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.  

 

Kris Walker

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Age: 58; 59 (Yikes!!) in October

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

I'm retired from my professional career, so I volunteer for several organizations (Winterthur, Thornbury Township, Brinton Family Assoc Bd) and try to stay busy with "projects." I am an avid gardener and like to do needlepoint as well. We have a very small house in the Caribbean and I am in charge of "maintaining" it, which takes more time that you might think...

What brought you to BY for the first time?

My husband is a practicing Buddhist and his breathwork has been very beneficial to his overall well-being. I knew yoga was a lot about that as well and thought it might be very good for me as I move into a different phase of my life...that means getting older!

What's your favorite thing about the studio?

The people!! Students, teachers, guest instructors. I found it to be a great mix of people: interesting, engaging, encouraging, fun and funny; accepting and welcoming.


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

Give it time; like all things in this life you will get out of the practice what you put in to it...And, it's not about the mat or the asanas. It's about a way of thinking, doing and being. Wooky-sounding, but true.

What has your yoga practice given you?

Hmm...you might have to ask my husband about that! Certainly some physical benefits, improved flexibility and strength; but more importantly, probably are the emotional and spiritual benefits - a greater sense of acceptance, more patience and focus - learning to be better about taking care of the inside, so the outside it better!

What's your favorite pose?

I don't really have a favorite pose - I like doing Surya Namaskara - maybe not 108 of them, but a several to give provide some energy, focus and meditation. 

What's your least favorite pose?

Anything with a backbend.

Tell us something unusual about yourself.

That's a hard one....I'm really usual! The only thing that comes to mind is that a good friend of mine once said that I can talk to anyone, from anywhere, about anything (or nothing...) 

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

Willing, energetic and a good sense of humor.

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

Dark chocolate

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

We have moved. That really doesn't have anything to do with the yoga practice, but a strong yoga practice certainly has helped with the stress of that and living in "transition" as we doing right now.

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

I would have to mix it up with good friends, past and present, along with a group of folks that I would find it interesting to chat with over drinks/dinner. I would probably have two tables of eight and ask the men folks to switch tables at the dessert course. (Tedious, but it works!)  

My list: Table One:  Cecil Beaton, Gertrude Bell, David McCullough, Deborah Cavendish, Barbara Doyle (departed friend), John Chew (departed friend), Kris and Bayard Walker

Table Two: Wes Anderson, Gertrude Jeykll, Nancy McClelland, Susie Townsend (friend), Coleman Townsend (friend), Tom Savage (friend), Ellen DeGeneres and Barack Obama.

 

Dolores duBeau

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Age: 66

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

After I retired from my career in Education,  I began a part-time job as a sales associate at Brandywine Ace, Pet and Farm. I also volunteer at Longwood Gardens.  I love to travel and garden!

What brought you to BY for the first time? 

 I was visiting studios and looking online, but not finding a place I liked. For Christmas in 2015, my wonderful nieces gave me a gift certificate to BY and I have been here since!

What's your favorite thing about the studio? 

I love the variety of classes.  I try to go 3-4 times a week, so I want different classes. All the instructors are great!!

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

Try it and don't compare yourself with others.

What has your yoga practice given you? 

I have learned that despite what I think I can do, my body does what it can and I have to accept that fact and be happy for every day that I can get to my mat.

What's your favorite pose? 

I like reclined angle pose - Supta Baddha Konasana.

What's your least favorite pose?  

I dislike frog pose

Tell us something unusual about yourself.  

I am somewhat ambidextrous.

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

My guilty pleasures are peanut butter and chocolate in all forms and singing as though I have talent - LOL!

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

I I love coming to my mat, so I make as much time for it as I can. I am more reflective and less judgemental because of yoga.

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

I love to read so I would have David Baldacci, John Grisham, Maeve Binchy and Elin Hildebrand.

 

Erin Stambaugh

Age: 32

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

I love traveling and seeing new places, live music, reading, anything crafty & spending time outside (not when its cold! Ugh!).

What brought you to BY for the first time? 

My old studio closed and I heard some of the teachers I liked were moving to BY.

What's your favorite thing about the studio? 

The community.  I wasn't very connected with teachers or many students at my first studio.  It never occurred to me that there was a studio as warm, inviting and supportive as BY. 

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

Try different types of classes.  While one may not be what you are looking for, another one may be perfect for you.  A class that is "hard" is all relative - sometimes a vinyasa class can be physically challenging but quieting my mind in a restorative class can be an equal challenge for me (which probably means I need it).  Remember to focus on yourself and what you need in the moment.
 

What has your yoga practice given you? 

The ability to be myself.  Being on my mat can feel vulnerable, especially in the beginning,  but I think it is a good thing and it has allowed me to be more comfortable with who I am.

What's your favorite pose? 

I am probably one of the few people who love pigeon!  I am also down to attempt any cool arm balance or inversion!

What's your least favorite pose?  

Forward folds...seated, standing...doesn't matter my tight hamstrings hate them.

Tell us something unusual about yourself.  

I am the MacGyver of craft supplies!  I love making things and I often browse Etsy and Pinterest for projects I can make myself over buying something new!

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

Compassionate, Kind & Insightful (I actually asked someone!)

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

A good glass of wine!  Pretty much every glass is a good glass to me though, I don't discriminate.  Throw some cheese in the mix and I am in heaven.

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

I have changed a lot of things gradually over the past 6 years.  The change that has impacted my life the most is learning who I am and how to be more gentle and kind to myself.  I also did the BY 200hr teacher training last year which gave me the opportunity to learn more about yoga & took my yoga practice to a whole new level!

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

Stevie Nicks!  I am sort of obsessed with her and I think she is my spirit animal.

 

Mike Pilla

Age: Father Judge High School, 1971

What do you do when you're off the mat? Walk a little taller, breathe a little deeper, feel a little finer because I was on the mat.

What brought you to BY for the first time? 

The place I started at closed and I followed one of the teachers, who said he would let me know when he found a nice studio.  He was right, it is nice.  I started on Thursday nights with a 10 class plan, then another, Saturday and Sunday morning classes, then a monthly.  Then you opened Goose Creek, and the rest of the week was really available.

What's your favorite thing about the studio? 

It's warm - there's a kindness among the yogis and the yogis-to-be; and from them, I learn something new about something every time I get to a class.  BY the way, the scented, cool cloths are a plus.

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

Leave your inner-critic at the door, it didn't pay for the class and it can't do what you can do.  Also, don't be late, you'll miss the opportunity to get on the wavelength.   

What has your yoga practice given you? 

A unique sense of well being.  

What's your favorite pose? 

They all are.  Each one is subtlely different each time - challenging but rewarding.  But, I do look forward to savasana - it is an opportunity to put the whole thing in perspective without really trying (the wavelength thing again).

What's your least favorite pose?  

It used to be pigeon, but I'm over it now and I'm looking for another least favorite.


Tell us something unusual about yourself. 

I like a good adventure - I went cross-country for 4 months once; was an EMT for 15 years on a Rescue company; snorkeled in Stingray Bay; been fishing in Canada (a lot); we traveled to France and Italy, Cabo and the Caribbean; we get to visit our grandson in California. This year's adventure is waiting to happen.  Oh, and my mother's maiden name is Palladino.


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

trustworthy, loyal, helpful...you know the rest.

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

Thinking that I can dance (when I really can't).

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

I wear Lululemon stuff, I like it and, I think I look good in it (see the dancing thing above).

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

Our grandparents - the conversation would be interesting.