Jon Brown is the last person you would think would become a yogi (at least he thinks so). Jon is a fixture in the early morning yoga classes and the occasional weekend class, and is a stickler about arriving on-time. Once you get past this pet peeve, however, Jon is a super-nice guy. In fact, he donated the beautiful couch in the lobby of Goorus yoga studio and is one of the fledgling studio’s first members.
Jon grew up in Malibu and went to Beverly Hills High School. In these stunning locations, Jon says, “I surfed and did a lot of water sports. I also was on the tennis team in high school.” Jon later took up golf, regularly playing the greens twice each week for 20 years. When he finally admitted to himself that his handicap wasn’t advancing the way he wanted, he took up yoga and dropped golf altogether. Jon credits yoga with opening up his shoulders to the point of adding 25 yards to his tee shots, which he recently discovered while hitting balls at the driving range. “But I still can’t touch my toes,” says Jon, “and that drives me nuts!”
Jon had been practicing yoga for a few years when his cardiologist, a deeply- indoctrinated Western medical professional, told him that “yoga does nothing for lowering your cholesterol levels.” Despite this, Jon had noticed a steady decline in his own cholesterol levels (20-30 points) since taking up yoga. Later, when Jon took a 6-month break from yoga after heart surgery, he watched his cholesterol numbers double. Jon vowed to prove to his doctor that yoga does have an impact on heart health; six months after returning to his yoga practice, his cholesterol numbers were once again near their pre-heart surgery levels. Jon no longer sees his former cardiologist, having fired him for maintaining such a rigid attitude, and choosing to work instead with an Indian doctor who is tuned into Eastern energy systems, Ayurvedic medicine, and a deep understanding of yoga’s whole-body benefits.
Jon says, “I look forward to going bright and early to the studio. I can roll out of bed and be there in less than 5 minutes. Practicing yoga helps me get my head together for what is usually a stressful day at the office where I represent writers and directors as well as produce movies and television. Yoga is a huge plus for me--no phones ringing, no clients calling—just me and my practice. I’ve made some terrific friends at that location and have no desire to go anywhere else. My wife and I regularly socialize with a few people from class, though my wife is more of a ‘Barry’s Boot Camp’ kind of gal.”
When the former YogaWorks closed in May, Jon hesitated to transfer his membership to another location; he didn’t want to add more driving or more stress to his daily routine. When the Lightfoots opened Goorus in June, Jon was enthusiastic, “It’s important to support Gretchen and John. They are a mom and pop business and treat people fairly. I hope they pull it off--there are a lot of the same teachers, so it [the studio] should attract the same people. Having this yoga studio in the Palisades will become even more important as Rick Caruso’s project gets underway.”