Mike & Dawn Deason

Student Spotlight

Nearing the big 5-0 was something that Dawn and Mike Deason took seriously. Even though they had a couple of years to go, they were feeling a few minor aches and pains, and they both wanted to get in shape so they could enjoy a healthy quality of life as they got older. "We also wanted to set a good example for our kids," adds Mike.

It was one of their kids, daughter Carrisa, who actually first suggested yoga. "Carrisa and her husband loved Bikram Yoga, and they kept asking us to go," Dawn recalls. "I told them I couldn't go because of my asthma, but they talked Mike into trying it. While he was there, he talked to Louis who said that Bikram Yoga was actually a great thing for asthma because of the humidity, so I tried it too. We've been hooked since day one."

Of course, being hooked doesn't necessarily mean they loved it from day one. "After we left that first day, my daughter asked how I felt," Dawn says. "I told her I hated it, but I knew it was the best thing I could be doing. I felt right from the beginning that this was the thing for us."

In fact, Dawn's asthma did improve. "If I don't go to yoga, I have a hard time breathing sometimes," she observes. "I no longer take any medication, and I don't have any asthma attacks. I live a normal life when I do yoga three times a week, but if I don't go, I have a hard time breathing. It scares me not to go now."

Dawn enjoyed other benefits as well. Her job as a produce manager requires her to do a lot of bending and lifting. "That doesn't hurt me at all anymore," she says. "And my energy levels are off the charts."

Mike also saw significant health improvements. As a long-haul trucker (he now does local driving), he sat for long periods of time and was starting to feel back and joint pain from the lack of activity; blood circulation was also a concern. "That disappeared," he says. "No more visits to the chiropractor! I just felt better all around, and my energy was incredible as well."

And although the Deasons cite health as a top reason for sticking with Bikram, they have other reasons that are just as compelling. "We love the community that Joanne has created," Dawn explains. "It starts with the energy and inspiration that she gives to each of us, every student knows she cares about them. And she's such a strong example; it feels so good to be part of a community that is so positive and upbeat--it's our home away from home."

The Deasons are the kind of students who make it easy to create that kind of community, says Joanne. "Mike and Dawn radiate quiet determination, humble growth, and gratitude. They are a strong, beautiful couple who are living the philosophy of Namaste. We are blessed to have them in our studio."

That feeling of community is reinforced by the incredible setting--Brick Canvas almost feels like a resort, say the Deasons. "Thanksgiving Point is so beautiful," Dawn says. "Just walking to the building helps you escape your daily stress, like you're elevated to another place. We go three times a week. Who else gets to go on a date three times a week at such an amazing place?"

And for at least the new few weeks, Mike and Dawn will be dating even more often. Mike just started a 30-Day Challenge, which he plans on then continuing to earn his 60-Day Challenge recognition; Dawn is planning on joining him every day in October as she earns her own 30-Day Challenge.

"I can't imagine a better way to stay in shape as we get older," says Mike, who turned 50 this year; Dawn celebrates the milestone birthday next year. "We're not dealing with back or knee pain, no arthritis, none of those things that seem so common as you age. And our core strength and flexibility is amazing. Bikram Yoga constantly challenges us, and we see the rewards every day."