OM AND AWAY
by Sandra Bark
Mala is my home away from home. It is more than a place to tone my triceps; it is a space for contemplation and reflection in a schedule packed with timelines and deadlines, must-dos and should-dos and to-dos.
We are all so busy in this city; or were you too busy to notice?
Going to Mala in the mornings lends my days a sense of steadiness. It’s a good reminder that no matter what challenges the day brings, no matter whose needs I might have to respond to, I matter, too.
But lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in another busy city. As soon as I get on the plane, everything changes: the time zone, the weather, the view from the window. I change too, into someone who is a stranger instead of a person surrounded by familiar faces. And I wake up in someone else’s home, in someone else’s busy schedule.
Mala might not be there, but yoga still is. So I actively seek out local classes. I become the yoga version of “if you can’t be with the ones you love, love the ones you’re with.” And just like it does at home, a daily practice makes my life mine, at least for an hour and a half.
When I am in Brooklyn, I practice at Mala, because I’m partial to the focus on alignment and balance, and because Angela, Steph and Christina help me feel more grounded in a familiar place.
When I am in Los Angeles, I practice at City Yoga with Anthony Benetani and Maud Nadler, warm and welcoming teachers who align my body in space while they help me feel more grounded in a new place.
And I have realized what Mala really gives me: not just a place to go in the morning when I am at home, but a strong, portable foundation, so I can feel at home wherever I go.