Yoga is what happened to Bryant Mascarenhas while he was busy making other plans.
'I have a degree in chemistry and a master's in business and IT systems. And what am I doing? I am teaching yoga for a living,' said Mascarenhas, a father of three kids - ages 5, nearly 4 and 22 months - and owner of Santosh Yoga.
A Bombay native, Mascarenhas left India to study in the United States. He was well on his way to a financially comfortable life, working as a radiology department project manager at Froedtert Hospital, when he realized that years of work had left him accomplished, but unfulfilled.
'I realized that sense of fulfillment was not going to come from things, by owning a bigger car or a bigger home,' Mascarenhas said. 'That's what Santosh means, it means coming from a space of inner contentment - and it's what I teach.'
In 2005, Mascarenhas left Froedtert to teach yoga full time. He opened a studio at 74th and Center streets about five years ago. And, in 2011, he moved that studio to its current location on State Street, where a simple sandwich board sign points the way not only to his classes, but also to what Mascarenhas hopes will be a new way of thinking about life.
'The yoga I teach is alignment-based, therapeutic yoga,' Mascarenhas explained.
His oldest students are 80 and 94, although he teaches all ages, including children, as part of his collaboration on therapeutic yoga with the medical research team at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Many people take his classes to manage everyday aches and pains, even medical conditions ranging from autism and addiction to migraines and multiple sclerosis.
'But,' he said, 'yoga also helps you identify an underlying question: Are you taking steps to identify what we love in our lives? … If we just find out what we love to do and do what we love, we will find balance in our lives. I realized that because I did it.
'It's not just a philosophy. I try to make you love it,' Mascarenhas said.
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JUST THE FACTS
ADDRESS: 7420 W. State St.
PHONE: (414) 774-9642
OWNER: Bryant Mascarenhas
TYPE OF BUSINESS: yoga studio
PEARLS OF WISDOM: 'I find in yoga not only am I able to reach a person, but also it's a way of really giving people knowledge and see there are easy tools they can use to help themselves.'