Billy offers a truly unique balance of the physical, mental, and emotional elements of yoga. His classes immediately became part of my routine as cross-training for running and cycling when I realized the benefits in terms of strength, flexibility, and overall health. But what has made his classes such an important part of my life is his vision for the interplay between the physically strenuous and our breath, our gratitude, our compassion, and our enjoyment of the world around us. He seems to approach every class as an opportunity and a responsibility to share an understanding of and an appreciation for these connections through yoga. And even during the most challenging poses and the most abstract philosophical messages, he constantly reminds students of the benefits of levity and a smile, of feeling lucky to be alive and grateful for the chance to practice life through yoga.
Billy Potocnik is an extraordinary yoga teacher. Each of his classes is inspiring and challenging, fun and filled with energy. Yet that is not why I call him extraordinary - there are other teachers in Colorado and elsewhere who are inspiring, knowledgeable, and provide a great class. What puts Billy into a very special, high echalon of yoga teachers is his ability to teach from the heart. As he walks among the students in the always-packed studio offering alignment instructions as necessary and directing the poses, he is also infusing his students with whatever heart quality he selected as the focus for that day - courage, kindness, generosity, commitment. By way of example, I attended a fundraiser he held for a traumatic event on the other side of the globe. As he spoke throughout the class my heart ached for the unfortunate victims who we came that night to help. Following Billy’s comments, In every pose I expressed my desire to help in any way I could and to do my poses in a way that helped create a little more light to balance the darkness of the tragedy. How did that happen? It happened because Billy’s heart truly ached; Billy truly desired to create light out of that darkness. He is so full of life and vitality that it was impossible to be in the room with him without ourselves becoming more full, more alive and ready to offer some of that energy to others. He used his very special gifts as a yoga teacher, combined with his own deep love of life and compassion, to inspire us all that night. Of course each class isn’t as heavy with such emotion but you can count on each class being inspiring in some way, often funny, always tough, and always really solid yoga. You can plan on Billy sharing at least some aspect of himself every time you attend his class, making your experience of the class something very special. You’ll leave tired but invigorated, excited to live the rest of your day. Whether you are visiting Denver and are trying to squeeze in a great class or you live here and want a teacher who will bring out your best, find a way to get Billy’s class on your schedule.
I’ve been practicing yoga regularly and passionately for five years with Billy. its an integral part of my life; its continually challenging, physically & mentally and has transformed my strength in both capacities... He has a personal touch that creates an intimate bond within a classroom of strangers, it can be both an introspective experience and social outlet and is so much more than the best workout (and playlist) I’ve found. Its allowed my running & skiing body to stay out of the physical therapists office and rebound from a major injury.
The best part of my day is making it to Billy’s yoga class. There really is nothing that makes me feel more centered, gentle, re-focused, grateful. In the past, taking a yoga class was never a spiritual experience for me. But Billy’s gift is helping you practice with forgiveness- it doesn’t actually matter what you can or cannot do. It was impossible, before Billy, for me to take yoga without feeling competitive! I understand what it means to meet my body where it is for the day, challenge myself, but ultimately celebrate the fact that I’m not perfect and being perfect is not nearly the point. Not only will you sweat and get a great work out, but you will notice a marked difference in how your day unfolds after a yoga class guided by Billy. Who would have thought I’d ever wake up before 5:30am to make it a priority to get to my mat? Thank you, Billy, for coaching me and so many others become more connected and self aware. As a result I feel more physically- but especially more spiritually fit than ever before.
I’m quite certain that for everyone there’s a unique mind / body balance at every moment. Now matter how experienced, people go to their yoga practice to work within their context. Billy’s emotional intelligence affords him a keen sense around this balance, so that he can identify and deliver the right practice to the right people in the right way. Custom, not out-of-the-box yoga. This is why I practice with him weekly and have brought him into my workplace to bring this energy to my co-workers and teammates.
Over the last 3 years, Billy’s yoga classes have become a cornerstone for my physical and spiritual health. His take on yoga is, well, awesome. Yes, you will get in the best physical shape of your life if you’re a regular. But it’s his mental approach to the practice that will transform you. Beginners will love the challenge of “getting out of the way” of themselves. The advanced are always challenged to get back to their beginner mindset. No matter how big the class or how infrequently you come to his class, or how challenged or advanced your practice is, you’re never a number. Billy stays connected to you by name. As hippie as it might sound it’s true; my life has been enriched by his, now my, yoga. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable has never felt so good. Thank you Billy!
I am grateful to have been/continue to be a regular student of Billy’s at various studios throughout Denver for over 5 years. No matter the studio or the time, I can always count on Billy to brighten my day with his warm sense of humor and impeccable smile. He is a truly unique and gifted yoga teacher in his ability create the perfect blend of the mental, spiritual and the physical in his classroom…while making us laugh throughout the process. He brings both challenge and a sense of peace to his lessons. Billy also inspires me with his practice of yoga off the mat as a strong advocate for health, family, building community and giving back. Billy is an extraordinary yoga teacher and person and I look forward to learning more from him both on and off the mat.
Billy’s classes create an open expanse where I feel 100% comfortable and joyous as myself. I can feel the light pouring out of my heart and I proudly welcome the courage to embrace it and trust it. In Billy’s class, I feel like I’ve arrived home. Thank you for providing an atmosphere to breathe, let go and to uncover radiance!
