In their own words...
I am a mom of 3, in my 40's and I work part time. My exercise routine until 4 months ago involved going out for a 4 to 5 mile run 3 to 4 times a week. Running was perfect; quick, cleared my head and I could do it anywhere! In the fall running got harder. My joints hurt and my back was killing me! I tried a few core classes but my back would feel like a piece of straw, ready to snap at any moment! (I did throw my back out a few times, doing very ordinary "life" things. I would be down and out for a full week…and in pain.)
I knew that if I did not change my routine, I would not be able to sustain my exercise lifestyle for the rest of my life. Looking fit and feeling fit (mind and body) is at the top of my list!
In the fall of 2007, a business friend of mine (and my husband's) mentioned Yogi Brian. I went to his website and was fascinated. I got the nerve up to call Brian and eventually signed up for some private lessons. I took my husband, when it fit his schedule, and we knew immediately that we were moving in the right direction toward a healthy body and soul!
Yogi Brian has been incredibly encouraging. Dick and I now do the classes 2 to 3 times a week in addition to good long runs. We feel stronger, toned and more flexible…and grounded in life! We are blown away by what we can do physically now and the peace that yoga brings us internally. What excites us most is that we recognize that we have only "skimmed" our potential as yogis and the impact that it will have on ourselves, family and friends!
I can't wait to bring my kids to Yogi Brian! They have been practicing their headstands and binds in our back yard. Now that is fun!
Thanks Yogi Brian. Looking forward to expanding mind, body and soul with you!
Feel great. Look great.
Claire and Dick O'Hare
Donna (right) and training partner Leslie.
It all started about a year ago when I was at an all time low mentally, my energy was gone and I was completely physically out of shape as well. I was in a poisonous job environment that became harder and harder to face everyday. I had seen Brian's web site about 6 months earlier but did not have the courage to do anything. As things progressively got worse I knew that I had to do something fast and so in December I remembered his site, and pulled up the questionnaire. It was when I pushed that send button that I knew in my heart that I had taken the first step and changed my path.
At our first meeting Brian asked me what it was that I was looking for. I told him that I had completely lost my center and who I was, he told me I had come to the right place and I knew right then I was in good hands. I started from ground minus zero training my body to do things I had never done before (like an old dog learning new tricks). It was about a month later that I started to feel a shift within. I had this horrible premonition nightmare and knew that the only option I had left was to completely put myself in God's hands. With nothing left inside of me I went into the office the next morning. By 11:30 am I had become part of many worldwide layoffs. The reactions I got from family and friends were of relief and congratulations….I guess that I had been in worse shape then I realized. I contacted Brian and he told me that this was one of the best things that could have happened to my spirit and that this was not unusual but a passage of waking up that he has witnessed many times.
With his advice I started to come to class 5 days a week working physically harder then I had ever done before. All the changes that I've made like losing 25lbs, no more medications, a better energy and mind set were possible through his instruction, patience and constantly pushing me to move forward and grow, even when I thought I could not. He kept me focused and structured especially when I had so much new freedom that I could have been swallowed up.
It definitely has been a life-altering path of which I feel very blessed to have been given this opportunity and experience. Now, I am exploring many different avenues that I thought I had lost such as photography, creating purses and designing yoga bags. I have found that the more I am open the more possibilities become available.
Thanks to Brian I have a new connection to Spirit and self.
I remember when I was fearless and each day was an adventure -- a really long time ago.
I remember feeling that I was trapped in a think cloud of fog and mist.
I remember the immediate effects of stopping my daily dose of Paxil and the lingering effects that took many months to fade away (always talk to your doctor before discontinuing any antidepressant).
I remember 2 surgeries in 4 months and the reality that I would never bear children.
And I remember my first yoga class with Yogi Brian...
A Saturday morning, 9 am a little over a year ago and wow am I nervous - a part of Norwalk with which I'm not familiar, a group class in which I know not one single person, an activity that's a mystery to me, and the list goes on. A close friend found Yogi Brian's web site and suggested we try yoga together however she decided not to join me for our first yoga class. I'm thinking why did I ever agree to do this by myself???
I had many moments in that first class where I was completely lost in what I was supposed to be doing and had no idea what language Yogi Brian was speaking - blahda drassana what???? However at the end of the class, the energy in the room felt different and I knew there was something special going on, but I had no words to describe what I was feeling.
It's been a little over a year since that first yoga class with Yogi Brian and the person I am today is quite different from the one in her first yoga class that Saturday morning.
What I've learned from Yogi Brian on my journey so far:
Yes, I'm stronger physically and have lost a few pounds but most importantly my spiritual growth has allowed me to feel more grounded and secure in myself. With Yogi Brian's continued guidance, I will continue to emerge from all the years of self-hibernation and will once again be that fearless and adventurous person I was so many years ago.
- Breathing is important - really it is and it will help you maintain your focus in difficult times.
- Listen to what your body is telling you and trust in yourself.
- There's an energy source inside each of us just waiting to be tapped.
