Catherine Sachs

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Age: 57

What do you do when you're off the mat?  

I'm a retired teacher.  I like to travel, read, cook and spend time with my family.

What brought you to BY for the first time?  

Asha!

What's your favorite thing about the studio?  

I like that all the teachers make a point of knowing everyone's name. And of course the scented towels!

What's your advice for someone coming to yoga for the very first time?Relax and enjoy, the teachers know just how to make your experience positive.

What has your yoga practice given you? 

Tired muscles and a calm heart

What's your favorite pose?  

Any of the heart openers

What's your least favorite pose? 

Boat pose!

Tell us something unusual about yourself. 

I once waited outside a radio station in Seattle for an hour to get autographs from Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt.

What three words would your best friend use to describe you? 

Helpful, kind, and a little wacky

What's your guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure? 

Netflix and singing while driving

Have you made any big changes in your life as a result of your yoga practice?  

I wake up happy every day because I know that I can go to yoga!

If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone you wanted, who would you invite?  

My daughters-they both live 500 miles away in different directions, so it's not that often that we all get together.  

 

Beth Mansfield-Griswold

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Age: 51

What do you do when you're off the mat? 

I'm very family-oriented.  My three daughters and husband keep me busy.  Plus I'm very close to my mom and enjoy spending time with her.  When time allows, I like to read, travel, jog, bike ride, watch movies, and see friends.  In my professional life, I work part-time as an Organization Development Consultant.


What brought you to BY for the first time?

Our family had just moved to this area right as BY was opening.  I was searching for a studio, and I was thrilled to find BY.


What's your favorite thing about the studio?

This studio has a very welcoming atmosphere.  Both the teachers and students are so caring and supportive. 


What's your advice for someone coming to yoga for the very first time?

Recognize that practicing yoga is a process.  It's not a competitive process, so don't focus on how you look compared to others.  Be kind to yourself, and don't give up.  Experiment with a variety of classes taught by different teachers.


What has your yoga practice given you?

I have tight hamstrings, and I'm not a natural athlete.  In a physical sense, yoga has given me more strength and flexibility.  Emotionally, I feel less stressed and more peaceful after yoga.  At BY, I feel like I have a social community too.  So yoga has benefitted me in many ways!  


What's your favorite pose?

I like the relaxation in child's pose and savasana.  


What's your least favorite pose?

I really struggle with forward folds.


Tell us something unusual about yourself.

I don't know if this is unusual or not, but I'm a mix of East Coast and West Coast.  I spent my early childhood years in California, including kindergarten in Palo Alto where I did some weaving, gardening and sang "Kumbaya."  I've spent most of my life in PA, and I like the excitement, culture, and cities on the East Coast.  As cities go, I probably like Chicago most of all, so I suppose I have a little midwestern in me, too!  


What three words would your best friend use to describe you?

Kind, Curious, and Social


What's your guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure?

I love chocolate!


Have you made any big changes in your life since starting your yoga practice?
I'm not sure if I've made big changes as a result of yoga, but I think I may have changed other people's lives.  I've recommended yoga in general and BY specifically to friends and family.  

If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone you wanted, who would you invite?

I'd invite Oprah, Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Meryl Streep, my favorite high school teacher, a few close friends, and possibly several family members.  That would be an interesting mix of people!  

 

Barbara Rinehart

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Age: 64

Karma Yogi - Goose Creek

What do you do when you're off the mat? 
Hiking, volunteering at Mt. Cuba Center, going to lectures, taking classes (you can never learn too much) gardening, flower arranging, decorating or doing anything creative. 

What brought you to BY for the first time?
I had been practicing arial yoga for several years but missed the meditative aspects of traditional yoga. I saw a sign for a new yoga center closer to home. I was very excited. Location, location, location. Basically, I'm travel lazy. 

What's your favorite thing about the studio?
The peaceful, clean atmosphere, the diversity of teachers, and the great comradarie from the rest of the practitioners. 

What's your advice for someone coming to yoga for the very first time?
Have fun! Don't look around and just do what you can do. Don't strive too much. Come with a beginners mind even if you have been doing yoga or other sports for a very long time. Keep coming back! 

What has your yoga practice given you?
Peace, tolerance, a way to stay fit, friends, better posture, a fresh perspective

What's your favorite pose?
Legs up the wall. Restorative yoga is becoming my favorite. I am a Type A - Pitta so slowing down is quite a challenge. Restorative has provided a whole new way to look at yoga, as I tend to be too competitive with myself. 

