City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Mind over matter

Potomac entrepreneur turned to yoga for fresh start

Article by Danielle S. Tepper

Photography by Smitaparidaphotography

Originally published in Potomac Lifestyle

While some may view yoga as a practice for rejuvenation, Debi Schenk also used the meditative exercise as an opportunity for reinvention after a series of events left her feeling like she’d hit rock bottom.

All within just a couple of years, she was let go from her corporate job of almost two decades, her parents passed away, and she went through a divorce. “My life pretty much just fell to pieces,” she says. “I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

But she didn’t let the setbacks stop her; instead, she viewed all the uncertainty as an opportunity to follow her passion.

“I had been doing yoga forever and one of my friends said I should do yoga teacher training. I decided to go for fun and realized I loved it,” she explains. “I said to myself, ‘I wonder if I can make a living doing this.’”

After a long stint of running around teaching at various studios and even out of her own basement, Schenk eventually decided to open her own studio. Park Potomac Yoga opened on July 1, 2019 at 12500 Park Potomac Ave.

Schenk established herself in the community pretty quickly by offering a full range of classes for all experience levels, winning Bethesda Magazine’s “Best New Gym or Fitness Studio” after just two months. Her loyal clientele has been growing steadily ever since.

Independently owned, boutique-style yoga studios aren’t hard to find, but Schenk says she’s set herself apart by making sure to cater to beginners, offering a personal connection that helps ease any apprehension.

“Everything I’ve ever wanted is wrapped up in this studio. I’m usually sitting right at the front desk. I know everyone’s name. All of my teachers were hand-picked. We truly care and we want everyone to feel loved and safe.”

First timers also may not understand how beneficial it is to achieve that mind/body connection.

“Yoga really is different; it strengthens your body and lengthens your muscles—you don’t even know what’s happening until one day you look at your abs,” she laughs. “It keeps you in shape and it does truly calm you down.”

The risk has been worth the reward and her hope now is to just continue to grow and evolve.

“I hope people love it, because we’re a family here. People put their mats down and chat with their neighbors,” she says. “It’s really been exactly what I dreamt of.”

For more information, including class schedules, visit For a limited time, get 30 days for $30 for new students only!

Tadasana (mountain pose) 

1.       Build your pose from your feet up, standing at the top of your mat. 

2.       Step your feet hips-width distance apart, evening out your weight distribution. 

3.       Keep your feet parallel to each other and parallel to the edges of your mat. 

4.       Spread your toes and push your big toes into your mat to feel your inner thighs activate.  

5.       Tuck your tailbone gently under and pull your belly in. 

6.       Lift your kneecaps and feel your quads activate. 

7.       Lengthen the spine, gently bring your shoulder blades down your back to open your chest. 

8.       Keep your arms by your sides with hands facing forward and your fingers spread wide. 

9.       Think about your muscles lifting up away from your mat as you press your feet firmly down, keeping your chin neutral and your neck long. 

10.   Breathe deeply for five or more breaths. 


Don’t eat one to two hours before practicing yoga! “The twists and bends will feel much better on an empty stomach,” says Schenk.

Businesses featured in this article