Meet TARA CONSI!
I’d taken yoga classes for many years on and off since the days I lived in Manhattan. I would go to yoga studios or gyms all over the city from time to time but never on a regular basis. I never became attached to one place.
When I was pregnant with my first child I started taking Yoga For Two with Mary Barnes. Mary Barnes was the first yoga teacher that really made an impact on me. I really believe my first birth experience was free of drugs because of her. But after having children I stopped practicing. Chasing toddlers around the parks seemed exercise enough. But now that my kids are older and in school I wasn’t getting any exercise and my mental and physical energy was diminishing. And worse, all these years I wasn’t getting any “me” time.
Slowly all my friends were becoming regulars at Mala. Yet, either I was too tired or could never prioritize to get myself to get to a class. Finally, 6 months ago I stopped making excuses and started taking basics classes with Christina and Steph. My creaky body and out-of-practice poses were immediately tended too. Between the warm welcome from Mala and the support of my friends, I knew immediately I had found a special yoga community. My life and my priorities shifted immediately. I am here to stay.
What pose do you want to do all day? What pose could you never do again?
I remember once hearing a story in class about a yoga teacher being frustrated with his students so he put them in headstand and left the room for an hour. When he came back they were all still in headstand. Headstand is my favorite pose at the end of class. I’m no where near able to stand on my head for an hour but it’s fun to try and stay up as long as possible (without the help of the wall). I also love all hip openers.
Thanks to my first yoga injury, I don’t look forward to doing shoulder stands anymore. I’m afraid I’ll crank my neck all over again.
What are your biggest yoga obstacles and how do you overcome them?
My biggest obstacle is practicing at home. Getting to yoga class is one of my top priorities now. But there are still weeks when I cannot make it to class as much as I’d like. When I go to class three times per week, the third class that week I feel great and loose and I can tell that it’s payed off. But when I go only once or twice, I’m sore and tight all over again.
My goal is to create a simple home routine so I can build up enough strength to accomplish poses such as crow and have more flexibility for poses such as hanumanasana. Practice makes practice.
What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?
There are many dharma talks that stick with me for a while. The last one I remember was in Marcus’s class. He had listened to a podcast from OnBeing.com (the title is “What We Nurture”). Dr. Sylvie Boorstein was speaking about what Buddha said: We have 5 genetic fall back glitches when challenged. Some people fret, some get angry, some feel paralyzed, some blame themselves, and some people soothe themselves through their addictions.
Marcus told a very funny story about a challenge he faced after listening to this podcast and his “anger button kept getting pushed”. It resonated with me because my glitch is also anger. Maybe because we both come from overbearing Italian families. 🙂
At times I feel paralyzed too. Paralyzing Anger maybe my glitch. The way for me to get through my glitches is to stop and re-evaluate and usually the challenge isn’t so challenging. Yoga is my stop button. Everything stops when in yoga class. In the real world, probably the best thing for me to do when faced with a challenge is to immediately go into downward dog and move through a vinyasa and everything will be ok. 🙂
Where is your favorite place to get a drink post-yoga?
Stopping by Cafe Pedlar with my yoga buddies after class for Lavender Mint iced tea and the ham pretzel sandwich is pretty much a given. At night my favorite spots are Henry Public, Local 61, and now Colonie for a Cool Hand Cukes mixed drink.
If you could practice yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If I could practice yoga anywhere in the world it would be on a yoga retreat somewhere tropical with Christina, Steph and Angela. I hope to someday make this a reality.
How has practicing yoga shifted other aspects of your life?
Yoga is my time out from life. A healthy one. It’s given me physical strength and mental breaks. It teaches me to face a challenge and push myself and everything will be ok if I fail because I can just try again. It’s teaching me its ok to be a beginner (another dharma talk from Steph that resonates with me always). Practicing yoga again is the first step to the next phase of my life now that my children are in school full time. Practicing yoga has shifted my priorities.
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.