The Yogi Next to You


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

My first yoga experience was prenatal yoga at Integral when I was pregnant the first time (Benjamin’s about to turn 16 – and has dated another baby from that class!). It was a fabulous way to connect with other pregnant women and very reassuring to see so many go off and have babies ahead of me.

The years with 3 young children at home were a blur, then I started doing yoga when my youngest went to preschool about 6 years ago. I was doing it at various places when Liz Luckett said I had to try Mala, that I would love everything about it. She was right! We joke that she’s like Mary Poppins. She got me set up and then was on her way.

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

Ardha Chandrasana. I love the full extension and the feeling of soaring in a roomful of people doing it. Also it’s fun to transition into from other poses.

I don’t like reclining virasana.  My knees just scream “don’t do this!” Luckily, there are bolsters.

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

I’m very tight in the inner thigh which has always made uphavistha konasana really hard. My mind goes back to Miss Dorothy’s ballet class at the Joffrey when I was the only girl who couldn’t do a wide straddle and put my head on the floor. When we do it, I just close my eyes and listen to the instructions like, thinking about bringing the outer knee to the hip, and that really helps me. I think the encouraging spirit in the class makes trying challenging poses fun, no matter what level you are working.

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

Jen’s talk about surgeons with Tourrette’s Syndrome who are able to forget their ticking for hours while they operate. Thinking about different kinds of mindfulness and forgetting.

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

One Girl Cookies. The staff is so nice and its quiet and delicious. Although its fun to see the whole class at Cafe Peddlar sometimes!

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

I think the idea of practicing and then swimming in lovely water sounds heavenly, so I’d love to go to Costa Rica, Tahiti, or anywhere with a fabulous beach right there.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

For a year I stopped doing yoga to have more time in my studio and found that my work and my body suffered. This past year, doing yoga more seriously at Mala has helped my painting enormously. Also, having elderly parents makes me feel this investment in ourselves is really for everyone we know.

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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