March 27, 2009

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, some of 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. Studios where Barkan teaches: The Barkan Method Hot yoga, 1119 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale (954-563-0488 or BarkanMethod.com); The Yoga Connection, 6555 Nova Drive, No. 302, Davie (954-577-5777 or TheYogaConnection.com) Classes: Hot Yoga (95-degree room), Hot Vinyasa (continuous flow), Warm Yoga and Yoga To Sacred Music Cost: $18 per class; packages can reduce price to $10 per class 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." The Barkan Method Hot Yoga 954-563-0488 1119 North Federal Hwy. Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33304 www.barkanmethod.com