- You must leave your comfort zone.
Thanks Yogi Brian!!!!!
I have been working with Yogi Brian for quite a few years now, in fact, I came to Brian when he was still in process of becoming a Yogi.
At that time, I was stuck in a rut. Even though I was in my late thirties, I was still doing the same things I did twenty years ago when I played football for the University of Michigan. For me it was all about getting pumped up, throwing around big pieces of iron, showing off. I had convinced myself that it was a positive, healthy pursuit, but I really was just clinging to the past. I was firmly in my comfort zone, and I didn't want to change even though it was pretty obvious I wasn't getting what I needed.
I may have been strong on the outside, but I was getting progressively weaker on the inside. I was expending energy, but I had no way of replenishing it. It seemed like the harder I worked, the worse I felt. I couldn't figure it out.
Fortunately, as Brian walked further down the path of being a Yogi, he invited me to make the journey with him. I was more than a little hesitant; I mean Yoga wasn't for big tough guys like me, was it? Wouldn't I look and feel silly? But I trusted Brian, so I put aside my fear and gave it a shot.
While there certainly was a period of adjustment, it didn't take long for me to realize that this was one of the best decisions I ever made. Through his yoga teachings, Brian has given me a tremendous gift, everything I didn't know that I always wanted.
I have found inner peace and greater balance than I ever thought possible. I can now tap into the natural, pure, sweet energy that is all around us whenever I need it. I am happier and physically healthier than any other time in my adult life.
Yogi Brian has shown me real strength. It is about being resilient; not applying brute force. I used to try and wrestle with my problems and stress, but all I did was thrash around and flounder. Brian has taught be to be like the tree branch that falls into a river. It doesn't try to overpower the rapids; it rides them out and soon finds itself floating gently on calm waters.
I would encourage anyone who has not done so to seek out Yogi Brian. Peace, happiness and health can be yours; you just have to be willing to take the plunge.
My first exposure to Yoga was back in 1976, when I was 8 years old. My aunt was studying and practicing Yoga and had just opened a studio in East Hampton, NY. Back then, my view of Yoga was one of curiosity. I noticed how calm and peaceful she looked while practicing.
I became a long distance runner while living in NYC in my early 20s. I loved the feeling it gave me during and after a long run. I felt a type of calm come over me while running. I continued to run throughout my 30s and also took some Pilates classes, as well as one or two Yoga classes. I was searching for something to balance out my running.
I contacted Yogi Brian after the birth of my 2nd son, in 2005. I had looked at his website countless times and was intrigued by his philosophy and the practice of Yoga. I could not commit to taking the class at that point. I continued running, but felt there was something missing.
In April of 2008, I contacted Yogi Brian again and signed up, taking his Saturday morning class. The energy in Brian's studio was so tangible that I was instantly moved into another place. It was at that point that I found the missing piece. I had found my balance.
It has been almost a year since I have taken that first class with Yogi Brian. My practice has gone beyond the walls of the Yoga studio. Through his classes, words and spiritual energy, I have realized that Yoga is not just going to a class and doing some poses. The practice of Yoga can penetrate all aspects of ones life. It is a teaching on how to live. It has showed me how important balance is in everyone's lives.
This quote from the book Hatha Yoga Pradipika now rings true and it is something I will continue to strive towards. "The main objective of hatha yoga is to create an absolute balance of the interacting activities and processes of the physical body, mind and energy".
As I continue along my Yogic journey, I am grateful to have Yogi Brian's as a place to reconnect, center and balance.
Thank you Yogi Brian,
I stopped practicing yoga after five years of training when I became pregnant, due to the fact that I couldn't find a teacher with the flexibility to welcome pregnant women into a group class, until I connected with Yogi Brian. I was initially drawn to his openness to prenatal yoga, but his precision and virtuosity bring my practice to a higher level.
I feel calmer and happier than I have felt in any other studio, where he encourages students' progress, gracefully. Aside from being the only Connecticut based teacher with confidence to safely guide pregnant women through the four levels of Dharma Mittra Yoga, I feel comfortable bringing beginners with me as well, which is how yoga should be, a union.
With his guidance, I have become more comfortable in my transforming body and have been feeling love and excitement for my healthy, growing baby boy during my pregnancy. More than ever, my passion is to become a certified yoga teacher someday. So I can too, brilliantly guide others in connection of their mind, body and spirit.
Participating in Yogi Brian’s classes regularly has inspired a dramatic deepening to my daily yoga practice through exposure to numerous unexplored, physically challenging asana (posture) variations, reconnecting with pranayama (breathing) practices, exploring joint opening exercises offered in a gentle class, or the use of exercise balls to message and peacefully loosen the body and develop core strength. Yogi Brian has an incredible knowledge of the human body and with encouragement, assistance and/or modifications to asanas leads the student beyond perceived physical limits.
The environment created by this teacher, and fellow students, is one in which a strong, supportive collective consciousness is created. His classes are full of encouragement to attain your greatest self, genuine compassion; are free from judgment, and welcoming to all. I always leave class in a better place physically, mentally, and spiritually then when I arrived (and always with a blissful smile).