I had done 3 yoga classes in my life when my daughter called and said we should go to Costa Rica for this yoga retreat with one of her favorite yoga teachers. A week of yoga, are you serious? Well, with an open mind, we went on the retreat not knowing what to expect. It turned out to be the greatest week, so much more than I could have ever imagined. Billy made me feel so comfortable in his class; his way of helping when you have wrong alignment or are in a difficult pose. Whether you’re in class or having dinner or at the beach, Billy is so great to be around. His energy in contagious, and his classes are absolutely the best!
It is difficult to put into words the experience that I had in Costa Rica this past April. Billy is a true gift to anyone who comes in contact with him. Not only because his yoga classes are AWESOME and you come out of them in the most wonderful yoga haze, but because of the person he is. Each morning we would start out with a seated meditation while he walked around the room just talking through what was on his mind. The crazy thing about Billy is that his words seem to resonate with everyone in the room, and it just makes you feel so good inside! He is a genuine soul, he has a good heart, he pushes you mentally, soulfully and physically, and he really makes a yoga retreat an extraordinary experience. Don’t miss out on something amazing and go!
As an avid athlete, I frequently heard of the benefits of yoga. It was not until the weight-training and running began to wear on my body that I found yoga and started dedicating three days a week toward strengthening myself using a different format. I started practicing yoga 7 years ago and have enjoy being part of many studios and practices; my experience with Billy’s practice had taken both my physical and spiritual selves to a new level. Billy leads a physically challenging practice while focusing on the spiritual, meditative, and healing qualities of yoga. He strives for his students to focus on more than just the workout, but finding balance with intention and breath. Yoga’s restorative and healing properties made me realize how powerful the practice can be with the proper guidance - I have found my practice evolving over the years under Billy’s instruction. Billy focuses on a strong sense of community and how yoga can help people stay the course for a life of mental well-being, balance, and happiness. Thank you Billy for helping me become better person inside and out.
I was ready to give up on yoga when I decided to give it one more try and ended up in Billy’s class. I’m glad I did. Yoga can be an intimidating scene to break into so I really appreciated Billy’s laid-back approach. He encouraged us to be inspired by our fellow classmates as we learned poses and assured us that it’s okay to make mistakes. Within minutes of taking one of his classes you’ll realize what an incredible workout it is. However, if you’re open to what he has to offer, the lessons he teaches in the studio not only help deepen your practice, but also reach far outside the studio doors transcending the rest of your life. I’m not the same person I was before I started practicing yoga with Billy and will be forever grateful I stepped into his class. I feel honored to practice with a teacher who not only provides instruction, but journeys with his students knowing exactly how to challenge and inspire them.
The 2013 retreat to Bali with Billy was a once in a lifetime experience. A life changing adventure with morning yoga in an open-air studio overlooking the rice paddies and mountains, followed by afternoon excursions to various sites including a Balinese temple, a cooking school, and the local marketplace. The retreat offered the perfect combination of Billy’s fantastic yoga classes with immersion in Balinese culture.... a trip I won’t soon forget.
Once I started a regular practice with Billy, I let go of all of it. My drive to get a certain pose. My goal to achieve handstand. My tendency to compare my gut and butt to every other female in the room. To expect a certain practice, certain amount of sweat, number of calories burned or type of music played. I stopped tracking data on my bike, run or exercise classes. I no longer cared about any of it. I let go. I just show up and breathed. And focused less on outcomes and more on the positive steps. The breath. The step. The pedal stroke. The meal. The snack. The motion. The keystroke. The sentence. The conversation. In everything I did, I let go of what I wanted as an endgame and just focused on the quality of each incremental, tiny little step. I decided that in each second, the now, is my focus. For the first time, in yoga, unrolling my mat was enough. For me, this is a huge step. To be able to just show up and expect nothing. But breath. And, to eliminate the expectations and judgement of myself or others for one hour. Well, doing that almost every day with Billy for a few years has improved everything. It’s taken me years to get to this mindset. And, in every moment, it’s a conscious choice to continue this mindset. I’ve always known that I am not my thoughts. And, that my thoughts, good or bad, have the power to control me, but shouldn’t. Billy has helped me live this principle, first on the mat, and now in most moments. And, in the weak ones, I have a glimmer of wisdom to at least ask myself, what’s going on here? Billy has helped me observe with a simple curiosity the power of my thoughts, particularly when negativity is swirling around me. And, guess what? My practice is so much easier. And, more fulfilling. And handstand is just another pose. That happens with grace and levity every once in awhile
While playing for the Atlanta Falcons as a professional football player in the NFL, a consistent practice of yoga payed dividends for me both physically/mentally. Billy played a pivotal role in that. He is one of the most giving human beings on this earth and I’m glad our paths were destined to cross in 2012 at Pura Vida Fitness and Spa. Yoga allowed me a practice where I was able to see my body adjust to a different type of exercise, compared to say, weightlifting. Billy has a great approach, allowing you to progress at your own speed and what you feel comfortable with during the practice of yoga. Never once did i feel pressed to replicate challenging posses that I or my body wasn’t ready for.I attained such a love for practicing yoga that I decided to travel on a Billyyoga retreat to Lumeria, Maui during the winter of 2015 with a group of 14 people. The travel/itinerary was so meticulously put together and planned by Traci (Billy’s Wife) and Billy, all I had to do during my trip was be at our planned destination and be open. I can’t wait to make it to another excursion in the next few years to experience the fantastic vibes and yoga practice that Billy provides for fellow Yogis. Billy will always be a great friend, yoga instructor, mentor, and person to contact when you need/don’t need anything because he will give you the same undivided attention because he cares that much. Yoga has opened many doors, allowing me to be more open minded and acceptable to life as well as the world around me. I thank Billy for being a constant influence in my life to do the right thing and always care for others, something I will always do until my dying day on earth.