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Hottest Trainer Contestant #7: Georgia Balligian

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Welcome to Racked NY's search for New York City's hottest trainer. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile sixteen smoking candidates who work at local gyms and studios. (Not only do they look hot in spandex, but if you take their classes, you might someday look nearly as good.) Then, once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which you get to vote for your favorite. Let the games begin!

Photos by Bonnie Burke

With our seventh contestant, we're taking things in a slightly different direction. Georgia Balligian of Bikram Yoga NYC is 64 years old and beloved by Bikram fanatics. She studied under Bikram himself in Hawaii in 1971, and she's been teaching at the New York studio since it opened in 1998.

Georgia doesn't own a telephone or use email, but we managed to catch up with her for an interview. Her best advice for yoga newbies: "Make it a part of your regular schedule rather than a random thing, so that you start to develop some discipline in your life." And for more experienced students: "The people who are more experienced, boredom can set in. After you've been practicing for a while, improvement is not so quick. So for them, they have to learn patience."

As for her favorite thing about teaching: "Watching people have the ability to change their lives through their yoga practice. Since I teach in the same place and I see the same people, I have the good fortune to actually watch them solve their problems and end up with a happier life."
· Bikram Yoga NYC [Official Site]
· All Hottest Trainers posts [Racked NY]