Meet JUDITH ALBERT!
What’s your yoga story? How did you find Mala?
I started doing yoga by mistake. I bid on the wrong item at a charity auction and unwittingly purchased a year’s unlimited pass to a local yoga studio! I had to get my money’s worth, so I took up yoga. I followed Mala’s founders here from that studio.
Because I love a bargain, I’ve bought lots of yoga deals and coupons at various studios around NYC. For me, paying money up front means I’m committed to going. But I often use up cast-offs from friends who want to wriggle out of their purchases, so I know that buying deals is a waste of money for many people.
Even I have my limits. I never used the other four classes at the studio where I was instructed, “Now grab your aura with both hands and use it to massage your temples.” That was one of the longest classes of my life.
Seeing many different studios has only enhanced my feelings for Mala. It’s got a mixture of intellect and physical practice that’s right for me, and a commitment to individual attention that is rare anywhere else.
What pose do you want to do all day? What pose could you never do again?
I really enjoy standing twists (revolved triangle, revolved half-moon, revolved warrior three). They’re not like anything you’d do in the rest of your life. Besides, once you get into them, it’s almost easier to stay there than to figure out how to unwind!
On the other hand, I have never been able to figure out why child’s pose is considered restful. (My youngest child actually sleeps in child’s pose, with hands by her ears and her butt against her shins). It does nothing for me.
What are your biggest yoga obstacles and how do you overcome them?
My biggest obstacle is a common one: I want to do everything right – right away!
This spring, I joined a yoga-thon and practiced every day for a month. I expected my physical practice to improve, and it did., But the biggest gains were on the mental side. I began to feel that I really could relax into a pose rather than focus on reaching the goal. After all, this wasn’t my only chance to get it right for the week – it was something I’d done yesterday and would be doing again tomorrow.
And just like that, I moved from trying to do yoga, to simply doing yoga.
What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?
Daniella’s message is always the same: open your heart, love and accept your body, and then move from there to loving and accepting the whole world. She believes it so fiercely herself, and it has clearly lead to such a lightness of spirit, that it always moves me.
Where is your favorite place to get coffee, or a drink, post-yoga?
Home. I live on Amity Street, across from the studio.
If you could practice yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?
You know, I have places I’ve been and would love to go back to, but I don’t associate them with yoga. Once I put down my mat, I’m in my own little world – it doesn’t matter to me where that actually is.
How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?
I believe strongly in yoga as an investment in myself – but like many women, I tend to put what I need for myself at the bottom of the “to do” list. It took me years to decide to try doing yoga every day because I was worried about spending another ten hours a week away from my kids.
Then I did it, and no one at home noticed!
I wish I could say that my practice has made me patient and forgiving and beloved by all who know me. But it has made me more willing to be patient and forgiving and loving with myself – and for a type-A, perfectionistic, judgmental native New Yorker, that’s a real transformation.
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.