goodstudent of the Month October – Leslie Roberts

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014

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Say hi to Leslie! She’s goodyoga’s goodstudent of the month chosen by Flannery, goodyoga’s Teacher of the Month.

Why Flannery chose Leslie as Student of the Month

Leslie’s progress, through immediate and consistent dedication to her practice, has been extraordinary.

I remember her first class last winter. She seemed very hopeful but somehow apprehensive.

Every time I’ve seen her since, she looks stronger, happier and YOUNGER than the last. She goes head first into every challenge and every time she succeeds it emboldens her toward the next one. She’s been joining in on the good101 now. I look forward to her unique perspective in every session. She has such a wealth of diverse experience to bring to the group. We’re extremely fortunate she found us.

Every time I’ve seen her since, she looks stronger, happier and YOUNGER than the last.

Leslie on why goodyoga makes her happy

The teachers and community at goodyoga are so very open and welcoming, and the classes offer a pure practice with lots of encouragement and a positive attitude.  In the classes the diversity of students and teachers and the respect we have for each other create a rich environment for learning.  It’s a good place to practice bringing inner and outer experiences into harmony.  And being able to walk to the studio makes it easy to stay committed. Most of all for me goodyoga is a place of healing, where I can go through the process of mending in my own time, with the full kindness and support of goodyoga’s wonderful teachers.

Most of all for me goodyoga is a place of healing, where I can go through the process of mending in my own time, with the full kindness and support of goodyoga’s wonderful teachers.

Goodyoga makes me happy because it is such a bright spot in the neighborhood.  Every time I walk by I smile.  Here is where I am constantly learning and feeling a sense of growing stronger and lighter every day.  The connection between mind, body and spirit is so clear in yoga.  Each pose lays open a different aspect of life, and creates an opportunity to recreate who I am and how I relate to the world.  Before every class I promise to try everything and injure nothing.  Whether in child’s pose just following along mentally, or wobbling on one foot looking for a few moments of balance, or experiencing the joy of rediscovering movements that once were good friends, it’s time well invested.  I figure after a year of this I’ll have a bit of an idea of what yoga is about, and can really deepen my practice.  It’s a vast subject!

Goodyoga makes me happy because it is such a bright spot in the neighborhood. Every time I walk by I smile. Here is where I am constantly learning and feeling a sense of growing stronger and lighter every day.

These are just a few of the benefits I’ve experienced here at goodyoga.  I sincerely wish you well in your journey, and hope you have many happy and enlightening moments!

 

 

 

goodteacher of the month October – Flannery Foster

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014

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Back in the saddle again. Flannery is finally settled into the routine of city life a month after her return from a 4 month sabbatical spent working on the long and bumpy road between Argentina and Mexico.This Fall, she’ll be teaching fewer classes and focusing on her other role as goodyoga’s co-founder. After 2 years of rapid expansion, she and Ray are eager to fine-tune operations and expand offerings.You can still find Flannery practicing next to you in either the Greenpoint or Bushwick studios. Ensuring the consistency of instruction, curriculum and customer service are paramount at goodyoga.Flan will also be heading up the weekend good101 Teacher Training sessions, with Rebekah, Casey, Marie and Amy contributing their expertise, as well.

What’s it all about?
Jump in on any afternoon Philosophy session for the next three weekends. We’ll be covering The Yoga Sutras, The Chakras & the Subtle Body, Ayurveda, Sanskrit, The Upanishads & Bhagavad Gita. Heavy topics in a relaxed environment with folks new to yoga and teachers wanting to brush up. Curious? Come on over.

Let’s get physical.
If existential matters aren’t your cup of tea, then you can always get heavy into your asana practice. Flan is teaching Anatomy 9:30 – 11:30 am on Saturdays followed by Rebekah’s Alignment sessions on Sundays same time. Get ready to blow your practice wide open.

Bright and Early
The Early Birds are rewarded with Flan on Mondays at 7:30 in the Garden at Greenpoint. Wet weather means we will be inside.

Otherwise, you can book a private with Flan whenever you want. A personal session with is a perfect opportunity to refine your Asana practice, take advantage of her Thai Massage skills and or solve a problem with the logic of Yoga.

Just email guru@goodyoga.com to organize a session for whatever challenges you wish to address.

Flannery took a moment to answer the revealing Proust Questionnaire.

