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What I've Learned, | Apr 21, 2015

Glenn Brown, yoga mentor

This Clarksville yogi is a 10-time Indiana champion.

Brown hovers into one arm side crow in his Clarksville studio. /Photo by Krista Zozulia

For Glenn Brown, bending into a boomerang is a daily ritual. But it’s not his 10th title as the Indiana yoga champion that inspires this 34-year-old yogi to keep on flowing — it’s his students. Inside his Lionflow Progressive Yoga & Arts studio in Clarksville, he blends his training in Bikram yoga and martial arts to help students push themselves past their limitations. He shares with 812 what he’s learned that goes beyond the poses.

Have a consistent discipline.

Try to practice something 100 days in a row. Even if it’s five minutes worth. It writes it into your neurology. Implementing something tiny makes a huge difference. We allow our moment to take so much away from us; we lose our focus on whatever it is we are doing. If you just bite down and do something, you’ll find that there is an end result.

Find a community that suits your practice.

I could go across the bridge into Louisville, open my practice and do 10 times as well. At the same time, people in this area need it so bad. They are used to going to the gym and beating themselves up for a half hour and not doing anything to recuperate. There is such a gap in the yoga market here — you have Bikram and Vinyasa, but you lose the community feel in the studio where you can bounce ideas off each other in class. After having students come diligently for five years, I found that there was a niche for Lionflow in the community.

Get past the stage fright so you can teach for more people.

Every time I would walk down the hallway to start class, I had to deal with fear in that moment. It helped me learn to walk into another part of myself, just clear my mind and get to it. It’s an honor to be here and offer students encouragement. To see someone make it through these practices is really heartwarming.

Listen to encouragement, not the judgment.

I grew up in the church but became daoist — living with your intentions. With a church you have a community, but if you break away from that, you get the cold shoulder from a lot of the community you grew up with. As far as the studio, it’s a neutral zone — it’s not about judgment, religion or even the dogma of yoga secrets. It’s a place where we encourage each other to grow in Lionflow practice.

Learn to live with the waves.

It’s been a struggle to get across my ideas to the town. Clarksville is a conservative town. Critics will say that yoga is bad for your religion. Trying to get people to break away from that misinformation and come in regularly is tough financially. I have a family and want to pay for health insurance. It can be discouraging. But, if I want anyone to believe in me, I have to believe in me. It feels validating as a person to do what I love.

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