The Yogi Next to You


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

I was my father’s caretaker and when he died, I needed to start living my life without the person who had been my foundation.  So I started practicing yoga and it became more apparent that the foundations we seek to rebuild are the most important ones in our life.

Yoga mirrors life in that a strong foundation builds strength, focus, commitment, determination, courage, etc.  I used to practice at other studios, but when I experienced Angela, Christina, and Stephanie’s classes, I realized I achieved a greater insight into my practice because of their insight, practice and dedication.  Naturally, when they opened Mala I chose to follow them.

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

I like back bends because they open me up in so many ways. While there are a few poses I resist, like ankle-to-knee, I find I learn more about myself working through that pose. So I guess what I am saying is that I love the poses that I resist.

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

I try not to label anything as an obstacle. I have learned in yoga, as in life, the only thing that truly exists are possibilities.

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

This was perhaps the most difficult question to answer. The truth of the matter is, for me, every dharma talk is of value to me. I find that the value of each and every dharma talk reflects on my ability to listen. In this busy life, listening is a learned skill and the dharma talk challenges me to fine tune and assimilate my listening skills. Listening is about clearing the mind, centering the body, and noticing what happens within.

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

It may vary but usually Starbucks as I am in a hurry to open my store.

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

I would love to experience my practice of yoga and the mysticism of India.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

Yoga has allowed me to develop a foundation of focus, balance, patience, and being present not only for myself, but with others as well. It has taught me to always do my best, not more and not less. Everything is always changing. I find that if I try too hard to do more than my best, I will spend more energy than is needed and in the end my best will not be enough.

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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One Response to The Yogi Next to You

  1. Pingback: It’s Prep Time! | MALA YOGA

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