GOODQUESTIONS

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A: To completely experience each moment in a relaxed and focused state. Enlightenment.

Q:What is your greatest fear?

A: Painful Death. Mine and others.

Q:What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A: Identification with the Ego

Q:What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A: Willful ignorance. Delusion.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?

A: Everyone.

Q: What is your greatest extravagance?

A: Choosing to live in New York City.

Q: What is your current state of mind?

A: Focused.

Q: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

A: Faith

Q: On what occasion do you lie?

A: When I fear the consequences of telling the truth.

Q: What do you most dislike about your appearance?

A: A lot. Best not to draw attention to one’s flaws.

Q: Which living person do you most despise?

A: No one.

Q: What is the quality you most like in a man?

A: Curiousity

Q: What is the quality you most like in a woman?

A: Curiousity

Q: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

A: Like and love.

Q: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

A: Life itself.

Q: When and where were you happiest?

A: Now.

Q: Which talent would you most like to have?

A: Play every instrument and speak every language.

Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A: Greater acceptance.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: Existence

Q: If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

A: Ray and I will be buried in a green cemetery with no chemicals, wrapped in muslin.
So We’ll grow into a tree.

Q: Where would you most like to live?

A: Everywhere

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

A: Passport

Q: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

A: The loss of personal freedom.

Q: What is your favorite occupation?

A: Wandering.

Q: What is your most marked characteristic?

A: Hair

Q: What do you most value in your friends?

A: Patience

Q: Who are your favorite writers?

A: Kurt Vonnegut, Milan Kundera, Hunter S. Thompson, Chekov, Shakespeare, Patanjali

Q: What is your greatest regret?

A: Ignorance. That others have been hurt by my actions.

Q: How would you like to die?

A: With all my faculties, peacefully, unexpectedly, in my sleep at a very old age.

Q: What is your motto?

A: Om
Purnamadah Purnamidam
Purnat Purnamudachyate
Purnasya Purnamadaya
Purnameva Vashishyate
Om shanti, shanti, shanti

translation
Om.
That is infinite, this is infinite;
From That infinite this infinite comes.
From That infinite, this infinite removed or added;
Infinite remains infinite.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

How Yoga Helped Marie Through Her Pregnancy and Labor

Posted by on Sep 24, 2014

In May 2013 we found out I was pregnant. As excited, as I was to start forming a family, just as petrified I was of damaging this little “thing” forming inside of me. With an advanced daily vinyasa practice I suddenly felt restricted. I was used to doing twists, inversions and jumping back and forth in vinyasa. Now I wasn’t allowed to do any of that and surprisingly enough it made me frustrated and gloomy. What was wrong with me? I was pregnant and it was fantastic. This really wasn’t about me. I was having a baby and it was a miracle and much bigger than my yoga practice. Slowly I realized I was addicted to my sweaty, twisted, invigorating yoga practice and I had to change my perspective A.S.A.P. If anything, yoga had taught me to be ready to adapt and embrace new change and I obviously wasn’t doing that. What I found with my prenatal practice was something very special. It was a new selfless practice, nourishing for me and my baby. Without it I’m sure my pregnancy wouldn’t have been so easy and comfortable and I definitely wouldn’t have tackled my rather dramatic labor as well as I did.

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I slowly started changing my daily yoga practice and it required some mental training. First for all, I needed to get my head around the fact that I was having a baby and that my life would change – not just now, but forever. Also, I was having quite a lot of nausea in my first trimester, so it came very natural not to continue my daily practice as before. I started meditating more to connect with my feelings about having a baby. Also, I adopted a more hatha inspired practice with less vinyasa flow and more standing still poses. I went to prenatal yoga classes. Meet women going through the same as me, mentally and physically. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t crazy!

As my pregnancy unfolded I started incorporating more restorative poses to replenish and rejuvenate my tired and wobbly body and when I felt like an invigorating vinyasa type of class I would modify, modify, modify!! No up dog, no belly lying poses, no closed twists, no full wheel, no breath of fire and no inversions. And I felt great!! No aches and no pains. This pregnancy thing was a piece of cake, I thought. I started enjoying my newfound body and the practice that followed as I was modifying myself through my practice. I looked forward to practicing yoga and being with the other women going through the same as me. This was my sacred space. The space where I felt strong, where I felt balanced and where I felt spacious (something you don’t always feel when your belly grows and all your organs are being pressed a side). I practiced with a conscious breath , did mock contractions and kegels. The baby grew beautifully and I was getting ready to meet my little man. I had planned a home birth with a midwife and a doula. I had the pool in my apartment, and all the equipment. I was ready! But the little guy didn’t want to show his face.

