The Yogi Next to You


The Yogi Next to You - Meghan O'HareWhat’s your yoga story? How did you find Mala?

My yoga journey started when I took my first class in a San Francisco ashtanga studio in 1999. I was taken by the combination of physical and spiritual in the same practice.  I explored a few different styles and many instructors, but was always drawn to the teachers who offered a bit of spirituality, some humor, and extra insight into the poses.

In 2008, I took a yoga teacher training to learn more about the practice of yoga beyond the postures. There I learned that yoga is much more than the poses, and I began to understand that we all have uniquely constructed bodies that deserve attention on the mat.

Last year I moved to Brooklyn, newly pregnant, and I feared I  would never find the quality & comfort of my beloved yoga studio in California.  My first class at Mala was with Steph, and it felt like I was home! Pregnancy did not really agree with me, so I did not come to class as much as I would have liked, though I had a gentle practice at home.

After my daughter was born, Mala was calling my name again. I was fortunate enough to go to two weeks of yoga camp this summer where I was able to regain some strength, flexibility, and insight about my body. Thank you Steph, Angela, and Daniella for your expertise and dedication during those weeks. For me, it was truly a transformative experience!

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

I could stay in tree pose all day. I would gladly never attempt wheel again.

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

My biggest Yoga obstacles right now involve being a new mom.  I have to constantly remind myself to respect my new post-partum body, taking care to modify my practice despite what my ego is telling me.  I also find it difficult to get to the classes that are right for me because of the child-care issue.  Another mom friend and I do weekly child care trades so that we can each get some mid-week yoga in.

I have also started to practice at home again during Hadley’s nap-times. Sometimes I listen to Mala’s podcasts, and sometimes I do my own thing.  It is tough to put myself as top priority during that precious part of the day, when I could be getting so much done, but when i do, the loving-kindness I can share with my family (dogs and all) increases by tenfold & everyone benefits.

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

My friend Caitlin recently reminded me about one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings.  He talks about the  about the seeds that are planted within us, both negative and positive, and that we can choose to water certain seeds to make them grow stronger.  As a new mother, I sometimes find myself watering my seed of worry or fear.  I don’t want this seed to grow into a giant though, so I try to shift my “watering” to the more positive seeds inside, such as love and joy.

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

I like the tea selections at Van Leuwen Coffee on Bergen, especially the pu-erh.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

Practicing yoga has affected my life immensely.  It creates a sense of well-being and peace for me. Yoga has taught me to pay attention to my breath.  During difficult situations I use this skill, and I am able to stay calm.

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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