The Yogi Next to You


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

I found Mala a few years ago by walking down the street and seeing the chalk board out front. I’d taken yoga intermittently since the early ‘90s, mainly because I knew it was “good for” me, but to be honest I never really liked it that much!

Since I found Mala, because of the teachers and philosophy here, I now love yoga (and no, they didn’t pay me to say that). Learning that yoga doesn’t have to hurt. Knowing it can be modified for each person’s body type – combined with the level of anatomical knowledge the teachers have, quite frankly, has made all the difference to me.

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

I love all balancing poses and hip opening poses. I could do pigeon all day. My inner masochist also likes poses that make my muscles burn, such as forearm plank.

I am NOT a fan of utkatasana. I’ve spent years trying to avoid or modify this pose but very recently I’ve decided I should instead try to embrace it.

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

I have a lot of back and neck issues that I have to be careful about. I’m working on strengthening my core to help with my back. With my neck, there’s no overcoming. I have to avoid certain poses altogether, like headstand.

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

I get something out of pretty much all of them, but something Steph said on New Year’s Eve morning has really stayed with me. Instead of focusing solely on all the No’s (things you won’t do, won’t eat, etc.), include plenty of the Yes’s as well. I love that.

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

Depending on how hungry I am, I’ll either go to Café Pedlar for the most delicious decaf latte ever and a biscuit, or huevos rancheros and cheese grits at Lobo. Yum. On weekday evenings I like La Vara.

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

I like practicing right here at Mala. Though I wouldn’t say no to Rio de Janeiro…

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

It has definitely made me much more patient and present!

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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2 Responses to The Yogi Next to You

  1. Pingback: Words to Live By | MALA YOGA

  2. Pingback: Words to Live By | MALA YOGA

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