It is said that the right teacher will be presented to you at the right moment. Any aspirant who has found their way to this teacher’s doorstep is here for a reason and I whole heartedly encourage any and all those interested in exploring or expanding a yoga practice to find their way to Yogi Brian. Yogi Brain reflects the light of our Guru, Sri Dharma Mittra, while shining radiantly from his own light within. I feel infinitely blessed and offer my sincerest gratitude to Yogi Brian for providing the opportunity to accept the offerings he makes through teaching the divine science of Yoga.
Dharma Yoga Teacher, 200 Hour
I have always wanted to have a strong and consistent yoga practice. Finding a school and instructor where I felt comfortable training was always a huge obstacle for me. I have been to several places to practice yoga, I always felt on one level or another, something was missing.
I had been on the website for Yogi Brian several times, but honestly felt a little intimidated by it. When I met Brian by chance one day, I sensed something different about him. He welcomed me to his school, his home, and to my first class. I knew something was unique right from the start- even the questionnaire I filled out was unusual. Brian wanted to know about ME- not just physically, but about my goals, my strengths, my weaknesses, my past injuries, even what music I liked! He is the type of mentor that thinks about his students in his spare time striving to help us grow and to find exactly what we are capable of accomplishing. He has a passion and excitement for yoga and the lifestyle that is special, unique and completely honest. He also has a strong background and knowledge in exercise science and physiology that is greatly beneficial.
From the very first class, I noticed an honest change in my self every time I practiced. The benefits I receive from yoga are not to be overlooked or underrated. I am finding a huge increase in my level of fitness that I was pressed to find with any other sport or activity I have EVER participated in. I am actively healing and working through past injuries and traumas- that I honestly believe cannot be healed in any other way. I am increasing my consciousness and working towards finding a balance and harmony within myself and the universe with Yogi Brian as a guide. I look forward to each class with no expectations or limitations- just an open heart and mind.
Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, Snowboarder and Rock Climber
I have always been an active person...skiing, biking, running. Over the years I had a few surgeries when necessary to heal a torn ligament. Rehab was quick and easy...I was back to being active in no time. But I was not prepared for the mental injury of separation and divorce after 7 years of marriage. We have two small children and I knew I had to prepare myself to be there for them through this difficult time.
My personal trainer recommended Brian for yoga. I had done yoga off and on during the years. When I called Brian for more info on the classes, he spent 30 minutes on the telephone interviewing me. I was quite surprised that I started telling him all about my personal situation, but somehow he knew I has hurting inside and wanted to learn as much about me as possible. This translated into sessions that included meditation, prayer, and time in nature...that was just as important to me as the poses to help me get focused for the future.
Yogi Brian also thinks ahead to the next class and offers me more reflective thoughts to make me stronger. After months of anguish dealing with the pain of divorce, I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and I know in the end I will be a better and stronger person.
To me, one of the best feelings in the world occurs when your mind and body act as one, by way of an intense focus that feels like a bit of a daze. I recall the beginning of my show jumping (horses) career when I achieved this focus with frequency, simply due to a one-track mind, but as years passed and riding turned into a business and a job, this place of connectedness eluded me. A few years ago, I found myself in a very draining work environment, overcommitted most of the time, and gradually losing touch with myself. Not only was my life unsustainable, it wasn’t satisfying, and I was finding it harder and harder to commit my mind to my riding.
A friend of mine casually mentioned Yogi Brian one day during a work out and the name stuck in my head. Upon investigating his website I decided to ‘trek’ (it was over an hour for me) up to Norwalk and check it out. I already had a somewhat regular Yoga practice in my life and was aware that yoga wasn’t just another ‘weight loss’ plan or a way to tone up; Yoga is a deep connection with one’s self and with the universe, and consequently, when you find a space and a guru that generate the kind of energy that you respond to, no distance is too far to travel.
Yogi Brian consistently led me through beautiful asana sequences that challenged my body while feeding my mind. His dedication and thoughtfulness to my individual practice encouraged my personal growth. I started to understand the power that a natural state of calmness and focus can have and learned how to cultivate this centered state myself. I began to take the peace that I created in Yoga class to the saddle, and found clarity and focus while riding again. I became receptive to the energy around me and realized that I was in the wrong geographical place (work environment) and had the courage to make a change. Yogi Brian’s confident, concise, clear words resonated in my mind and helped me to realize what I already knew inside. I left my job and returned to school fulltime. I became a certified Dharma Mittra Yoga Teacher myself and have been blessed to share this beautiful style of Yoga with others. I have committed time and energy to humanitarian work as well as to saving the planet and most importantly to fostering a healthy relationship with myself.
I am so grateful that our paths in this world have crossed. During the Life of A Yogi Teacher Training with Dharma Mittra and his students, I recall them speaking about how students will find their teacher at a time that is appropriate for them, and I truly feel that I met my teacher just when I needed to most.
