The Yogi Next to You


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

I have been self-employed my whole adult life. Of course it has its pluses, but for me the stress is by far the worst part. I was looking for a way to control it. Many of my friends recommended yoga and thought I should give it a try.

Because I never practiced before, and naturally being the stressed-out guy that I am, I was nervous to jump right in. Am doing it right? Why can’t I do that? I think we have all been there! Some one I know suggested I try some private lessons to ease myself into it, and they recommended Marcus. So I began two private classes twice a week for three months and I was, to say the least, hooked!

I thought, “hey I think I can go to a class”, and Marcus suggested Mala. He said I would love it and they would make me feel right at home. And, here I am almost two years later, and still as excited to come as that very first day!

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

I love any back-bendy pose – I love camel, upward dog, crescent lunge. I also love tree and all of its arm variations. I really have an aversion to half-moon pose. I think mainly because I have that typical guy issue with my hips, but I am getting there.

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

I don’t see anything in yoga as an obstacle, besides my own physical limitations (again all guy stuff, tight hips, shoulders, etc.) I am willing to try anything!

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

I like the idea of dedicating your practice to someone else, and the concept that being good to yourself also affects everyone around you and makes their life a little better in turn! What a wonderful thought…

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

I live in Brooklyn Heights, so on my walk home I grab a bottle of red at Brooklyn Wine Exchange. I love that place.

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

I have traveled all over the world and still have not been to India. When I go, I will practice a little yoga and, I am sure, experience a little culture shock.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

Since I have been practicing yoga, I am able to handle all the curveballs life continuously throws at me in a more rational, calm, and thoughtful way. This is by far the greatest benefit for me.

I really like the physicality of the practice as well. I think I have become stronger, more thoughtful, and finally realize what it is truly like to actually breathe!

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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