Bikram's Biggest Loser

The Bikram’s Biggest Loser (BBL) competition runs for thirteen weeks each year. Everyone enters for their own reasons, whether to create a routine, lose some weight, look after their mental health or be part of our community. The person who loses a combination of the most weight% loss + cm% loss + body fat% loss combined with the best attitude is the winner.

The Rules
There’s only one – attend four classes a week every week for the full 13 weeks (three out of the four must be a Bikram class). If you miss, you’re out. If you’re sick you still come to class and just lie out if you need to. But you must come.

There will be five weigh-ins and three measurement sessions over the 13 weeks.

The Prize 
Lots of great prizes including one year of unlimited yoga, a hair make-over with Emma at Vertu Hair and an organic natural facial from Tracy at Te Manawa Massage with total package valued at $1,600. 

The Investment
$590 up front. No exceptions. (If you already have a membership, please talk to Kristina about the discount available to you). This covers unlimited yoga for 13 weeks, food advice, supported closed facebook page, measurement and weigh-in sessions and before and after photos. There will be two scholarships available for those under exceptional financial hardship. Please email Kristina at to explain why you deserve this chance. 

Q/ What kind of results can I expect?
The winner in 2014 Karen Reid had a total loss of 53.5cms, 15.7 kgs, 9.8 % body fat and not to mention a drop of 17 years in metabolic age from 63 to 46. The combined results of the five students that finished the competition was a total loss of 60.9kgs and 154cms. That’s a whole person! 

What you can expect; your skin will be clearer and smoother as you start to detoxify; you will become more hydrated as you learn to drink more water; you will lose cms even if the scale doesn’t move much some weeks; your clothes will start to fit more comfortably, the whites of your eyes become whiter and eyes sparkle; you literally feel more alive. 

Q/ I would love to challenge myself and enter the competition but I’ve never done yoga before, I’m unfit and I don’t know anyone at the studio.
Neither did Karen 2014 winner or Manda 2016 winner or Dot, our 2018 winner.  You will find this an extraordinary community that will love and support you – even people you’ve never met before will encourage you. Us instructors feel very privileged to witness a really beautiful unfolding that occurs, one of encouragement and support. Don’t be scared. Just make a decision to do it. Take it one day at a time. No-one will judge you. You start where you are at and go from there.

2020 – will it be you?
2019 – 12 starters, 7 finishers
2018 – 10 starters, 5 finishers
2017 – gap year
2016 – 14 starters, 9 finishers
2015 – 12 starters, 7 finishers
2014 – 12 starters, 5 finishers

Seven of our twelve competitors successfully completed the challenge this year.  Congratulations Ruby Corbett-Walding (runner-up),  Jane Barr (winner), completed Richard Fox, Rowena Kelly, (and absent Rah Maitrimit, Di Ennor and Kris Jones).

Winner: Jane Barr
Results: Lost 8.7 kilos, 5.3% body fat and 46cms



It was time. I had time. I have not always had the time or the mental clarity to put myself before my family but this year there was an opportunity to do so and to create a habit that I believe will last the rest of my life.

The BBL gifted me the framework in which to achieve this goal. I was more focused on improving my mental and physical health than anything else and I wanted to shape the rest of my life so that I would be a good role model for my grand-children. I believe that good health and well-being is something that assists oneself in the ability to serve those we love and the greater community.

It was not always easy and I found the hardest obstacle of all came in the last week of the challenge when my mother fell and broke her hip and my father who is unwell needed extra care. My family who had supported me throughout the challenge stepped up and enabled me to complete the challenge by stepping into my shoes and helping care for my parents.

The most astonishing thing that I found was that the further on I got on the challenge the more energy and motivation I received. It was like yoga was gifting me the means to continue. I pledged to myself that I would try to attend as many yoga classes as I was able to; thus making the most of my time on the challenge.

I soon learned that I needed to become super organised. I packed my food for the day into a small chilly bag before leaving for work. I packed my yoga clothes and everything I would need into the car before leaving home and so after work I headed straight to the studio.

Besides having a sticker chart at the studio I also had one at home so that I could see my progress and this kept me focused.  Although I am enjoying researching the keto way of life and enjoying its benefits I believe that it was the yoga that accelerated my way to better health. I do feel fantastic and have vowed to myself that yoga is like a food for me that nourishes and heals my body. I will practice it as long as I breathe.
Jane Barr, July 2019

Competitors who completed the challenge: Dot, Renuka, Lauren, Lindy, Di, Lucy, Rowena (absent Asli and Kare)