Thank you Yogi Brian for all that you teach me,
Chatham, New York
Dharma Yoga Teacher, 200 Hour
I often wonder why it took me 50 years to find Yoga, but Yogi Brian has helped me come to understand that everything happens for a reason and that good things come to us when we are ready to accept them.
The decade of my forties was consumed with running. Running made me feel strong; it provided a needed boost to my self-esteem (after all, not every forty-year-old woman can say she qualified for and finished three sub-3:45 Boston Marathons, and one in 3:31); it had a way of masking my insecurities and fears; and it gave me a daily refuge from a very busy life as a full-time teacher, wife, and mother of three.
Several times in the past I had (fleetingly) considered Yoga. I certainly had heard about its benefits, but I just had not been able to wrap my head around it as a way of getting exercise. Exercise to me meant a prolonged elevated heart rate and lifting weights to build muscle. Besides, who has the time to sit on a mat? Certainly not me. I had my weekly mileage goal to meet! Running was a metaphor for my life: go faster and push harder.
While my hamstring injury forced me to stop running (temporarily, I rationalized), the Yoga mat allowed me to let go for good. And Yogi Brian has guided me to live the physical and spiritual benefits of Yoga. I have learned some challenging and fun poses, I am stronger than I have ever been (using only my own body weight as resistance), and Yoga’s body of knowledge humbles me. But, there is much, much more that I am only beginning to tap into.
Now six months into my Yoga practice with Yogi Brian (which includes a weekly private) I am learning to balance the challenge of approaching my edge in each pose and honoring my body and what it needs. I can hold a pose and stay calm; I can lie still in savasana; and I am comfortable observing my thoughts. Who would have thought! This is all possible because of the trust I have developed in Yogi Brian; he is non-judgmental, deeply knowledgeable about anatomy and Yogic teaching, and, I believe, he sincerely cares about my journey.
Finally, Yogi Brian is helping me uncover my spiritual side. Since I have never been religious, the notion of getting in touch with "my Higher Power" is a new experience. Again, he doesn’t judge; he simply makes available to me as much as he senses I am asking for. As Lance Armstrong said, "It’s not about the bike." It’s about the intention, not the end, and the true intention of a Yoga practice is self-knowledge and liberation.
Yogi Brian gives me the permission to explore and discover without the pressure of failure.
The impact that Yogi Brian has made on me has been immediate, dramatic and profound. I left my first class thoroughly exhilarated and proceeded to bring the juicer out of hibernation. Simultaneously I felt compelled to undergo a thorough purge of my space. I am in the process of a complete metamorphosis as a result of this practice; a physical and spiritual liberation.
Stepping into his class has galvanized my ability to reach personal goals. For many years I have dabbled in Yoga, but never found a teacher that captured me wholeheartedly. Brian is the perfect teacher arriving in my life at the perfect time. Or as Brian says, "When the teacher is ready, the student appears."
I firmly believe that I was destined to encounter Brian. As a professional dance instructor I appreciate his breadth of knowledge and positive attitude, his open heart and generous spirit. He both nourishes and challenges his students. His intention to have his students reach their full potential is apparent. He thrives on excellence, as do I and at the same time makes reaching it accessible. Teaching from both heart and mind, his genuine desire to have his students reach new levels is routinely accomplished.
During my first session with him I was doing things I hadn't done in thirty years. He opened doors to belief. He saw past my own mental limitations and brought me forward into new realms of facility. To my mind, he truly embodies the meaning of Yoga.
At the age of 53, I remain a physical 'junkie', but realize that many of the activities I was addicted to no longer serve me in the same way and in fact can cause more stress than benefit to my body. Running the roads was shredding my joints and tendons and limited movement in my dance classes. Weight lifting is important but doesn't provide the same high. I am thrilled to have found a new addiction.
Working with Brian has reinvigorated me and allows me to bring a new vitality to my own classes. I am confident that my practice with him will catapult me to the next physical level while keeping me youthful inside and out.
His energy and quiet passion are contagious and provide the perfect environment for exponential progress. Focus and encouragement combined with expertise create a foundation for every individual, regardless of ability, to thrive in this unique environment where personal attention and a positive vibe are the norm.
I look forward to soaring with Yogi Brian,
Director Jazzworx Dance Center
As a dedicated Yoga instructor and student who has taught and studied all over the world, I feel very blessed to find such a resource as Yogi Brian, right here in my home state. As word about Yogi Brian spread amongst groups of my students and friends, who were carpooling and driving several hours to attend his workshops, I became curious.
The first class I took with him moved me beyond my perceived limitations, where I found my body in postures I never imagined possible. The asana and the energy of that first class lifted me to tears of humility and thankfulness. Since then, every interchange with him has further inspired this aliveness, this connection to spirit and truth.
Not only have his teachings led me towards expanded flexibility and openness of body and mind, but I continue to experience greater empowerment, awareness and increased capacity to confront my fears. My perspective broadens, my attention sharpens, I feel more present in my skin. My growth with Yogi Brian has quickly translated into major energetic shifts both within me as well as in my interactions with others and the world around me.
