Your Town Friday: Former social worker finds healing in yoga, and a new career

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Lebanon, Ind. – Chris Yovanovich had never done yoga a day in her life. But her ten years as a long-term care social worker were getting to her.

“Things just culminated and I started getting sick and I didn’t know what it was,” said Chris. “It took a long time to figure out they thought it was fibromyalgia.”

Before yoga became her medicine, she was prescribed pain pills that barely touched her pain.

“So I just sorta drugged myself through life for about a year and that’s when I picked up Autobiography of a Yogi. I read that and it talked about a lot of yogis healing themselves and I thought, maybe I can do that. After about a year I started feeling a lot better.”

She became a teacher and for years she worked in other people’s yoga studios, then in 2016 she found a spot in an historic building in the heart of Lebanon.

“When we first moved here, I knew that people here were super friendly.”

But of course she wasn’t sure how Indiana Yoga Studio would do in a small city. It turns out it would do very well.

“We have about 22 teachers and a lot of them are from Indy and they would come in and say ‘What’s in the water here?! Everyone is so nice!”

Naturally, she has a soft spot for social workers and those suffering from compassion fatigue.

The burnout rate for social workers is somewhere around three years. It’s ridiculous. And that’s pretty much what I went through.”

“Research that’s come out within the last five years has said 80% of all disease stems from stress, so I want to reach as many medical workers as I possibly can. Not only social workers but nurses, doctors and police officers.”

She offers special rates for people in those fields. She also offers a big menu of classes to meet people where they are. She knows some might be feeling burnt out just like she was. Or some might just be having a bad day.

“And if someone does come in and have a bad day and they’re in a bad mood, I can’t wait until after class because they’re going to be so different!”

Chris is a wife and a mom. Her husband has been a middle school teacher for 22 years and her daughter is turning 16 this weekend!

There is also a studio in Brownsburg. Click here for more on some upcoming event, including something special for Valentine’s Day.

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