The Yogi Next to You

Meet LINDA DOLAN!

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

I grew up playing sports and wasn’t particularly interested in sitting around and stretching (or at least what I thought yoga was about at the time).  My sister started practicing yoga in college and had been encouraging me to try it for a few years. She also happens to be a physical therapist and I’d ask her to check out the various sports injuries I’d get, and every time she’d say, you should really try yoga – it could really help you.  But it wasn’t until I injured my knee and wasn’t allowed to do anything with impact for 3 months (no running, no elliptical, no bike) that I finally started a regular practice.

I had been going to a studio in Manhattan that was nice enough, but the classes were big and I didn’t really feel like I was part of a community.  I randomly went to a class with a friend at her regular studio in Park Slope, really enjoyed it, and her teacher suggested I check out Mala. I went to my first class a little over a year ago and have been hooked ever since.

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

Lately I’ve been enjoying the release I feel in my hips after reclined virasana with a bolster. I struggle with gomukhasana (cow face pose).

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

My biggest obstacle is just getting to class. I know I’ll feel great once I get there, but trying to balance it with everything else going on and making it a priority can be challenging.

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

With all the rain we’ve been getting recently, it reminded me of a passage Angela had quoted from Pema Chodron: “The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face-to-face. When we feel resentment because the room is too hot, we could meet the heat and feel its fieriness and its heaviness. When we feel the resentment because the room is too cold, we could meet the cold and feel its iciness and its bite. When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel its wetness instead. When we worry because the wind is shaking our windows, we could meet the wind and hear its sound… Like the tides of the sea, like day and night – this is the nature of things. Being able to appreciate, being able to look closely, being able to open our minds – this is the core of maître.”

It was nice to just sit back, observe the sound of the rain hitting the roof and enjoy the cooler weather the rain brought along with it.

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

Coffee (and maybe a croissant): Bien Cuit

Drink: Bar Tabac or Clover Club

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

I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it would be amazing to practice on a beach and go for a swim in the ocean afterwards.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

I initially started yoga to help with my flexibility, but have been pleasantly surprised by the mental benefits. I used to get regular tension headaches brought on by stress and computer-asana  I found that yoga has improved my posture, reduced my stress levels, and these have pretty much disappeared (except if I haven’t been to class in a while). I also have been more observant of my thoughts, and when they tend to be critical or negative I try to take a moment to pause, breathe and let it pass.

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.

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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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