Meet CAITLIN CHANG!
I started practicing yoga during my senior year of college (1999). My mom had been insisting for some time that I’d love it (mind you, she never practiced yoga). My first class was very gentle with a group of women all over 60. Mom was right – I loved it.
Soon after that I found Ashtanga which was, and I suppose still is, my first yoga love, but I love it all really. I added yoga to my list of “I believes.” I believe in sleep, water, and yoga.
When I got pregs we made the move from Hells Kitchen to Brooklyn Heights. I found Mala and I’ve been thanking my lucky stars ever since. Mala has helped me become more attuned to alignment, the subtlety and nuances of poses, internal rotation and the importance of drawing into the midline. I love both the ethos of the studio and the spirit. Like I said, thanking my lucky stars.
What pose do you want to do all day? What pose could you never do again?
I used to love back bending, but it feels different post-pregnancy. It’s harder to open the front body and engage the core (what core?!). I still love Supta Kurmasana, and though I haven’t done it in ages, to me that is a pose of retreat and comfort.
What are your biggest yoga obstacles and how do you overcome them?
Getting to class is harder now with my wee one, so I’ve been practicing more at home using Mala’s podcasts or doing part of the primary series. I just negotiated with my dear mate and he’s willing to go in later to work on Wednesday mornings-so now I can hit the Wednesday morning class AND weekend classes.
What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?
I loved Lindsay’s recent-ish Dharma talk on “yuktum yuktum” (that’s definitely not the correct spelling) which I think loosely translates to “easy easy”. The idea, I think, was to be balanced in your approach to things-whether it’s a yoga posture, making a meal, getting the baby to sleep-maintaining a sense of ease with just enough effort.
Where is your favorite place to get a drink post-yoga?
Post-yoga drink is actually not a drink, but bagels (from Court Street Bagels) for the dear, baby-watching mate and myself.
If you could practice yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Oh wow-anywhere?!!? Maybe, Yosemite or somewhere with big sky.
How has practicing yoga shifted other aspects of your life?
On a physical level yoga has changed the way I stand on the subway, how I carry bags, how I sit, how I bend over, how I breathe – the whole shebang. On an internal level, I think I shed something after practicing-usually a hardness that comes from doing to much-my heart feels softer, more generous, and present.
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.