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Townie Profiles – Don

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By Tracy Billows | owner, teacher

Welcome to Yogatown’s Townie Profiles – Every Tuesday we’ll be featuring a new member of the Yogatown Community.


Say hello to Don! Don began his journey with us in 2017 and has become a regular client. We asked Don a few questions about his yoga journey with Yogatown:


◆ YT: Why did you start doing yoga?


Don: I got up one morning and realized I was having trouble putting on my socks.  I couldn’t cross my lower leg over my opposite thigh. Then I was driving and exiting and noticed that I couldn’t turn my head far enough to check that to see if cars were entering from the exit ramp.  That was when I realized I needed to do something. Luckily for me, I met another Yogatown Regular, Doug who was there to tell me about Yogatown.


◆ YT: What’s the yoga accomplishment you’re most proud of?  


Don: Before jumping for joy, realize that I am 66 years young with an essential tremor on my right side – which means that my right arm shakes whenever I get tired or physically stressed.  Last week in Nora’s morning class, I managed to stand on my right leg, raise my left leg into Standing Stork (my left thigh was parallel to the ground), move into Tree, back to Stork and then into Warrior III.  I could do this because I finally got the courage to use the wall for balance. It feels wonderful to flow through the sequences without having to worry about falling over because you are shaking so much.


◆  YT: Why Yogatown?  


Don: Primarily because of Doug’s recommendation.  However, I think you may really mean, why stay at Yogatown?  Yogatown provides tremendous value for money. There is the schedule which has classes at so many different times and with different instructors.  The instructors are incredibly well trained and knowledgeable. And the studio is clean, warm and inviting – tea is an added bonus. 


◆ YT: What does the word Townie mean to you?  


Don: When I think of Yogatown, I think of a group of people who are somewhere in between my family and my friends.  The Yogatown community is a wonderful supportive bunch of people. Whether it is other participants or instructors or front desk staff or those wonderful people who keep the place clean.  All of them without exception are non-judgemental, non-competitive and more than willing to lend a helping hand or provide words of encouragement. I often sit back and wish I could move as some of the other younger people can in the class.  And then I give myself a kick in the pants and accept the fact that I am moving just fine. And the best thing in those classes is that everyone is okay with the way I move. It’s that unconditional acceptance which makes the practice so wonderful and fulfilling.


◆ YT: We believe that yoga is about so much more than being bendy. What does yoga mean to you and how has it changed since you started?  


Don: When I watch people doing yoga, there is a lot of bending (and binding which is a whole other level of bendiness).  I don’t see it as being either bendy or not bendy, I just see a shape. I used to try and achieve the same shape as was being demonstrated – then teacher Jen Pakuts scrapped that notion when she did shape where I couldn’t even see my other leg much less grab on to it.  Now, I see a shape and then I see my shape. I try to get my shape close to the instructor’s shape, but that is not the real challenge. The real challenge is being happy with your own shape, whatever it is and then doing it really well. I have this feeling of joy when I do Halfmoon or Warrior III and I can hold the shape.  And it doesn’t matter that my hand is on a block or the wall, my shape is perfect.


◆ YT:  Anything else you’d like to add?  


Don: Jason, you and Tracy need to know that you have created something special.  The fact that the instructors, the front desk people, the wonderful people who do the cleaning and the participants in the classes feel that they can grow and make that seed you and Tracy planted, grow into something truly special is a testament to your work, dedication and vision.


Do you want to be featured in our Townie Tuesday Profiles? Reach out to

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