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Lying beneath the surface...

The inception of Prana Vibe came from a dream to serve the community on a highly intimate and personal level, knowing that quality is directly tied into the ability to connect with individuals and get to know them. Admittedly, larger classes and running Groupons were tempting considerations for our business. But, we chose to opt for slow growth and keep it boutique-y.


The following story reaffirms the path that Prana Vibe has taken and has stuck to. Jason, we love you and are so very grateful for your presence and prana.  



While in the US Army I had an accident involving a vehicle crash with another vehicle. I was driving one vehicle and got T-boned by another vehicle. I was immediately knocked unconscious and stayed like that for 40 minutes. I had an open head wound on the left side of my head. I was taken to the ER and ended up staying in ICU for 3 days, then under watch in the hospital for 2 weeks. I have no recollection of this but just know from medical records, my best friend who was the passenger and my family's account of what went down. After my release, I spend the next 6-months in speech pathology and traumatic brain injury rehab because I couldn't talk, could barely walk and i could not make cognitive thoughts. My brain had been thrashed around inside my skull and was inflamed. For the 3-months proceeding this accident and the 6-months after, I have permanent amnesia. I don't recall anything.


I spent this time basically on bed rest in the Army (I was in Germany) and seeing a neurologist every two weeks to go over medication, testing, rehab, etc. Eventually I reached a point where my physical wounds healed up and I was ok enough to go back to work (I was a Counterintelligence Special Agent and German linguist for the Army).


Ultimately, I was diagnosed with TBI, PTSD, Clinical Depression, Acute Anxiety, Cognitive Disorder, Adjustment Disorder and Tinnitus with Audible Saturation (hearing problems). I was given a rating of 100% disabled by the Dept. of Veteran's Affairs, the department responsible for Vets after they separate from the service. My conditions are not visible at all, I look perfectly healthy. Everyone thinks I'm a fully functioning adult even when they hear about my disabilities. That's ok, I haven't sought sympathy or anyone's attention. I wanted to be treated as much as normal as possible.


Fast forward to present day! I've spent the last 10 years as a Deputy and Program Manager for classified National Security programs, where I supervised a nationwide staff and ran 8 different departments. I worked way more than everyone else because I simply required more time to get things done. I often worked 60+ hours a week, and sometimes 7 days a week. I made over six figures despite my disabilities. I was/am a full custody father to two children. I also coached volleyball, baseball, basketball and soccer. I always wanted to do as much as possible to prove I could do things just as well as anyone else, and sometimes better. My children are used to my shortcomings; they are used to me forgetting things, misusing words in sentences, not being able to focus - but they know that I will keep trying. I found Ashtanga through my wife Jackie. She is patient and supportive.


The last 3 years, my conditions have significantly worsened. I receive care through the Dept of VA about twice a month, and a serious concoction of medicines for cognition, depression, anxiety and sleep. I went through another round of testing in 2016 and the physicians agreed I will only get worse, not better. At work, I ended up having headaches daily for three months plus I couldn't sleep at night. My anxiety, which I thought I had a handle on - was getting out of control. Eventually, after serious discussions with my wife and family, I chose to step away from work so I can focus on my health. This fall I ended up coaching high school girls basketball as I love coaching and kids. It was one of the funnest things I've done in a long time.


That leads me to Mysore practice at Prana Vibe. The ultimate medicine I've found has been the Mysore practice. My solitary journey on the mat, with a supportive teacher nearby for guidance here and there, has provided me with an opportunity to find some peace for an hour or two when I practice. It's quiet. It's dimly lit. It's conducive for calmness which I desperately need. I get a combination of exercise, plus a mental release that no medicine can equal. While I get so many benefits physically from my practice, weigh loss and muscle gain, flexibility and healthy organs - my biggest gain has been for my mental health. Not being judged, but supported with a warm and close Mysore community has been and is an amazing thing to have in my life. I literally encourage new students to keep coming every time I get a chance to talk with them as I want to advocate for the practice, the teacher and the studio.


Some days, honestly, it's hard enough to get out of bed. But, when I know I will practice that day I get a sense of relief. I simply can't wait to practice, to be alone in the room yet surrounded by support and stability with my teacher and the studio.




the angry yogi

angry yoga

One of the first things that drew me to yoga were the teachers who didn't sugar coat the process. Maybe it's because I grew up with "tough love". 

Let's all be honest, that first vinyasa class probably kicked your a$$ hard. I distinctly remember my wrists and shoulders b.u.r.n.e.d. I thought it wasn't possible to suck more. No forward folds to speak of. Arm balances? What's that? Backbends? In my f*n dreams.

But, I loved it! Finally! I didn't have to run to get fit. The gym rat thing wasn't working for me. Oh, and my first yoga teacher was HOT. I still remember her. Golden honey skin with short wavy hair. She wore a tank top which exposed her lower mid section. She had on loose fitting sweatpants that draped over her legs and her movements flowed with such ease, strength and grace. Her body was tone AF. Wow. I wanted to be her.

While my inspiration to start practicing was very much a physical one, it transcended to other realms of being. It even launched me into the journey of teaching this craft. So, first off, I want to confess that I'm certainly not all rainbows and unicorns. Believe me, I've tried and the shoe doesn't fit. I curse. I bite. I scratch. I can be rough around the edges at times. I will never be that teacher who enables her students, who glorifies mediocrity to make them feel better about themselves. I'm not that gal who speaks of prancing through flower filled meadows during your practice. That warrants a bonafide slap across my face. I will support you and encourage you. But, I will not give praise just because I want your membership.

What DOES float my boat is seeing you show up and doing the best you can that day. It might not feel like much but trust me, I can tell. Energy and effort don't lie. Making your way through struggle reveals depth of character.

I always strive to be in my most light self, however, a sliver of darkness will slice through once in a while. Lately, I've come face to face with her, acknowledging her and hearing her out. We are in this together, the ego and I. We may have our off days. We may have moments when we're triggered by something or someone and our reaction is disproportionate to the actual event.

What yoga and other life changing experiences have taught me are...

- Always look at yourself first
- Breathe deeply
- It's ok to be angry and pissed off; acknowledge those emotions and then it'll have less of a hold on you
- Set boundaries; know who you are and what you stand for and if someone can't respect that, then tell them to f* off
- There's a light and dark side to all of us, some have more light and some have more dark. The dark is not bad. She just needs to be understood so you can manage her better and not let her           wreak havoc.

Clarity & Levity.

Handle my $hit. That's why I visit my mat. I'm not here to pretend all is right with the world. I practice to feel better in my body, sooth my soul and empty my mind. I practice so I can be less pissed off. I practice so I don't want to smash your face in. I practice so I can hate myself less and love myself more. I practice so I can let go of my anger. I practice to forgive. I practice to find my breath again and again.

Why do YOU practice?