Winner:  Dot Waitoa
Results: lost 11kg, 28.5 cms and 6.4% body fat down

At age 65 years I never thought I would find a sport I would absolutely Love, let alone two. Reasonable fit, I was confident Waka Ama would be a breeze for me. However, I was soon to find out that my body stiffened around the 6 km mark, and my breathing was pretty eratic to say the least! My goal was a 10km paddle. I found I was fairly exhausted at the 6 km mark. I was told I had potential to be a really good paddler however I needed to learn mental alertness, how to breath and be more flexible. “Hmmm really”, I thought “so how do I do that?” I ask. “Yoga”, was his reply. “Oh and it would be a good idea if you could shed a few kgs as well”. He smiled….
Yoga! Hmmm ok. A few weeks later a fellow paddler was sharing about how she had recently tried Hot Yoga and it was wow!!! “Just wow” she said. Curious now I asked her for the name, checked it out on-line and purchased myself an 8 day beginners concession. I was told that I could start anytime. So it’s a Friday, I had nothing to do so I decided it’s time to check out Bikram Hot Yoga. I was told to just do what I could, if it gets too much stop, sit down and just breath but do not leave the room.

Wow .. wow … wow. It felt hot. Two minutes in and I am literally dripping with sweat. Me!!! I never sweat!!! This yoga wasn’t strenuous, in-fact my body felt like it was letting out a sigh of relief after each stretch. I was happy to be sweating because my heart felt so soft, tears ran down my cheeks. I completed that short session and decided to join Modern Yoga. I was there a week before the Bikram Biggest Loser would start.

I had an internal battle with my ego as to whether I joined the 13 week Challenge. I would hear sentences in my head like “Forget it … your too old .. you can’t do it … don’t waste your money .. you’re ridiculous …” The ego goes to opposite extreme huh. I also heard “Do it … you got this … age doesn’t matter .. it is just what you need.. go on!!!” I chose to do it!!! I focused on my journey and being true to me . I attended an average of 6 classes a week just because I loved it. I only needed to do 4.

I absolutely Love Yoga! Hot, Yin, it doesn’t matter. In taking care of my body mentally and physically, nurturing it with healthy foods was a natural progression. I feel too good to dump on me. As the 2018 BBL challenge ends and I am really proud of what I did, I have decided to make a commitment to me.
Losing weight is one thing; keeping it off is another. I will be kind to my body/tinana, my mind/ hinengaro, my spirit/wairua and relationships/whanau, for in doing so I am balanced in all things which will keep me where I need to be to be the best person I can be. This whole journey has felt like my path was being paved before me.
I feel very blessed to have been led to Modern Yoga, to have been guided by our lovely instructors Kristina, Olivia, Bianca, Sarah and Helen and to have been placed with beautiful BBL Challengers. I am so grateful for our time together.
With Respect

Seven of our fourteen competitors had never stepped into the energy room before.
Nine students successfully completed the challenge, our biggest number yet.

Congratulations Brooke, Trish, Manda, Jess (runner-up), Lisa, Bridget, (absent Sombath, Richard, Susie).

Winner: Manda Giddens
Results: Lost 12.5 kilos, 42cms and 6.6% body fat down


Wow! Where do I begin? After moving to the Hawkes Bay with my partner in January 2016, I thought long and hard about taking a different approach to my healing. Three years ago I experienced a treatment injury. I thought I was going into hospital for a minor operation, but unfortunately mistakes were made which resulted in seven more surgeries and major life changes.

In March this year I decided to search the net for “Yoga” places in Napier. I spotted “Modern Yoga Napier” and opened the web page and then for some crazy reason (or because I like a challenge), I clicked on Bikrams Biggest Loser. I liked the sound of it and promptly emailed Kristina. 24hrs later I received the warmest, kindest and most supportive reply. I was in!

My first session which was also the first time I had ever experienced yoga, was a mix of fear; fear with a side serving of fear! Was I going to puke? Pass out? Have a hot flush and then pass out? Trip over my own feet and then break bones or somebody else’s bones? Of course none of that happened. What happened was this; a huge wave of awesomeness! I was grinning from ear to ear and saying to myself… “I did that!” Me! My body didn’t collapse, it felt strangely fabulous, and sweaty! Very, very sweaty but fabulous ! No hot flushes at all!! Bargin!

So my 13 weeks began! I changed my eating and I changed my mindset regarding the choices I made with nutrition. I cut out alcohol…..(until my 50th birthday ). I stopped eating bread completely and I drank water….lots of it! I ate my main meal before 3pm and then in the evening I ate a piece of fruit (normally a grapefruit) and I had a cup of tea. I cut out potatoes and only had a little bit of rice every couple of weeks. Porridge and stewed apple for breakfast with a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of tumeric. A protein bar for mid morning snack and then my main meal which consisted of either chicken or beef in big salad or as it got colder I would have chicken and veges in a hot tomato based sauce.

I did go out for dinner…lots of times, but I made sensible choices and for the first time in my life, I stopped when I felt full.

Honestly, it wasn’t hard to do once I got my head around it. Actually, I quite enjoyed it. Apart from eating well and going to Yoga, I didn’t do much more than just going out and walking my dog. That’s it!

