Yogi of the Month:
Dennis Hartlieb

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Our Yogi of the Month is Dennis Hartlieb. Dennis trained for dentistry at the University of Michigan and has been practicing dentistry for 25 years. He met his wife Tracy when he was doing an internship at Mount Sinai in Chicago and has one daughter. Like many who come to Yoga, Dennis was a runner who also dabbled in Triathlons. He said, “My feet started breaking down and so I couldn’t run like I used to so I was stuck in the health club doing aerobics type of stuff.” He hadn’t participated in any organized exercise classes before he started Yoga though his wife had tried to get him to try Yoga.
“Tracy, my wife has been practicing Yoga for twenty something years. She had tried to get me involved in Yoga for some time.” It turns out that his work did more to get Dennis into Yoga than his wife’s admonitions. “One of the challenges of dentistry is that you are leaning over all the time or bent over the patient. My back got so tight that I had to go to the gym everyday just to stretch out my back." Said Dennis.
Finally he decided to try Yoga to see if it could help. He found the results amazing! He said, “I knew there were going to be some physical benefits, but I didn’t know how much. I didn’t know how much core you use in Yoga.”
Dennis said that ultimately the mental aspect of Yoga helped him much more than he anticipated. “I was able to take a lot of the training of Yoga off the mat and in times of stress go back to some of the words and the thoughts from Yoga. That was really beneficial. The Yoga philosophy helps me clear my head and helps me stay centered and balanced.”
Dennis decided to expand his practice at North Shore Yoga when Sharyn Galindo, NSY’s Owner was sitting in the chair in his office. “Sharyn recommended that I try Jenny’s class at Bannockburn on Tuesday nights. I think it was to get back at me (Laughs). Jenny has been really patient with me since I only had taken four classes when I started her class. I was in way over my head.”
Soon Dennis realized how important Yoga was to his life. He began to practice every day if only for a few minutes. “I’d try to take a class once or twice a week to keep my practice honed.”
He has found that the pranayama has helped him and he has incorporated it in other aspects of his physical life. “So when I’m doing workouts I try to bring back my Yoga breath to slow me down inside. In my daily life, when things are getting stressful, finding some of that quality that I’ve got from Yoga to help me to understand and let go more.” He says that everyone around him on his staff and his patients have seen the effect on him.
Sharing Yoga with his daughter has been especially meaningful to him. “I have a teenage daughter who is a freshman at Tulane. Practicing Yoga with her is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done with her as a Father. “ He said that being able to have conversations with his daughter about slowing down and allowing the natural course of life to have its flow and try not to control so much. “I think that that’s a wonderful thing and a great age for her to benefit from it.”
When asked what advice he would give others about Yoga he said, “To those who are on the outside looking in, just jump in and start doing it. To those who are already practicing, be open to the fulfillment from all ends, the physical, mental and spiritual. He left me with his favorite quote, “If days are scrolls write only on them what you want remembered.”
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