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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fort Worth has a New Place to Relax: Yogis R Us


I walk through the front doors and up the stairs toward the back of the building. I turn into an intimate room where the air is comfortable and lukewarm. A meditational chant hums in the background. The sound is known as an Om, and it lulls me into a tranquil place before we even get started. I feel safe.

I'm in the new yoga studio, Yogis R Us, on Magnolia. Fort Worth native Brynn Byrne launched the studio February 2011 after years of studying and teaching yoga coast to coast and internationally. She moved back home to fill a need in Fort Worth for a holistic and therapeutic approach to yoga. With a focus on life enhancement through deep meditation and exercise, her goal is to assist clients in "accessing their best self."

I've taken a generic yoga class here and there, but wanted to know what made Yogis are Us different.

The moment I met Brynn I noticed she was antithetical to the typical modern man. She was calm, pensive and reflective while not somber or stern. Her voice was soft and her tone relaxed. She exuded a peace I've only seen in a seasoned Catholic monk I once met in Italy. Her disposition intrigued me, so this uptight redhead embarked on a tranquilizing journey for 80 minutes.

The Journey to Relaxation
At the beginning of the session she guided me through moves like twisting my wrist and rolling my foot over a tennis ball. She asked me to pay attention to how these felt. The simple movements left a tingling in my appendages. My feet felt like they melted into the ground.

She then asked me to become aware of my breathing and to move with the natural flow of my breath. This was deeply relaxing (for lack of better words). As I focused on my breathing, my movements and the space around my body, she told me to imagine myself in an ideal place. I surrounded myself with giant trees in the fall while colorful leaves danced around in the crisp air. I could see it.

Before we started, Brynn said we can actually use more of our mind and increase our senses through yoga exercise and meditation. The second time I attended her class I imagined I was alone in the desert at dusk. She said it becomes easier each time.

I learned if we place positive images in our subconscious, then conscious thoughts flow from that as a healthy tree springs from solid roots. She said we can also make necessities into joys.

What is Brynn's purpose in teaching yoga? We have an innate potential, and through her instruction she helps her clients access that potential. Her yoga practice creates a space to dream about what's possible. She said yoga also helps people become more aware of what is creating harm in their lives.

Creating this space for increased awareness is a long process, however she said beginners notice a change after one class. I know I did.

Reflections on the Experience
I brought my sister and friend the next day to share this experience. My sister loved it. My friend has attended yoga classes for years all over the country and said this yoga class was different than any she had ever taken because it was tailored to the students and had healing properties.

"I loved it because Brynn made you feel like all of your particular aches and pains were valid and addressed them completely," Darrah said.

The experience was an equal balance of flexibility, strength and mental training. "The class went from a series of stretches into distinct and challenging yoga poses into a complete guided journey to total relaxation," Darrah said.

There are hardly words for the experience I had in Brynn's one-on-one session. I left all of my stress in the parking lot and drove home with more energy than I've had in a long time. I sweat, I smiled, I dreamed and felt like a child again. The physical experience felt l like I had the inside of my body massaged. The mental experience was even more — I felt my mind and soul had been massaged.

"Brynn has a really calming demeanor and a full understanding of yoga as a practice and it's healing properties." Darrah said. "I've never felt so good after doing yoga than I did after taking her class."

This is now one of my new favorite things to do in Fort Worth. Click here to visit the Yogi's R Us website to learn more and sign up for a one-on-one or small group session.