been a brand new yoga mat left in the 'lost and found' at my workplace for over a year:
I took this as a sign!
Sasha and Aranka are generous and experienced teachers, gentle but firm, and are always deepening their knowledge. With their guidance I began to learn the Bikram postures.
After about six months of concentrated effort, the pains receded, and after about a year I have been restored to even more than my previous sense of well-being, am about 10 pounds lighter, and can do a standing bow.
The basic Bikram series is well-designed, but I have recently begun also to enjoy the variety and alternative challenges of the other classes available, particularly Aranka's 'Eclectic Flow' with its dance-like series, more emphasis on the upper body, and occasional inverted poses.
Hot Yoga Toronto is not the most glamorous studio in the city, and is a family enterprise rather than a 'fast-paced retail environment', but it's certainly my choice for comfort, security, and genuine welcome.


Silent Classes

Dear Aranka and Sasha,

I can't thank you enough for your wonderful yoga class. Attending your morning silent class is pure yoga joy.
You create an atmosphere of caring support and quiet focus on our yoga practice. There is simply no place that I enjoy more. You welcome us, you support us, you care that your students do the best that we can do, and you foster an environment of respect for each other in the course of a class.

Thank you, Joanne Campbell

Well, my story of joining hot yoga challenge

is not as inspiring as some other students' in the class. I was just looking for an activity that I could fit in my busy student schedule and that it was close to school.
A friend told me about Bikram Yoga, and as they offer classes from morning to evening everyday, it sounded as a good idea. After a few weeks of enjoying beginner class with Aranka, I had decided to try Flow class with Sasha. Both classes challenge one's flexibility, however Flow class also challenges strength resulting in nicely toned muscles.
Classes are not easy, instructors try to inspire to push one step forward, though without any forcing and always within students' abilities. I just wanted to share my experience, so others can see that no specific reason is needed to join the class, it is for everybody.

Tijana Livada

Hot yoga has become a central practice in my life

and makes everything I do feel better. The Bikram series is a compelling ritual I find both emotionally and physically fulfilling. Along with focus and balance, it delivers a shot of enthusiasm for life. Everyone knows that yoga reduces stress and promotes wellbeing, but it's also fun. I love the feeling of being in touch with the body, of experiencing the play between posture and self. The community spirit at Hot Yoga is also inspiring. Though yoga is an individual discipline, it's exhilarating to sweat with warriors in the friendly atmosphere of a great studio.
I am grateful to Sasha and Aranka for maintaining what to many is a sanctuary - a place to centre and recharge. Theirs is the longest running hot yoga studio in Toronto and between them they share a wealth of experience. Their teaching is both exacting and compassionate and they lead by example, investing total effort while accepting the results of the moment. They conduct practices in calm, supportive tones and encourage students with sensitivity and insight.
With the Bikram syllabus at the core of their program, they continue to research and design new sequences, challenging themselves and inspiring others to expand limits and develop potential.

Many Thanks, Timothy Spain

I have a physical disability

and have found Aranka's Yin Yoga class to be both invigorating and beneficial. With her excellent guidance I have gone from being a curious beginner to a regular practitioner, in a matter of months. Her instruction is wonderfully restorative and it is deeply satisfying to have found such a great yoga class.

Best, Christian

Sasha and Aranka changed my life.

I've been to a few yoga studios in the city and have done regular old "hatha" yoga in the last 5 years. I enjoyed the relaxation I felt afterward, but I never really felt anything more than that.
After months of doing this type of yoga once a week, I became bored. A friend had urged me for over year to try Hot Yoga with Sasha and Aranka, and finally I did, and never stopped going!
For over a year now, I have been practicing Yoga at their studio with a passion. Since my first class, I fell in love. My body felt new after every class, and now after a year, I am a different person! I no longer get sick, I have stamina and determination in my daily life that surprises me! I loved this yoga so much that I learned to teach it through the studio.
My knowledge of yoga history and the body has grown, and the seeds have been planted for a more peaceful, beautiful life for me. I owe all this to Sasha and Aranka; their love of this yoga comes out of their pores and is infectious! I feel grateful to them and so honored to have learned from them.
I am so happy I can share this yoga with other people now and hopefully do for them what Sasha and Aranka did for me.


This has been a very spiritual journey for me,

and it has just begun. Your teachings and classes leave me feeling empowered, compassionate, strong. Thank you for your compassion and strength.
You truly are a beautiful human being, and I hope to be instructor half as inspiring as you have been to me.

Sincerely, Rachel