about evolation


yoga for your Self

Evolation studios teach the Primary Hot Series, originally defined by Bikram Choudhury. We also offer Flow, Ashtanga and Yin classes, and a 60 minute version of the Primary Hot Series.

Watch this interview with Kara-Leah of the Hot Yoga Lunchbox to learn more about evolation yoga and its founding, our yoga teacher trainings and Mark & Zefea’s vision of how hot yoga is evolving.

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Evolation was founded by Mark Drost and Zefea Samson. Mark spent 6 years as a senior member of the Bikram training staff. Prior to his time with the Bikram organisation he practiced and studied in the Yogananda / Ghosh lineage for over 20 years. Zefea has been on the yoga path since the age of 5 and competed in the top 10 at the International Yoga Asana championships for 4 years. They created evolation to provide a comprehensive inclusive and intimate training experience for students who wanted to study the hot yoga Primary Series, without the associated attachments.

Evolation has grown into a worldwide collective of teachers and studios working together to help develop a unified global yoga community; with studios in America, S. America and Australia – and affiliate studios in Europe and Asia.

our yog-aha! moment

evolation was borne from a collective epiphany amongst teachers and students alike – that yoga must have the freedom to evolve in order to elevate the Self towards a higher state of awareness. While many of us came from different paths, our vision of a more expansive practice was the same: remove the rigidity, fuse the physical with the mental, and focus on the teachings – not the teacher. When these ideas, individuals, and inspirations came together, evolation came to be.

meditation + heated yoga = a divine combination

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root, “yuj,” meaning “union.” At evolation, we apply this principle of inclusion to all of our offerings, starting with classes that enrich the heated hatha yoga espoused by Bishnu Gosh and Bikram Choudhury with the meditation techniques taught by Paramhansa Yogananda. Evolation is firmly rooted in these traditions, we find our foundation in their combination – producing an entirely new practice with the goal of facilitating spiritual awakening for a wide range of students.

Our foundation is in the Bikram yoga method, and the evolation founders and some of the teachers have been trained by Bikram. Other than that, evolation has no connections with Bikram Choudhury as a person or with his organization.

Find your Self at an evolation studio near you

we’re flexible, in more ways than one

So what does that mean for you? It means you’ve got more choice when it comes to how you access your Self. From varying levels of yoga classes, to meditation instruction, to workshops & retreats, teacher trainings and more, evolation is designed to help you find the Self-centered path that resonates with you.

Discover all of our offerings

And as the needs of our students evolve, so will we. We’re open to change. In fact, it’s our goal. If it’s transformation we seek, we won’t find it by staying static. That’s why we’ll adapt and evolve our offerings as the need arises. We follow the path we preach: Live by Example. Be the Change We Seek.

federal court rules bikram choudhury does not hold copyright for series of yoga postures


Ruling in favor of evolation yoga confirms Bikram Choudhury cannot prevent other studios from offering “hot yoga” classes utilizing same 26-posture sequence used in Bikram classes. The judge ruled Choudhury’s copyrights cover only his books and videos describing his system, not the actual performance of the moves themselves.  Bikram has been trying to hold this particular yoga sequence hostage, so that no one can improve upon it, re-interpret it, or teach it with a different energy. Evolation has not been looking for a fight, but when we found ourselves defending against this stranglehold on a practice that has been handed down without restrictions throughout its history — essentially, defending yoga itself — we resolved to take it all the way in service to the greater community. And, we, collectively, won. The question: is a sequence of yoga postures copyrightable?  It is clear now that the answer is no.

This case has an effect on yoga studios and teachers all over the US and around the world. We appreciate your support.

Please, contact us if you would like to contribute to our legal fund: mark@evolationyoga.com.

Ruling in favor of Evolation Yoga confirms Bikram cannot prevent other studios from offering “hot yoga” classes utilizing same 26-posture sequence used in Bikram classes.

Los Angeles, December 17, 2012 – U.S. District Court Judge Otis Wright ruled on Friday that Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram’s Yoga College of India, does not have copyright protection for the sequence of 26 yoga postures and two breathing exercises developed by Choudhury and commonly known as “Bikram Yoga.” The ruling, in favor of Evolation Yoga LLC and its founders Mark Drost and Zefea Samson, means that non-Bikram studios can offer “hot yoga” classes utilizing that same 26-posture sequence, a legal right that Choudhury has been actively and vigorously contesting for several years.

Each of the 26 postures is thousands of years old. Choudhury first arranged those specific postures into a sequence in the 1970s and popularized the sequence as “Bikram Yoga,” and he has claimed for decades that he and his affiliated studio owners have the exclusive right to offer yoga classes utilizing the sequence. In 2011, Choudhury filed three federal lawsuits in Los Angeles—including one against Evolation Yoga and its founders—alleging copyright infringement against non-affiliated yoga studios offering classes in which the same or a similar sequence of postures was taught. The owners of the yoga studios involved in the other two cases settled with Choudhury in November 2012. Evolation Yoga and its owners were determined to get a court ruling that resolved Choudhury’s copyright claim once and for all.

Mark Drost, one of Evolation Yoga’s founders, expressed relief for the whole yoga community. “The court’s ruling confirms what we’ve always believed,” according to Drost. “No one person or organization owns yoga or any type of yoga. It belongs to all of us.”

In its ruling granting the Evolation parties’ motion for summary judgment on the copyright issue, the court rejected Choudhury’s claim that Choudhury was previously issued a registration for the sequence, separate and apart from a book Choudhury authored, and the court rejected Choudhury’s claim that the yoga sequence qualified for protection as a work of choreography or pantomime. The court adopted the arguments advanced by the Evolation parties’ attorney Eric Maier of Maier Shoch LLP, granting the motion on the ground that a compilation of yoga poses does not fall within any of the protected categories of works of authorship under the Copyright Act, and on the ground that the sequence developed by Choudhury would be excluded from copyright protection in any event because it is a system or procedure.

Evolation Yoga LLC offers a variety of yoga classes for students and prospective teachers at its facilities in Buffalo, New York; Tampa, Florida; and Santa Barbara, California. Evolation also has studio affiliates and conducts teacher trainings in other parts of the US and throughout the world. For more information email: mark@evolationyoga.com

This is a growing list of the yoga resources that the evolation collective have discovered online. If you have a yoga resource that you would like to see listed on here then please email malcolm.cannon@evolationyoga.com and we will review what you have to offer.


At Yogitimes.com, you will find yoga studio and teacher training reviews along with some best kept secrets to inspire you to a healthier lifestyle. All the links and reviews are Shared ‘by the community for the community’.


The LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health Magazine is a vibrant resource for the Yoga community of Southern California. They publish inspirational stories, both online and in print, which connect Yoga, the people who practice, and what it means to our lives in the modern world.


The YogaTrail directory aspires to be the largest, most comprehensive, and most up-to-date directory of its kind. It provides independent reviews and yoga-centric criteria for evaluating studios, teachers and yoga teacher training programs.


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The yoga services, products and actions of Bikram Choudhury, Bikram Yoga, and Bikram’s Yoga College of India are not approved, endorsed or authorized by evolation yoga. Evolation is not affiliated in any way with Bikram Choudhury.

Evolation yoga services and products are not approved, endorsed or authorized by Bikram Choudhury, Bikram Yoga, and Bikram’s Yoga College of India.