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.

Qi Liu

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Age: 52

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

Try to work hard and spend more time with my kids. I love to drive the the kids around and listen to their stories whenever I can.

What brought you to BY for the first time?

I need a moment of my own.

What's your favorite thing about the studio?

The people

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

Just do it and you will continue to do it.

What has your yoga practice given you?

When I walk out of the studio I am happier and more appreciating the moment.

What's your favorite pose?

Tree pose

What's your least favorite pose?

Hand/Head Stand

Tell us something unusual about yourself?

I love cashmere sweaters.

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

Driven, reliable and passionate.

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

Chocolate and ice cream

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

My neighbors, I barely see them now as I have been traveling so much.   

 

Barry Follis

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Age: 62

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

I'm a retired tax accountant. I volunteer at the Downingtown Senior Center during tax season. Always seem to be on the go with friends and family.

What brought you to BY for the first time?

My wife.

What's your favorite thing about the studio?

The motivation of the teachers and their desire to share their knowledge and insights with the students.

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

Start slow and go at your own comfort level so you can build the self-confidence and motivation to progress in your practice.

What's your favorite pose?

Tree

What's your least favorite pose?

Triangle

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

Generous, loyal and can always be counted on.

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

Savasana with or without a yoga practice (aka nap)

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

I have much more flexibility and diminished lower back pain through my practice over the past 5 years.  Also I feel more relaxed and less anxious.

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

My father and two grandfathers since they passed away over 30 and 35 years ago. I would love to gain their perspective at this point in my life and share life stories since I missed this opportunity with my family.