Thank you for taking your time to read this letter. Thank you for your donation. And I thank you for sharing this GoFundMe fundraiser with your friends and family. With your help, I can save this beautiful yoga studio.
Hello. My name is Denis Dronjic. I would like to share my story with you, and ask you to please help me raise money so I can save the yoga studio I built with my hands in 2016. I told my students I will not give up. This yoga studio is a healing place. Keeping it open is my responsibility. And I truly believe that the challenges, which so many of us around the world are facing, due to this pandemic, are here to make our stories even more beautiful.
Being a yoga teacher has never been a dream of mine; I dreamed of motorcycles and sailboats. But the universe had a different plan for me. In 2008 I had a serious motorcycle accident. I spent 6 months in a hospital. 9 months in a wheelchair. 11 surgeries. I was given another chance to live, to learn, and to give back. But first I needed to recover my body. When everything else failed, I returned back to yoga. I was familiar with yoga, I had practiced it few years before the accident to help me heal my lower back. I walked into class with two crutches. It was the hardest thing I did: practice yoga with a broken body and a broken spirit. I couldn’t afford the yoga, I had no money. I asked the studio owner in Toronto if we could make an exchange - my wood carving skills in exchange for a membership at her yoga studio. Thankfully she agreed. I created a round, circular, 20 inch, 50 centimeter, logo, for her yoga studio. She approved, and allowed me to come to her yoga classes.
I travelled every day for 3 hours, in one direction; two buses, one train, and 5 cities, to reach the yoga studio. After class I could feel my body a little bit better. My energy was improving. I was starting to feel more positive and optimistic. On March 17th, 2010, I realized I need to do this yoga for the rest of my life. In that moment, I could hear a voice in me: “if I need to practice this yoga for the rest of my life, I might as well teach it!” In that moment I recognized that I had discovered my purpose in life. I was going to teach yoga to the people and become the vessel to deliver the message of Love, Peace, Health, Happiness, Gratitude and Compassion. My journey has just begun.
That same year, December 2010, I was a certified yoga instructor. With $100 in my pocket, I left my home in search of senior yoga teachers. I wanted to learn more about teaching yoga. My father and mother asked me how long I will be away. I told them I didn’t know. But I knew I had to leave my home and embark on this journey outside of Canada. My journey took me around the world; I visited 77 yoga schools in 17 countries. I guided thousands of yoga students around the world. I met many brothers and sisters and spiritual teachers. In 2016, my journey brought me to my birth country, Slovenia. It was then, when I took my shoes off and walked barefoot I could hear the voice within me: “stay here, in Slovenia. This will be your new home. Ground yourself and reconnect with your roots. Continue teaching yoga to the people of Slovenia.”
With complete certainty and faith I knew why my journey brought me to Slovenia. I found an office space next to a beautiful forest named Golovec. I had saved some money during my travels as a travelling yoga teacher. I used this money and turned the office space into a yoga studio. Since October 2016, I taught yoga 7 days a week. It’s my karma, to teach yoga to people of Slovenia. Yoga is not so popular in Slovenia like it is in other countries. Slowly the word was spreading around. I had faith. I just needed to continue teaching.
I met a man who was also in a motorcycle accident. He was in a comma for 6 months and was learning to walk again. He asked me if yoga can help him. I said yes. I met a man who broke his neck. He asked me if yoga can help him. I said yes. I met a woman who is depressed and considered suicide. She asked me if yoga can help her. I said yes. I met a husband and wife who are trying to strengthen their relationship. They asked me if yoga can help them. I said yes. I met a young man who wants to become a professional athlete. He asked me if yoga can help him. I said yes. I met many souls, and each one has a special story, I am sure of it, and this yoga studio has become an important and sacred place where they come to heal them self. I watch them practice and I watch them grow.
Going back to last year, before the pandemic… In January 2020 I was finally seeing that hard work was paying off. I had saved enough money to be able to cover the expenses for the yoga studio for 5 months in advance. I was very happy. I would be able to hire another teacher, and I wouldn’t need to teach every yoga class anymore. Then 2 months later, the pandemic happened. One year later, in 2021, all the money I saved is gone. My landlord is threatening to terminate our contract, unless I come up with the money I owe to her. If she does evict me, she will not only close the yoga studio, but she will close a place which so many of us call our sanctuary and our second home; a place where we come to heal, self-develop, strengthen our bodies, minds and spirits, and share laughs.
Our yoga studio has been closed for 10 months. I do not receive any assistance from the government. I sell juices, online classes, and private classes to make money. But this is not enough. I never imagined I would be asking for help through donations. I am forever grateful to each and every one of you. If you make a donation, please send me an email at info at bikramjoga.si. I would like to offer you 2 gifts for your donation. I am currently writing a book. A story about my recovery through yoga after the doctors told me I’d never walk again. Once the book is completed I will send you the eBook. I will also send you a video of my morning yoga routine, which is called inaSense ~ The Ripple Effect (the meaning behind this name is explained in the video). In this morning routine I teach:6 yoga asanas, 3 breathing exercises, one very powerful immune booster exercise, chanting, positive affirmations, and meditation. This I give to you as my way to show my appreciation for your kindness and generosity.
With all my heart I thank you for any help you are able to give. Your help will allow me to continue to help others. We would be so grateful for a chance to keep this community alive.
- Amber Davies
- Lauren Fragada
- Betty Contreras Marin
- Amalia Dalton
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