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.  

 

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.