West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 10

West Reading Peeps

LIVING, WORKING,
THRIVING IN WEST
READING:

Meet Joel Pier
A

By Denise Drobnick
t 7:30am on the Monday morning after a Sunday
afternoon holiday gathering that involved much wine
from the Napa Valley, I am interviewing Joel Pier. He
is ethereal, zen, and too deep for my brain. I strain desperately
to keep up as I sip cold pineapple juice (my idea to get coffee
was sabotaged as Joel does not consume caffeine, or alcohol
for that matter.) He is remarkable and layered; I am lost. I
realize it has nothing to do with the wine. Here I will attempt
to introduce you to Joel, owner of Bikram West Reading, a
hot yoga studio at S 3rd Ave and Franklin St - the only of its
kind in Berks County.
Joel was quick to point out that Bikram, the controversial creator of this 26-pose regimen, is not his spiritual guide. Bikram
merely serves as the coach/mechanic who fixes broken bodies,
therefore paving the way to fixing broken minds and seeking
absolute truth. After all, Joel explains, the very definition of
yoga is understanding the purpose of life. Instead, he considers
AC Bhakti Vedanta Swami, founder of the Hare Krishna movement, to be his guide, and has been heavily influenced by the
chants and asanas (movements) of Bhakti yoga. At this point
we began to touch on very technical yoga theory that made
my head hurt a little. It's fascinating, but how did he get here?

What is Bikram Yoga?

A type of hatha yoga characterized by
a set series of postures and breathing
exercises, performed in a room heated
to a very high temperature.

8

Avenues Spring 2018

Joel, owner of Bikram
West Reading, a hot
yoga studio at S 3rd
Ave and Franklin St
- the only of its kind
in Berks County.

Born in Jackson, Michigan some
six-plus decades ago, Joel has been
a wanderer, a world traveler, and
a rebel. Coming from a family of
educators - dad and sister, school
teachers; an aunt, the head of elementary education in Colorado; an uncle, a PhD - Joel entered community college as
a computer science major. Two weeks later he dropped out,
much to the dismay of his family, and became a hippy instead.
He discovered yoga in the 60's as he hitchhiked across America,
spending time in places like San Francisco and Key West. He
even worked on a shrimp boat in Key West in 1967. He then
spent about 8 years traveling the world, most notably a long
stint in India where he worked on a farm and volunteered with
a group that fed thousands of hungry people. Along the way,
Joel became a father and now has two grown daughters and a
granddaughter.
In 1995, Joel was back in Key West working on environmental
causes and had a chance meeting with Berks resident Linda
Rado (now Linda Rocco, yogi at BLDG 7) and they bonded
over an interest in Bikram yoga. She was the owner of THE
STUDIO, a fitness center specializing in aerobic exercise located
at the same location as the current Bikram West Reading studio.
Linda wanted to bring hot yoga to her studio, and Joel asked
if she would hire him if he completed Bikram teacher training.
She agreed and they both went on to complete training. The
day after the blizzard of 1996, Joel landed in West Reading
and helped Linda establish the new practice at THE STUDIO.
They continued to work together for several years, and Linda
credits Joel for his help and support in bringing Bikram yoga
to this area. Later Joel moved on to open his own studio in
Philadelphia, but his ties to West Reading remained strong. He
ultimately ended up back here and in March 2015 bought the
Bikram studio at its original location.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of West Reading Avenues Spring 2018

West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 1
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 2
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 3
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 4
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 5
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 6
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 7
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 8
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 9
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 10
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 11
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 12
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 13
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 14
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 15
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 16
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 17
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 18
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 19
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 20
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 21
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 22
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 23
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 24
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 25
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 26
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 27
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 28
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 29
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 30
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 31
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 32
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 33
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 34
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 35
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 36
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 37
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 38
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 39
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 40
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 41
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 42
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 43
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 44
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 45
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 46
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 47
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 48
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2020-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WRASpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesDecember2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesNovember18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSeptember2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesJune2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2017-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenues
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com