The Yogi Next to You


The Yogi Next to You - Daniella Rosales-FriedmanWhat’s your yoga story? How did you find Mala?

My yoga story began about 13 years ago. I attended my first class in NYC, right after graduating college. I came home to Brooklyn to find a job, and a direction. Yoga class seemed like a perfectly good way to avoid the help-wanted ads on Sunday morning. Of course, I had no idea that yoga would seep into all aspects of my life–work, fun, family.  But I’m getting ahead of myself….

From the beginning, yoga was a revelation. Before yoga, I’d never been interested in sports, or any real physical activity for that matter. I hadn’t considered myself coordinated, strong, or flexible. Instead, my body’s main function was to carry around my brain. But in yoga class, I discovered I had a body!

I found Mala about 4 years ago, when I moved to the neighborhood. Stephanie welcomed me immediately. Her language, her perspective, and the way she said “caw-fee” made me feel more comfortable in a yoga studio than I’d ever been before.

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

I could do a supine twist all day. Luscious!

Never again? Legs up the wall. I’m weird, I know. But I swear I can feel the blood oozing up toward my thighs.

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

As my physical practice gets stronger, it becomes more of a challenge to keep my mind on the mat. I can make it *look* like I’m totally present and in the moment….even when my mind is chit-chatting away. When I’m on “yogi-autopilot”, I try to slow everything down–my breathing, the asana, and eventually my thoughts. It usually works.

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

A teacher mentioned in class “A lot of things had to go perfectly right for you to be here now”. It made me think of all the miracles–big and small–I have in my life. In that little phrase, I felt gratitude for my parents, their parents, this time in history, technology, all my past boyfriends and all my past bosses.

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

I love Henry Public for food and drinks. They’re so friendly over there. And for dessert, The Chocolate Room does a really yummy version of s’mores. They’re sold in 2-packs. Share with a friend, or don’t.

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

Here, always. New York is my paradise, and my home. New Yorkers are my family.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

Practicing yoga taught me I have a body. Teaching yoga taught me I have a voice.  Also, I get to be my mother’s teacher and tell her what to do on a weekly basis (in class, anyway).

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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5 Responses to The Yogi Next to You

  1. It’s such an honor to be part of the Mala Crew!!!

  2. Pingback: Yoga for the Single Girl: Ask Daniella | MALA YOGA

  3. Pingback: The Heart of Yoga | MALA YOGA

  4. Pingback: The Heart of Yoga | MALA YOGA

  5. Pingback: The Heart of Yoga | MALA YOGA

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