In blog

Resolve to make 2019 the year you improve yourself mind, body, and soul becoming part of the Bikram Yoga Works (BYW) Seva squad aka, the Karmic Work Study Program (KWSP).   Seva is Sanskrit for service and ‘leads to collective benefit and gain, although it is performed without regard for the outcome of the individual.  Yoga studios far and wide are no strangers to this concept and many have long offered work study exchange programs, including BYW, which has offered the program at all locations since they opened doors.

The foundation of most yoga studio work study programs involves service time of varying capacities in exchange for free yoga classes, workshop and teacher training discounts, and of course, access to the studio’s community.

What is unique about the BYW KWSP?

The karmic yogis in the program are offered unlimited classes in exchange for their weekly service slot, of 2 shifts per week, and an initial 3-month commitment is required.

What does the BYW KWS have to do to received Unlimited Classes? 

Responsibilities include:

  • Front Desk and back office duties, such as checking in members, printing and organizing outreach materials, serving as a community ambassador,
  • Serving at studio booth’s during community outreach events or other studio special events
  • Custodial duties including laundering of towels, cleaning bathrooms and showers, stocking supplies, cleaning the studio floors and towels
  • Participants are expected to serve one ‘x’ hour shift a week around studio time and may choose to take the class or return for class.
Ideal candidates are hard-working, committed, compassionate, and community-oriented. They can expect to have a good time and learn more about themselves throughout their service…and it’s worth mentioning again…unlimited yoga! 

The BYW KWSP strives to ensure that its karmic yogis grow as individuals and as yoga practitioners and consequently it is important that participants are a good fit for the studio and vice versa.

“Watching the Karmic Work Study Program expand over the past few years has been a pleasure.  Not only is the program a matter of service to their community but a means to expression and connection as well. There is no group more dedicated and who take pride in the voluntary services they provide than our karmic yogis.”

–Ayana, Studio Manager | Riverdale Park

As such, potential applicants should be practitioners at the studio (New Student Special anyone?) for at least 3-months before consideration of acceptance into the program. Applicants can then set up an interview time with the BYW KWSP coordinator to discuss potential shift openings and become further acquainted with the studio atmosphere.

BWY karmic yogis come from far and wide to serve in the program and are as diverse as each of the studio’s communities.  And with 6 studio locations, open 365 days a year, there are plenty of opportunities to fit the studio’s and participants service needs!

But don’t take our word for it – let’s meet one of them…get to know BYW Riverdale Park karmic yogi, Nefretiti Harrison (who I might add served a Christmas Hot Pilates shift!):

‘I started my Practice August 2018.  I was invited to take a Barre class by one of my dance instructors at the Dance Institute that I train at.  Initially, I took the class as a way to support Da’Jon but seeing that for $49 I could take as many classes as I wanted at either studio – I decided to see what this Hot Studio stuff was all about!

It took me about a week to get hooked!

I remember when I was coming up to the end of my trial period and I had met [BYW Instructor] Ambiya and she shared with me options for continuing my practice beyond the trial period and the rest is history!  As an aspiring late bloomer dancer (I didn’t start training until I was 36) I’ve used the Barre, Pilates, and Bikram Yoga classes as dancer conditioning classes.  I’ve noticed since I started my practice that I’ve improved significantly as a dancer.  I’m able to breathe through movements, keep my attention focused when learning choreography, and better hold my balance. I’m very appreciative of the work study program because as a single mom with 3 children getting ready to graduate from college – I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to continue my Practice.  I really try my best to be as dependent as possible when it comes to covering my shift and completing my duties at the Studio because Kendra and Omekongo (Studio Owners) depend on us to help keep the Studio running – I like for the instructors to feel confident knowing that if they see me in the studio they can be sure to have clean towels and anything else they need!  I plan to be part of the Bikram family for a very long time and hope to one day become a Hot Barre Instructor!’

To join Nefretiti and the team,  Apply here:



BikramYogaWorks studios are independently owned and operated and each location was conceived with YOU in mind. Our intention is to provide you with an exceptional experience from the moment you walk into our studios until you leave our doors. Our state-of-the art facilities offer a friendly environment and several amenities for your comfort and convenience, including plenty of parking, spacious locker rooms and ample showers and a networking zone to meet fellow yogis and like-minded individuals. We also offer a range of classes to meet your needs including Bikram Yoga,LifeStretch, Hot Pilates, and Hot Barre.   Wellness services include cryotherapy and Fascia Stretch Therapy (FST).

5 locations: Riverdale Park, MD, Ivy City, Takoma Park, MD, Ivy City Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Boston, MS | District Heights OPENING SOON

Scarlett Salem | BYW Karmic Yoga Work Study Program | Contributing Writer | Blogger 

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