He has a depth of understanding of various Yogic traditions, modern therapies, the human body, mind and spirit, as well as an energetic intuition that can be felt. I see in him a pure intention to share the bliss of yoga, with a boundless heart, every action revered as divine offering. Just being who he is has taught me to be better within myself. It is with deep gratitude that I continue to learn from him.
Thank you Yogi Brian and Colleen for allowing me a place to express my gratitude for all that you've shared with me. I have studied and practiced Yoga for ten years and have met wonderful teachers. But, as many Yoga students know, certain gifted teachers have the capacity to inspire and heal. Yogi Brian is one of these teachers.
For the last two years I have been in a demanding graduate program that has left me feeling depleted and weary. Yogi Brian's classes have become a sanctuary for me where I come for peace and renewal.
I came to my first class with Yogi Brian because of an enthusiastic endorsement from one of my Yoga students. Immediately, within the first moments of class, I could tell there was something different about his teaching. His quiet voice encouraged me to not only try more challenging asanas but to offer my practice to something greater then myself. With this, I noticed a shift in how I experienced each posture. The poses took on new meaning and depth that humbled me. After that first class, I can recall walking to my car and feeling this incredible sense of peace and unexplainable joy. I knew then that Yogi Brian's classes offered me something that I had been seeking without even realizing it.
Yogi Brian once told me that Dharma Mittra Yoga is particularly helpful for those that teach Yoga. I couldn't agree more. His classes have reminded me what a gift it is to share this practice with students. His ability to engage and develop students on a physical, spiritual and intellectual level is something all Yoga teachers should aspire towards. Also, his sincerity about his own Yogic path has strengthened my belief that Yoga teaches us to be our true and authentic selves. It has been affirming to see a teacher so wholly inhabit what Yoga means to me which is; truth, discipline, and love. I look forward to many more years practicing together.
I am generally not a person who gets "stressed-out" and can handle most stressful situations with patience and ease. However when I became pregnant with my second child, I was so fixated on having a healthy pregnancy that I started to lose my patience and the calm demeanor I was used to.
Browsing websites I found Yogi Brian's and despite the fact that I had never considered Yoga, I was drawn to it and thought it might help me with my pregnancy.
After the first session, I realized that not only was I right about helping to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but I noticed other benefits .... I had more energy and confidence in myself. Yogi Brian taught me how to deepen my connection to my unborn baby through meditation while building up my strength, balance and focus at the same time.
Yogi Brian's thoughtfulness, patience and attentiveness to my individual practice was way beyond my expectations. His passion for Yoga is contagious.
I am now completely hooked on Yoga. I have learned to embrace this pregnancy with ease, and will continue to practice Yoga with Yogi Brian long after my baby is born.
Coming back from a year abroad in London to my slow paced hometown, I did a lot of thinking. I needed to set goals for myself. I realized after a year of mistreating my body through lack of exercise and not eating or sleeping well that I needed a full body overhaul, but what could I do?
In the past I have played team sports such as rowing and rugby to keep in shape. My first encounter with Yoga was in London and now, no longer having the luxury of a team sport, I decided to try Yoga again. Searching for a nearby Yoga instructor I found Yogi Brian.
I have never been more physically challenged or changed. In the six weeks I have been working with Yogi Brian I have seen dramatic changes in my physical and subconscious health. My posture, digestion, and metabolism have all improved. Further, I have become more conscious of my body and its balance in conjunction with new found strength in muscles I've never felt before and increased strength in my existing ones. On a subconscious level I have been able to sleep more deeply and peacefully than ever before.
Yoga is an activity that, unlike any other sport or activity I have ever done, leaves me stronger and more flexible as well as feeling healed and well rested. Yogi Brian's Yoga classes have been a mind and body altering experience that leaves me wanting more.
I had made up my mind to begin Yoga on the first day of Summer 2010 at Yogi Brian's. When we began the breathing exercises I felt like I was choking on my own breath, as if I was drowning, but I continued on with the class. During this time I began remembering that 20 years ago I had a promising dance career, as I started off early in life as a gymnast and did some Yoga with my mother. I developed talents in the dance world and would be admitted to the Philadelphia School of Performing Arts.
However 20 years ago to this date I was in a boating accident that caused me to suffer neck and back injuries and to break my arm in 4 places, resulting in a compound fracture that required 2 metal plates and 6 screws in my left arm. I did return to dancing but only locally, it was never the same. I tried kickboxing, running, weight lifting, I obtained a degree in Criminal Justice and a professional degree as an LADC in substance abuse counseling. Nothing filled the void of a lost dance career.
A friend recommended that I try Yoga with Yogi Brian as she felt she had been progressing on her personal journey. So here I found myself at Yogi Brian's Studio. During this first night of class I could not bear any weight on my neck and head. When we began the headstands; I felt a shooting, tingling sensation in my neck and spine. I thought at this time that this was not good, but pressed on. Then I felt and heard something internal move, I continued on with the class and continued to show up as often as I could; each time feeling an improvement externally as well as internally.
