April Featured Student: Alan Cronic
1. How long have you been practicing at DY? For about 2 1/2 years.
2. What attracted you to yoga / Pilates? I had been doing a boot camp class regularly for about 5 years and was looking for a change. I felt at my stage in life, I needed more stretching and less straining.
3. What has yoga taught you about yourself? I’ve gotten so much more out of yoga than I was expecting. Every class offers something new. Physically, it’s been more challenging than I was expecting. Every position offers room for improvement, which I like. But, it has been equally rewarding mentally. It’s a great way to slow life down a bit to where I’ve been able to appreciate the moment and better prepare for what follows. My Yoga practice has shown me the ability to have an impact on the uncontrollables of life. It’s kind of given me a “mental mountain pose” in one way while also providing me sharpened senses to better appreciate the positives.
4. Have you had to overcome obstacles or injuries with your practice? My Yoga practice has played a large role in helping me deal with the Parkinson’s diagnoses I was dealt about three years ago. I’m in the early stages of the disorder. The symptoms have been minor to date and are slow and gradual in their progression. Yoga has been helpful in requiring muscular activity while the effects of the disease are slowly taking away the ability for my muscles to respond on command. It’s also provided me a time to regenerate mentally to the challenges that come when dealt such a hand.
5. How has yoga affected your life in general? In the beginning, I can remember telling Astrid that I was looking for Yoga to help me bend forward to reach my toes with my finger-tips. For an instant, there was almost a disappointing look on her face that was saying, “Your aim is low.” Kind of like, you don’t quite get what Yoga is. Now looking back, her expression was understandable. 21/2 years later, I now get it. Yoga has afforded me the physical challenge I was looking for. But, I’ve also found that simple attention to breathing helps to provide a kind of mental pause to sharpen my focus. I hesitate to say that I’ve learned to meditate, but I have enjoyed the mental therapy benefits Yoga has delivered.
6. What is your profession? I retired nearly 6 years ago at the age of 49 from a life as a sales executive for a Medical device company. I’m now a stay-at-home dad for a 19-year-old daughter year-old son. My job these days is centered around being the most encouraging Dad to my kids and the most supportive husband to my wonderful wife.
7. What do you do in your free time? I play a lot of golf, a little tennis, I like to cook, and I love working in the yard. I’m fortunate to be able to do them all. Oh, and there is Yoga 4 to 5 times a week. We like to joke that my week consists of “seven Sundays.” It’s good work if you can find it.
Thank you Alan!