Kristina has asked me about what I have learned along the way. Well, I definitely have awesome willpower and I definitely needed to alter my way of thinking. But I think that my greatest learning is that the most important healing comes from within. That I couldn’t go to a “place” to heal and no “person” could “fix” me! Yoga has shown me that every single moment of every single day is different and my thoughts and my body are constantly changing, but always moving forward in a positive way.

Pretty darn crazy awesome really. I will continue with my yoga as I can’t imagine life without it. I bloody love it! If you come to my house for a visit, all you will hear is…..Yoga this….Yoga that…..! Even the dog now does “downward dog” really well!

Thank you Kristina for opening a door which has been firmly closed for 49 years. Not sure why you didn’t open it 25 years ago!!! You really are a blessing. Thank you to the rest of the gorgeous Modern Yoga teachers for your support, your encouragement and your loving energy.

Finally, thank you to all those I have met on my journey. It has been a privilege. You all totally Rock!!

The successful finishers from left:
Rah Maitrimit, Jacquieline Wellington, Susan Neighbours (winner), (Kristina – Instructor), Sara Savage (runner-up), Lucy Kingi, Catherine Timmins, Lianne Morgan.

Winner: Susan Neighbours
Results: Lost 9.2kgs. 4.2% body fat and 12 years younger in her metabolic age


This was my second BBL Challenge. I decided the week before it started that I would do it again. I wanted to do a 30 day challenge so I thought what better way to start off the BBL than with 30 classes in 30 days! I had put on 8kgs over summer just by not exercising enough and not thinking about how much food and drink I was stuffing into me. I was a disappointed in myself but I knew what to do to turn things around.
I knew from last year that doing 4 classes a week resulted in positive body changes; also I had noticed on the weeks that I did 5 classes the benefits were greater. So I embarked on a 30 day to welcome the BBL challenge, I tracked my food again and ate ‘clean’ food, no sugar, no processed foods, no wheat (doesn’t agree with me) and no wine during the week. Eating this way makes me feel so clean and light. Good quality proteins and loads of fresh veges, seeds, nuts and fruit.
The first 10 days to two weeks of the 30 day were the hardest; then it seemed to become ‘easier’ (not sure if that is the right word).
After 30 days I thought I’d just keep going on to 60 days. By that stage turning up to yoga just became part of the day. I had to have a few days off yoga after reaching 60 days for eye surgery. Once I got back into it the competitive streak popped up and I realized if I did 4 double classes in 3 weeks I would make it to 90 days by the end of the BBL challenge.
I could feel my body changing so quickly, the strength and focus and mind stuff incredible. I am so calm and happy. There were some very hard classes, but a few moments of feeling superhuman were wonderful. All the stories are true about yoga; the more you put in the more you get out. The system works. I am now the most annoying person to my non-yogi friends, family and work mates. I believe everyone should being doing some form of yoga; it would solve many of the human made issues in the world!

It’s an incredible journey of self-discovery and improvement. The journey continues…

Successful competitors from left: Sara Savage, Susan Neighbours, Lucy Kingi (runner-up), (Kristina – Instructor), Lynne Turnbull, (Tyrone – Instructor), Karen Reid (winner)

Winner: Karen Reid
Results: Lost 15.7kgs, 53.5cms and 9.8% body fat.


How did I win the BBL challenge? Obviously 4 classes a week was a huge factor. Diet wise I went gluten free. I was curious to see what effect it would have. After 2 weeks I noticed that I wasn’t as tired, I didn’t need as much sleep (to the point that I had to start going to bed later as I was waking up too early), and I wasn’t bloated or uncomfortable or as windy. I am eating mostly raw – lots of salads and veges (no potatoes). I still drink tea and coffee but gave up alcohol. I introduced lots of seeds and nuts into my diet (in the salads), and at least one meal a day was a juice. I still have dairy – milk, yoghurt, cheese (luuurve cheeses).
I avoid anything out of a tin or packet as much as I could (I have hardly any recycling to put out any more). I eat when I am hungry, even if I have ‘dinner’ at 3.30pm, drink lots of water and hot water and lemon. My main meal of the day is at around 9am because that’s when I generally finish sorting my mail and have a break before heading out to deliver. Often ‘dinner’ in the evening is a juice.
My juice recipe is:
In a juicer juice 2/3 apples (depends on size), a chunk of cucumber, 2 sticks of celery, a lime, a chunk of pineapple, a big handful of spinach. In a blender put some ice cubes and an avocado. Add the juice to the blender and whizzzzzz it up. It becomes a smooth green drink which is very filling and very nutritious.
As much as the exercise and diet are important I think frame of mind/attitude is just as important. Being determined to succeed comes from within you, no-one else can do it but you. Having said that, tell everyone what you are doing and you will feel the support and positivity flow towards you. I have had so many hugs at work today and so many ‘well done, proud of you’s that I feel quite overwhelmed.