Here after 60 days I have lost eight pounds, dropped a clothing size, firmed and toned up my body. My appetite has been suppressed naturally, no longer craving meat and poultry products. I can now stand on my head for more than three minutes at a time, I can balance in forearm and handstands. I have resumed doing back bends and now can do binds and support my own body weight. Everyday I grow physically stronger and stronger, I have more stamina and flexibility. I continually accomplish new physical challenges during my classes with Yogi Brian. I never thought that I would do anything again that would resemble gymnastics or that I could be pain free... I never imagined that I would feel physically and mentally this way again.
Despite the physical aspect of yoga improving my quality of life, it was through the meditation, breathing and chanting exercises that I was able to experience an emotional release, freeing myself of past trauma and mental restrictions that I, and society imposed on me. The relaxation techniques bathed me in a continuous hue of glorious warm colors, making way for past behaviors and limitations to dissolve away, making room to become empowered in life, making the simple tasks become easy and more enjoyable. I can't became I CAN!
This has only been my first 60 days of Yoga. I can't imagine what the next two, ten or lifetime of Yoga will hold for me. I feel that Yogi Brian is truly a gifted individual and that his foundation in the educational, nutritional, spiritual knowledge, physicality and instructional aspects of Yoga enable his natural gifts from the universe to shine through which fosters growth spiritually, mentally and physically into his students.
Image taken at Kaia Yoga Westport
My practice with Qi gong, T'ai Chi, and readings on meditations lead me to find a new interest with Yoga. I tried as many classes that I was able to make time to go to and have found that Yogi Brian's Dharma Yoga is most fitting for me. There is a strong camaraderie atmosphere between Yogi Brian and all of his students, who he calls his "best friends".
After that first day of sweating like I was doing hot yoga, I was determined to come back and make it a goal of mine to learn, and be able to do all that I am personally capable of. I've been practicing for about one and half months now, and the result is there in my practice when I step onto my mat everyday.
When I'm in class listening to Yogi Brian's instructions, nothing matters but my "Self", trying to understand it's needs and wants in that second in order to get into the postures. And for those two hours of my life that I've taken out to clear my mind I have no worries about the past or future, I'm just here in the present and having fun with the poses.
Yogi Brian has helped me learn to connect my breathing with each movement, calm the breath, and meditate. With that knowledge I can incorporate it into my daily life. Just paying attention to small little details - by being in the moment, I find that I can stop letting whatever happened in the past affect me now, to let it stay in the past and be happy, to move on. Whatever is in the future will come and I don't have to be so anxious or too impatient about it. The more I am aware of these thoughts, the easier it is for me to come back to whatever I am doing at that moment and just enjoy it. I have learned not to let any frustrating thoughts change or affect my breathing.
I do feel different when I am done with Yogi Brian's class. I get a sense of well being, and I am in a happier place after each session. These simple little practices that Yogi Brian has taught me have such an impact on my body, mentally and physically. His teachings help me reach a spiritual place within, one that I can always come back to when things are out of balance.
Thanks Yogi Brian,
Quinn The Tu
I showed up for Yogi Brian's class without knowing anything about him. I was in the midst of a major change in my life at that time. I had quit my job and registered for an upcoming teacher training with Dharma Mittra in Israel in order to shift the focus of my life more towards Yoga.
The first few classes I took were definitely not easy for me. I remember that a few times in the middle of the vinyasa I found myself saying "we are just starting the other side now!" The intensity of the class was a shock for me at first, and it was really hard for me to calm my ego and just enjoy the practice. I approached Brian one day after class and asked him why the practice is so hard physically... he suggested I try to increase the amount of meditation in each pose during the practice; "if now it's 10% then every time try to increase it a little more." So that is what I have tried to do.
As both a yogi and in my personal life I've had a challenge coping with bad moments' due to my own exaggeration of a moment's downside. My practice really suffered as a result. Now I am seeing how the change I made in my attitude towards my practice has helped me create change in my life. Rather than tripping over the small bumps in the road - I am much more able to focus on the important things in life.
I feel fortunate to have worked with such great teachers around the world, and I am thankful to have Brian right here in Connecticut. He is dedicated to his practice and cares so much about his students. Brian's teachings come from a very genuine place of respect. There is a great collective consciousness in Yogi Brian's classroom and it is truly amazing to see the transformation that new practitioners go through when regularly attending his class.
I am grateful to take class with Yogi Brian each week,
Dharma Yoga Teacher, 200 Hour
In this life, it is very easy to lose sight, and feeling, of the calm waves of peace that flow through the body, into the mind, and come to rest within the soul. I often catch myself swinging through time, going up and then back down, through periods of great virtue and periods of struggle and darkness. A little less than a month ago, I found a place and a teacher that offers and nurtures the opportunity to find balance - I found a place where I could retreat, reflect, grow, and understand.
