Dechen's first taste of Jivamukti Yoga came at the age of nineteen. His dance teacher at Playwrights horizons, Maude Karlsonn (nicknamed the "Swedish Mistress of Pain" by classmates), gave him a flier with a photo of Sharon Gannon in side crow position and told him to go to 2nd ave. and practice there. It was love at first class. He frequently attended class, initially as a warm-up for acting rehearsals, later for refuge from the pressures of his identity. Jivamukti Yoga was instrumental in bringing Dechen home, so to speak, back to his family's deep roots in Buddhism. Many inexplicably good things would happen to him on such a punctual basis associated with Jivamukti that his life literally depended on it. The psychospiritual investigation that Jivamukti stimulated was fundamental to his success in acting and massage.