Dan shares his yoga story and journey through pranayoga.

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Photos by Ashley LeTourneau


Dan began his yoga journey on July 3, 2012, when he took his first class from his daughter Carrie’s yoga instructor in Knoxville, Tennessee. At his request, she surveyed the yoga venues in Fort Wayne and choose pranayoga. My first class, according to my checking accounts online, was on July 29, 2012. My wife Karen died on May 5, 2012. For as much as a year before then, I had been practicing yoga from CD’s, first from Charles and Lisa Matkin Healing YOGA CD’s, which I didn’t care for that much, then from Sarah Ivanhoe CD’s that I preferred.

Live yoga classes appealed to me because of the other people and teachers that could see what I was doing wrong.

Right now, taking classes at pranayoga is the best social thing I do for myself. It quiets my soul and puts me among people I love.

Before this, I was getting this from a few relatives and close friends, but from nothing social – not from church or swimming or the bicycle club I belong to.

P.Y. What yoga posture is your favorite and why?

Tadasana is my favorite yoga posture, because it makes me stand up straight, not withstanding my inherited scoliosis. Back when Pranayoga was located on Pearl Street, I remember showing Mary Newell how flat my feet were.  I was sitting just inside the door, putting on my socks and shoes after a class. Since then and to my surprise, I’ve developed arches just like normal people have! I am grateful.


P.Y. Would you recommend yoga class to someone else? What would you say?

I recommend pranayoga to any who ask me what I have been doing. I recommended it to my stepdaughter Elizabeth who took one class, then opted for Pilates, because work friends were taking it. She has however, taken your prenatal classes this summer, one of which Dani taught. As for what do I say.. I say, “It’s the best thing I’ve done for myself since Karen died.”

P.Y. In what ways does yoga add to your life?

I like this question. I think of myself as a semi-retired, energy economist who writes occasional conference papers to be able to travel to the sightseeing venues. I am just finishing one now. I thought it might be the last, but I realized there should be a next to move my residential demographics’ application of topology to a next level. I enjoy doing it but it leaves me mentally exhausted, sometimes with headaches.

It makes me feel like a social recluse, which I do not want to be.

Yoga is the best, totally different, other thing that I do.

P.Y. What would you say to someone who felt compelled to begin yoga?

I am unsure what you mean by “compelled.” I recall Robert Duvall’s character recommending it for Peter Finch’s (compulsive) character in Network.

P.Y. What Classes do you prefer to attend?

There are not any classes that I haven’t liked. Yoga 201 was one of my favorites because Dani “places” our bodies in the correct positions. I have a balance disorder, but following the placements we learned in 201, helps me keep from falling. I plan to take it again, for a third time!