When you take off your shoes prior to entering practice at Yogi Brian's studio, you also take off your worry, your stress, and your ego. I have encountered many people in my life who have inspired me, guided me, and instructed me, but Yogi Brian is a teacher that also ignites curiosity, passion, and a deep contemplation of what it means to be alive.
Through soft encouragement Yogi Brian pushes his students physically beyond the limits that our minds will often allow us to go. Each adjustment we make and position we take becomes an experience of learning and letting go. With each practice, I have felt my body become stronger and more pure, with each drop of sweat that has hit my mat I have felt my mind expand, and for each time I have left practice and put my shoes back on my feet I have felt closer to my spirit.
For the short time I have worked under Yogi Brian thus far, my life has begun to feel different. My energy has changed and my actions have been more consistent with what has always been in my heart. During the second week of training I decided to do a detoxifying cleanse in order to maximize the potential and health of my body. By the fifth day of filling my body with nothing but organic juices along with daily yoga practice, my body and mind started to synchronize and I found myself in physical positions I never fathomed possible.
I have practiced yoga irregularly over the past few years. I have always felt connected to it and have always felt full of life after each and every practice. However, never have I walked out of practice with such an intense desire to further explore myself. For the past month, I have carried my yoga practice with me in all my daily endeavors. Yogi Brian has allowed me to understand my connection to yoga and better understand the commitment and journey to find and feel unity. Yogi Brian's is the forum to investigate the power of the body and to learn how to marry that energy to your thoughts, and your thoughts to your spirit, and therefore, your spirit to all the love and life connected in the universe.
Thank you for teaching us.
"Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt, you shall be united with me, lord of love, dwelling in your heart." -Bhagavad Gita
In the spring of 2010, a friend recommended that I practice Dharma Mittra Yoga with Yogi Brian. At the time, I felt that yoga was a path I wanted to pursue, but I never imagined that Brian and his practice would help me set a course for my journey.
When he teaches, Brian creates a beautiful tapestry of pranayama, asanas and meditation, woven with humor, passion and kindness. At first, I was overwhelmed by his challenging classes. Eventually, his studio became my sanctuary, a place for quieting the mind and finding peace. I began practicing with him on a regular basis and with his encouragement; I embarked on a 200 hour teacher training course one year ago. My ultimate goal is to teach therapeutic yoga to cancer patients and survivors.
Throughout my training and first forays into teaching, Brian has been an enthusiastic and compassionate mentor. I respect Brian for his honesty, his commitment to a pure yogic life, and his amazing, crazy ability to do a headstand with no hands!
Above all, Brian inspires me to teach yoga from the heart.
Yoga Teacher, 200 Hour
I came to Yogi Brian in the spring of 2011 following a running injury I suffered in December 2010. I had severe hip bursitis as a result of faulty biomechanics, muscular imbalances and overuse. I was hell bent on running again. Months went by and each time I ran, I experienced pain. I finally resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't rush the healing process. I had read that yoga could aid in my healing process and so I turned to yoga... for the third time.
The first time I took a yoga class was 1997 in Brussels, Belgium. I was experiencing a lot of stomach pain due to improper breathing - we all take breathing for granted, but it's sometimes not as easy as we think! Yoga helped my breathing, my stomach pain vanished, and I strayed. I returned to yoga for the second time about 5 years ago. I loved it, and again I strayed.
I don't know what it is about yoga and me... I am pretty much a type A and it's hard for me to be still and quiet in mind and body. The adrenaline rush and feelings of empowerment that I have experienced from running, boxing and spinning have felt well suited to my type A-ishness... until now. Until I have actually allowed myself to sit and to breathe and to quiet my mind and body.
I had seen Yogi Brian's brochures and ads for years; I had also heard about a myriad of other yoga studios in the area, but I was drawn to Yogi Brian's amazing photos and dynamic poses and I gave him a call. The only thing I really knew I needed was a nurturing, non-judgmental, non-competitive environment - and that is precisely what I have found at Yogi Brian's.
Aesthetically, the studio is a beautiful space that has been lovingly designed; it's warm, inviting and peaceful. The students in Brian's classes are supportive, kind and diverse in their level of practice. I have never once felt inferior, even whilst standing beside master level students. I should mention that I am a fitness trainer and am in decent shape and yet, I have been so unbelievably humbled by my yoga practice, that I have at times collapsed on my mat in laughter.
If the physical and mental changes that I have experienced in the past 6 months had happened to another, I would have expressed disbelief. The visible changes include 7 lbs. weight loss. Yes, I eat more healthfully and obviously I exercise, but the real gem here is the fact that, for the FIRST time in my life, I no longer feel the need to turn to food as my emotional rescue. I have gained strength, flexibility and balance, as well as a better understanding of the imbalances that resulted in my running injury. Mentally, I am also stronger; I have greater clarity about my needs and my goals - both personal and professional. As I continue my yoga practice with Yogi Brian, my personal training style continues to transition from standard fitness modalities to corrective exercise.
Yogi Brian's is an oasis in the busy intersection of my life. What more could I ask for? I doubt I will stray.
