Richard Mercer is a Connecticut native and a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he played NCAA Division 1A football as a tailback. He has always been physically active and spent years in gyms working out with weights and doing various forms of cardio exercise. As a teacher, Richard draws from his extensive background in competitive athletics, blending focus, discipline and compassion to bring out the very best in his students.
A friend introduced him to Bikram Yoga at the end of 2003 and, although he’d never practiced any form of yoga before, he gave it a try and got hooked. After years of being tight and sore, he found that he soon became more flexible and his soreness dissipated. He was amazed by the intensity of the workout, and has been able to remain in top physical condition.
After over twenty years as a top level executive in Corporate America, he decided to leave corporate and go to Bikram Teacher Training in April of 2007. This encompassed nine weeks of full time training in Honolulu, HI, where over 300 trainees came from 37 countries around the world. He completed two Bikram classes per day, 5 days per week, additional classes on weekends, and he attended daily lectures and posture clinics. His training included lessons in anatomy, physiology and yoga theory. All told, he spent over 900 hours in training prior to graduating and becoming certified by Bikram’s Yoga College of India.
Richard was also the winner of the “Longest Awkward Pose Award” for which he holds the current World Record at 3 minutes, 33 seconds.
Recognizing the value that this yoga could bring to so many people, Richard decided to open a studio where he resides in Simsbury. He, and his wife, Laurie Krause, located and purchased the perfect property. Once the purchase was complete in June of 2008, the fun began and the construction started that fall. The process certainly brought newfound expertise in patience and developed a much deeper understanding of the saying: “Don’t push the river, it flows.” Given the growth and spirit of this extremely supportive community, it was all absolutely worth it.
Richard is also certified in Ultimate Hot HIIT and 26+. He is certified in Medicinal Essential Oils, creating many healing blends for various ailments as well as natural and safe perfumes.
Richard and Laurie live in Simsbury. Their children have now grown – Bianca is in Georgia, Blake is in Arizona, Min is in New York City and Zack is in Nebraska.
Laurie Krause, also a Connecticut native, spent 32 years in senior management positions in regional banks, national financial institutions and mortgage companies, including her own mortgage company, which she ran for over 12 years. She now works for a technology company and travels extensively. When she is not on the road, she works out of her office at the studio.
Laurie has been practicing Bikram since early 2004 when Richard talked her into coming to a class. When she started, her back was so painful she couldn’t stand for more than a few hours. She had been diagnosed with multiple auto-immune disorders, including Lupus, Reynaud’s, Sjogren’s, IBS and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and also has Lyme Disease. She credits Bikram, as well as removing chemicals from both diet and environment, for allowing her to completely cease taking the numerous prescriptions she had been on. She has been pain-free ever since and no longer tests positive for any of the auto-immune issues. She found that Bikram also quiets the mind. Her true passion, however, is horseback riding and Bikram has provided huge benefits in improving the balance and stillness required for effective communication with a horse.
Laurie graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in June of 2010 and is a Certified Bikram Yoga Teacher. She is also certified in Ultimate Hot HIIT and 26+.
Certified in Traditional Chinese Herbology and Medicinal Essential Oils, Laurie can assist you with various tonics and formulations, as well as cold, flu and cough remedies.