While some valley residents are used to Ann Marie Palma looking in their mouth, others are accustomed to her watching them pose in the mirror. Currently the owner of Bikram Yoga El Paseo, Ann Marie has also been a Dental Hygienist for 30+ years. It was actually one of her dental patients who was responsible for introducing her to yoga. Suffering from the pain of a spinal injury, she caught the attention of one of her patients who happened to be the owner of Bikram Yoga El Paseo at the time. The studio owner invited Ann Marie to a class to see if it would relieve the spinal symptoms and the rest was history. She would later discover the yoga not only gave her back her mobility but would be the start of something very special.
Grateful to Bikram Yoga for saving her spine, Ann Marie wanted to give back to the struggling studio and began teacher training. She soon learned the studio was closing down unless she was willing to purchase it. With mixed emotions of not wanting the responsibilities of running a studio full-time but wanting to preserve the very reason she got her life back, Ann Marie decided to purchase the studio.
When she first took over ownership five years ago the studio was not in the best of shape and needed some serious cleaning and updating. After doing some repairs and cleaning up the place, Ann Marie noticed a renewed affection from her clients and describes the bond she now shares with her family of yogis: “Our yoga family is a real commUNITY that truly cares about each other, looks out for each other and supports each other!”
This past December, Ann Marie and her students would suffer another setback when days of heavy rains would take its toll on the roof. What started out as a repair for water damaged walls and ceilings turned into a major remodel. A complete new ceiling was placed with upgraded LED Light fixtures that will never need replacement bulbs and feature several levels of dimmers. All new ductwork was completed along with a new HVAC system. There’s new carpet in the reception room and top of the line Lonseal Performa special “hot yoga” flooring for the hot room that not only provides a clean, hygienic environment but brightens the room tremendously. The remodel also included brand new mirrors and Hunter Douglas shades. The bathrooms have handmade distressed wood carved vanities, Copper Vessel sinks, oil rubbed bronze Vessel faucets and distressed mirrors and light fixtures. A one-month time estimate for repairs turned into a five-month major remodel, but according to her students, it was worth the wait. Bikram Yoga El Paseo recently had a soft re-grand opening which had an overwhelming response from her dedicated yoga followers. The plans are to have a more formal grand re-opening when summer ends and her seasonal clients return.
Her amazing family of Yogis have taken on ownership of the sacred space, “It is truly the student’s studio,” remarks Ann Marie, “This studio would not be alive if it not for the loyal, dedicated Yogis who share my sense of gratitude.” The studio has promotions going on all the time for brand new students to come and see what the amazing fuss is all about. They typically do 30-day challenges twice a year and will be kicking off the season this Oct./Nov. with a 30-day challenge that will coincide with the grand re-opening Party.
Written By: Craig Michaels Productions
Phone: (760) 880-3848