Thanks Brian (and Colleen)!
I began training with Yogi Brian in November 2010 to compliment my current strength-training program. I have been active/athletic for most of my life and I have taken a few sporadic yoga classes included in gym memberships, however I did not find yoga to be physically challenging enough for me. I knew that I was not getting the true experience of yoga at a fitness gym, but I also wasn't interested enough to pursue additional instruction at a yoga studio.
Over the last several years, I have developed a growing respect for spiritual and transformational thinking and practice. My interest in yoga resurfaced, not only to achieve my fitness goals, but also to enhance my personal growth and development. When I arrived at Yogi Brian's studio for a private session he said, "What took you so long to get here?"
I find myself physically and mentally challenged, motivated, and rewarded in every class with Yogi Brian. As a former gymnast, I never thought that I would be doing headstands, handstands, and back bends again! I also enjoy the sense of family and community that is present at Yogi Brian's home studio. Yogi Brian is committed to his students achieving and exceeding their individual and personal goals. He provides a peaceful, supportive environment that has enabled me to bring out the best in myself so I can be my best Self!
I can vividly remember my first class with Yogi Brian. After years of searching, I had not found a yoga practice or a teacher that I could strongly connect with, but my best friend had read about Yogi Brian and the Dharma Yoga practice and invited me to join him for a class. From the minute I entered his studio I felt a strong sense of comfort and peace. I was empowered by the calmness and confidence of Yogi Brian's instructions. With a slight arm adjustment I was able to hold a headstand for the first time in a class surrounded by other students releasing my fears that I would fall and be judged, it was an incredibly liberating feeling.
The class was physically demanding yet spiritually engaging and as I laid calmly in Savasana I finally entered my first moment of peace and meditation in a yoga class. I understood that yoga is a personal journey, unique to each individual and not a competition. We all have our perceived physical and mental limitations, but through good guidance and strong will I have learned that we can stretch these limitations and turn these challenges and fears into opportunity and growth. I knew I had finally found my practice and a teacher I trusted to help guide me along this path.
There is something incredible about taking a yoga class with a teacher who finds a way to connect with each student and understands their body. Classes with Yogi Brian offer a rare experience combining the energetic appeal of a group setting while maintaining the individual attention of a private session. At times life can be filled with stress and imbalance and it can be easy to get caught up in a cycle of frustration. Yoga has helped me break this cycle and find peace and tranquility even if only for a moment each day. Yoga and meditation, as is life, are a practice. There is no winning or losing only the opportunity to set an intention to help us navigate ourselves to a more peaceful life.
Each class with Yogi Brian gives me a chance to step inside myself to develop a stronger core both physically and mentally. Through this practice I have learned that you cannot have one without the other. For years as a collegiate athlete, I believed the harder I worked in the gym or on the basketball court the more successful I would be, but it was not long until I realized that this could not be further from the truth. Hard work and determination are keys to success, but are incomplete without a balance of the mind. When we become slaves to the end-goal, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of the journey. Classes with Yogi Brian are a reminder that we learn through the practice of living everyday. Yogi Brian's high level of physical ability and extensive understanding of the human body do not prevent him from striving to learn more and push himself. His drive and determination to always improve as a teacher and a student are admirable. He is always looking to improve as a yogi and a teacher and it is an honor to reap the benefits of this devotion to progress. I am truly thankful to have this practice in my life.
The practice of Yoga has been powerfully restorative. I came to Yoga because of chronic depression and addiction present throughout most of my life.
Through the practice of yoga I learn to be in control of myself and manage the fluctuating nature present in my thoughts and emotions. Seeing the illusion in that fluctuation and obtaining the release and freedom from it. I learn to move and flow through it all in a graceful, peaceful and conscientious manner leading to positive and fruitful action.
They say the nature of the mind is like the wind, moving, fluctuating, whirling at times. In my practice I develop strength to solidify myself reaching the peace that lies beyond this fluctuating nature, deepening acceptance of the here and now and working with what is.
It has been an incredible process bringing health and healing, and as I grow I am able to share this gift and ancient wisdom with others.
Yogi gives me the space and freedom to be able to connect with my own source and find the path of my own yoga leading to my peace my freedom and ultimately my happiness.
A successful practice to me means becoming the love and the change. Constantly journeying deeper into that as the practice evolves. The realization that "me" and "you" are illusions and identifying in that keeps us separate and disconnected from the higher source we all share. My practice continually brings me back to this truth when I am blinded by the illusion. The bliss is uniting in that true higher nature.
The work of asana (poses), and diet, the harmonization of breathe all strengthen and allow my own higher self to shine brighter so it can radiate outward giving way to transformation in my life affecting the lives or those around me and the world we live in. This is the healing energy that Yoga gives.
I am grateful to Yogi Brian for leading me into the practice and continuing to do so dispensing appropriate knowledge in technique and method at the right time according to my level of understanding. Assisting in correcting imbalance in my blind spots, and restoring harmony.