What's your least favorite pose?
Anything on my knees. I tend to roll off my knees and have a very hard time keeping my balance. I guess I should just keep practicing. 

Tell us something unusual about yourself.
I have been involved with the American Labyrinth movement for many years. I am currently designing an all native plant garden to surround a very large labyrinth in Walpole, Massachusetts to make the area more serene. Nothing beats combining all of your loves (nature, trees, gardening, meditative walking, spirituality, being creative) into one great project that will benefit the earth for many years to come. 

What three words would your best friend use to describe you?
Energetic, creative, short

What's your guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure?
DARK Chocolate! What else is there?

Have you made any big changes in your life since starting your yoga practice?
I have been practicing yoga since my 20's so yes there are many changes. I am constantly changing. I actually like change. My biggest change is doing more purposeful meditation. I just read about shinrin-yoku "forest bathing". I'm going to look into it since I was a biologist, love trees, and definitely know the benefits of being in the woods. Maybe I could learn something new and teach another person to better appreciate the benefits of the forest. 

If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone you wanted, who would you invite?
Jesus, Buddha, Oprah, my Daughter Kristin, Michelangelo, Monet. Rules: No discussion of religion, politics, or weight. What a discussion that would be.

 

Debbie Cirilli

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Age: 54 (55 in November)

What do you do when you're off the mat? 

I love spending time with friends and family. Currently I'm not working so projects around the house, inside and out, seem to keep me busy. However I always try to make time for exercise.

What brought you to BY for the first time? 

A good friend asked me to accompany her after surgery. I instantly became addicted.

What's your favorite thing about the studio? 

Definitely the community.

What's your advice for someone coming to yoga for the very first time? 

Give it a chance. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing at first. 

What has your yoga practice given you? 

Strength, flexibility and awareness.

What's your favorite pose? 

Tree

What's your least favorite pose? 

Bow

Tell us something unusual about yourself. 

I've never been bowling.

What three words would your best friend use to describe you? 

Loyal, considerate, practical.

What's your guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure? 

Hitting a craft brewery with my husband to try a new beer.

Have you made any big changes in your life since starting your yoga practice? 

Not really.

If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone you wanted to, who would you invite? 

Bruce Springsteen. 

 

Jane Palestini

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Age: 74

What do you do when you're off the mat?

I am a volunteer tutor with Volunteer English Program, which helps people who are learning English as a second language.  I  love felting and teach some workshops at the Chester County Art Association.  I also enjoy reading, travel, and spending time with family and friends.

What brought you to BY for the first time?

I was looking to get back into yoga and recognized names of teachers I had really enjoyed previously.

What's your favorite thing about the studio?

Everyone is so warm and friendly, it is a very nurturing environment.

What's your advice for someone coming to yoga for the very first time?

Don't compare yourself to anyone, and don't be afraid to use blocks, straps, blankets and bolsters!  Our bodies are all different and you may (or of course may not) be able to achieve better poses using some of these aids.

What has your yoga practice given you?

It has honed my sense of humor about my aging body...... and it helps me to be more mindful and in the present.

What's your favorite pose?

Warrior 2 is not the most comfortable but  it challenges me and makes me feel strong.

What's your least favorite pose?

Any seated poses, here is where the use of blankets (at least two) comes in.....


Tell us something unusual about yourself.

Well... I have spent time 'illegally' (expired visas) in both the old USSR and in the USA. 

What three words would your best friend use to describe you?

Caring, loyal and non-judgmental.

What's your guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure?

Guilt and pleasure do not really go together,  but I do have to moderate my trips to the French bakery.  And not eat too much really expensive chocolate.

Have you made any big changes in your life since starting your yoga practice?

No big changes, but I am becoming more aware of the things I can and the things I can't change in my life.

If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone you wanted to, who would you invite?

My father, who was a wonderful conversationalist;  Alastair Cooke, whose BBC broadcasts did a great job of explaining the USA to us Brits; Malala, the girl who was shot by the Taliban;  Jung Chang who wrote the memoir 'Wild Swans';  Michele Obama; the novelist Isabel Allende; and  for light relief the writers Bill Bryson and David Sedaris.