MEET SKIP AND JULIE
Stephen “Skip” Wolfram
Stephen “Skip” Wolfram is the founder and Director of Bikram’s Yoga College of India, Longwood since its opening (in 2001). Skip took his first class in 1998 and has been a dedicated student ever since. “I took my first class out of desperation. I suffered chronic back and hip pain from a surfing accident in 1989 that fractured my L2 vertebrae. I also underwent ACL replacement surgery, after which I was not responding to physical therapy. I had exhausted all of the treatment and rehabilitation methods offered by my medical doctors when a friend suggested Bikram method yoga. After my first class, I was blown away! Not only did I feel better, my whole body felt electrified, yet supremely relaxed at the same time.”
Skip served in the US Air Force for seven years and traveled extensively throughout Asia as a Chinese Mandarin Linguist. He earned his BA in East Asian History with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of Hawaii. Skip received his certification as a Bikram method instructor in 2000 and has taught over 8,000 classes.
In March of 2011 Skip had his right hip joint resurfaced as a result of lingering effects of his 1989 surfing accident. Skip is currently using Bikram method yoga as his rehabilitative treatment from hip surgery. “I practice this yoga because I know it works. I am a student of history and yoga has proven itself effective for thousands of years.”
Julie Ann Tonks
Julie Ann Tonks is the General Manager and Instructor at Bikram Yoga College of India, Longwood. Julie was born in Sykesville, Maryland in 1974 and grew up in West Palm Beach, FL. Julie was a ballet dancer for ten years and danced for companies such as The Palm Beach Ballet Society. Julie also played classical piano. She competed and performed up until the age of fifteen. Julie received her Associate of the Arts at the Palm Beach Community College in 1994.
She completed an intensive foreign language study abroad program in Jonquiere, Canada in 1995. Julie graduated from University of Central Florida with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1996. Julie worked for a comprehensive mental health organization for about six years.
In 2007, Julie completed Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Hawaii. Dedicated to a the idea of a sound mind in a sound body, Julie received a Whole Food Plant-Based Nutrition Certification through the T. Collin Campbell Foundation at Cornell University. She is a distributor for the leading whole-food-based nutritional supplement Juice Plus. Julie is also a distributor for The Tower Garden, a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system.
Julie spent most of her childhood sick. She also suffered from severe digestive issues and experienced debilitating back and leg pain as a result of scoliosis. After many years of research, Julie understands and experiences the power of proper exercise and diet. “I finally found the most effective ways to reach and maintain optimal health, Bikram Yoga and Juice Plus. Because I know what Bikram Yoga and Juice Plus have done for me, I dedicate the rest of my life sharing and teaching others what they can do for them.”