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Buchtel grad shares love of yoga on visit

11/28/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Manouso Manos helps students at the Yoga Centre of Copley during a Nov. 18 class in the studio’s newly expanded space.
John Poleondakis, of the Yoga Centre of Copley, is shown at left with Manouso Manos, a Buchtel High School graduate who is one of the world’s leading teachers of Iyengar Yoga.
Photos: Krista Galloway
COPLEY — When Manouso Manos started teaching yoga in the 1970s, he was such a proponent of the practice that he gave classes for free.

“It was so important to me that in my early years I was giving away classes,” said Manos, a 1969 graduate of Buchtel High School in West Akron. “It’s quite gratifying how much yoga has spread.”

Manos was in town Nov. 18 and took the time to officially open a new expansion at the Yoga Centre of Copley, a four-year-old yoga studio in Copley Commons on Copley Road owned by John Poleondakis.

Poleondakis said he grew up with Manos, who has been his teacher for the last 30 years, so it was special for him to be part of the class.

“It was incredible to have my teacher here,” Poleondakis said.

“When John asked me to come and inaugurate his studio, it was quite an honor,” Manos said. “You have to check back in every once in a while.”

Manos said after graduating from Buchtel, he earned a degree in history from The Ohio State University and then made his way to New York City, where he was a truck driver.

“It was the best job I could find,” he said.

He discovered yoga after he found no relief for back problems.

“I tried an orthopedist and orthopedic surgeons, and I tried acupuncture, acupressure, and nothing made me feel better,” he said. “I picked up a book on yoga and began feeling better right away.”

When he read “Light on Yoga,” a book by B.K.S. Iyengar, he felt he found the teacher for him, and he began studying with him in 1976. He’s been a full-time yoga instructor since 1982.

Today, Manos says he holds one of only two Advanced Senior certificates granted worldwide by Iyengar. He has lived in California for many years and teaches out of his studio in San Francisco, Abode of Iyengar Yoga.

Manos said Iyengar yoga emphasizes alignment while developing strength, stamina, flexibility and balance.

He maintains a close relationship with his teacher, and added that he will be traveling to Pune, India, in the next week for Iyengar’s 95th birthday celebration.

As a leading instructor, Manos said he travels quite a bit to give workshops.

“I’ve been all over Europe and much of Asia, in Bangkok, in New Zealand and Australia and Indonesia, as well as Berlin and Amsterdam,” he said.

For additional information on The Yoga Centre, go to the website www.copleyyoga.com or call the center at 330-239-3200.

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