The Yogi Next to You


The Yogi Next to You - Hannah RosenzweigWhat’s your yoga story?  How did you find Mala?

I started practicing yoga 10 years ago while living in San Francisco. After just a few weeks of going to class regularly, I had a feeling I’d be hooked for life! I moved back to NYC, to Brooklyn, and started taking studying with Stephanie, Angela and Christina in their pre-Mala days. I remember the day Steph told me the three were joining forces and opening their own studio on Court Street. I was so happy my favorite teachers from the neighborhood were following their dream and starting a studio together. I’ve been coming to Mala since it opened. Despite my irregular work schedule and periods of heavy travel over the past few years I’ve always felt a part of the community they’ve created. I am deeply grateful for Mala every time I punch the code to enter the building or chant OM at the end of a class.

What pose do you want to do all day?  What pose could you never do again?

I love triangle pose (I know it’s been mentioned in this column already). It helps me stretch my side body and hips and open my shoulders. There is something grounding and opening, rooted and also ecstatic about triangle. It always gives me a lot to think about.

I could do without Hanumanasana. It reminds me of ballet classes as a child. Ms. Dorothy would always yell at those of us who couldn’t reach the floor in our splits. I have naturally tight hamstrings (like my mom and my grandma) even though we’ve all been dancers. I just can’t relax in Hanumanasana regardless of how many props I’m using.

What are your biggest yoga obstacles and how do you overcome them?

My biggest challenge of the moment is developing a fulfilling home practice. I’m reading “Living Your Yoga” by Judith Hanson Lasater – she’s giving me some new ideas about how to look at “practice.”

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

Marcus began a recent class by honoring the passing of legislation legalizing gay marriage in NY State. He linked the passage of the law to cultivating patience in our own lives. It took a lot of hard work and patience, working and waiting for this historic moment. A reminder to cultivate patience meant a lot to me last Saturday. It was great to take a moment together, as a class, to honor the significance and emotion of the event. It truly made me feel part of a community. Thanks Marcus.

Where is your favorite place to get coffee, or a drink, post-yoga?

Café Pedlar for coffee after class. I also like Colonie’s drinks (and food).

If you could practice yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I like yoga anywhere warm and beautiful with a place for swimming after practice.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

I practice because it helps me connect.  It helps to get “only me/myself” out of the way for a second so I can see and hear and feel what’s going on around me more clearly. I’m often amazed that after a good yoga class I walk outside and everything seems more in focus – crisper or brighter – even if it’s raining or the weather is gray. I practice because it teaches me that everything is constantly changing and shifting. It helps with perspective on the hard days and moments – a bad, achy, boring or sad day passes and something different is inevitably there next class, or next day. The practice has encouraged a flexibility and openness to whatever comes up.

We’re thrilled to bring you the stories of Mala yogis in their own words.  Maybe you know them, maybe you’ve never seen them before, maybe they look familiar, maybe you once knew their name, but forgot.  Whatever the case may be, here is the chance to learn a little more about the person practicing on the mat next to you.  Click here to read about other yogis.


About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
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