The Yogi Next to You


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

I started doing yoga in 1997 in San Francisco on and off and then it became a regular part of my life in 2000 at a studio in the east village called Bhava Yoga. I then tried a bunch of different studios in the city (where I lived at the time) and ended up mainly practicing at Vira Yoga. One of the reasons I was worried about moving to Brooklyn 4 ½ years ago was that I didn’t want to leave Vira Yoga. But the month I moved into my apt on Amity street was the month that Mala opened and I have been practicing there ever since and feel super lucky that the studio is just on the corner of my street!

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

The pose I literally do all day is tree pose. I like standing in tree for some reason when I am standing waiting for things. I also really like handstand because it was one of those poses that I never thought I could do and one day a long time ago my friend who is super quiet and never raises her voice, yelled at me to “just kick up” and I was so surprised by the force in her voice, that I did it.

I could live without bridge pose. It hurts my back and reminds me that I am getting old.

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

My biggest yoga obstacle is my shoulder which seems to sometimes hurt more after yoga honestly, but it keeps me working to learn how to do things correctly and it keeps me from knowing the difference between pushing yourself in a good way and pushing yourself too hard. Another obstacle is breathing. It seems like such a simple thing and sometimes I feel like I have no idea how to do it. So yoga keeps me focused on learning how to focus on my breath, which helps me stay more centered in the rest of my life.

Another obstacle I used to have was with partner work. I would get super nervous when it was time to do that years ago. I think I felt pressured by it in some way, but now I love doing partner work and every time I do, I am reminded that if I can face that fear, I can face other fears too. Corny, but true.

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

A few weeks ago Lindsay talked about looking for what’s right in a situation rather than first going to what’s wrong-this is super hard to do but I am really trying to live by it. Also, I am a family and couples therapist, and I have used that idea with my clients ever since and it has been really helpful.

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

After yoga on the weekends, I normally get a smoothie or a juice at Nectar.

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

Yoga keeps me in shape which I like, it helps me feel calm and relaxed, which I need being who I am and also working as a therapist. Yoga helps remind me of what is important in the world and it helps me feel connected to other people. And yoga has helped me with my physical health in so many ways I am beyond thankful for that aspect of what yoga has done for me.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

I’m a nicer person to be around. I feel better. I try not to get so hung up on minutia and I’m not so afraid of getting older and creakier, because I know I’ll always have this practice with me to help me through the changes.

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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