I continued practicing breathing to calm my body, mind and soul as I was getting more and more anxious to get my labor going. Finally on the 11th day past my due date my labor started…on the yoga mat off course. I was relieved….and then I got the fever – a very high fever (106). I was transferred to a hospital in New Jersey. A birthing clinic my midwife, Cara Mulhahn, was very fond of and where natural birthing was considered imperative. The sudden change in my birth didn’t bother me. I had been mentally prepped through my prenatal classes to embrace any changes to my birth plan. At the end of the day what matter was that I delivered a healthy baby boy.

ferdinand5At the hospital my new midwife and a doctor saw me every two hours and every time they gave me two more hours to birth naturally, before deciding on whether I should have a cesarean. I knew I was under pressure to deliver (literally speaking), so I decided very early on to focus on my breath and ways of getting my baby to descend quicker instead of panicking about the situation causing adrenaline to rise and my labor to stop. I did pelvic circles, walked around, bounced on a birthing ball, showered standing – all whilst I was having contractions every minute and just wanted to lie on my side doing nothing. But there were no breaks and no drugs to take away the discomfort – just full on labor! I was exhausted but focused, because I didn’t want to have a cesarean and it was NOW OR NEVER!!! So even though I wanted to surrender, I wanted to relax and I wanted to get rid of the discomfort, I stuck with it, because was there anything yoga had taught me then it was to stay with my discomfort, to not react to my emotions and physical discomforts. Eventually it would all be over and had I not done everything in my power to deliver naturally, I would have been devastated. So at 6 cm my midwife decided to dilate me manually to 8 cm and off we went to the delivery room. Soon after my baby boy was born and all the pain was gone. The only thing left was an immense boost of oxytocin (the love hormone) and a newfound curios love towards this new little creature lying in my arms. Finally everything was calm. Finally he was in my arms. FINALLY!

 

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE EARLY BIRD?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014
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It’s no secret. The most popular time for yoga is 7:30 pm. Folks tend to make time for yoga in the evening after work when they are ready to wind down. However, studies show that ‘morning people’ exercise more consistently with better results.

Seize the adrenalin. In the morning, our bodies naturally have higher levels of hormones like adrenalin which helps us get out of bed. We can take advantage of that extra adrenalin by doing yoga and increasing heathy cardiovascular activity.

Time to Focus. Exercise has been proven to increase mental focus and acuity for up to ten whole hours post-workout. If you’re squeezing in yoga after work, you’re not taking full advantage of those ten hours, since you’re likely sleeping for most of them. An A.M. workout means that both your brain and your body are in good shape all day.

Weight Loss. If shedding a few pounds is important, it looks like the morning is the optimal yoga time. An early workout has been shown to result in fewer food cravings throughout the day. Perhaps even better, working out in the morning means that your body will burn calories faster and more efficiently throughout the day. Combine that with nutritional foods and you have the perfect workout.

 To sum it up … 

Wake up a just a little earlier.

Optimize brain and body function throughout the day.

Lose weight more effectively.

ps: goodyoga tends to be less crowded at 7.30AM, too.

GOODYARD CLASSES

THEY’RE BACK!

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014

As much as we all love summer, it’s also the time where teachers go away, which to some of you have been a longing sigh for your favorite teacher. Especially Rebekah and Casey were gone for a long time and missed by students, but guess what they are BACK!! Woop woop!

But where did they go? Well, Rebekah was at the West coast visiting old friends in San Francisco from where she trekked to Black Rock City, Nevada to attend the radical self-expression festival Burning Man. Here she spent 12 days in the desert working at a camp making and altering costumes for people attending the festival.

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Whilst Rebekah was enjoying the colorful and magical Burning Man, Casey was  having fun in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, where he spend his time teaching mindfulness, yoga, contemplative performance and team building  for kids at the Inward Bound camp.

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September’s Teacher of the Month – Rebekah Nagy

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014
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We are pleased to present Rebekah Nagy as Septembers teacher of the month. Rebekah is one of those teachers that when you meet her, you are struck by her warmth and kindness. With her extensive knowledge within the Krishnamacharya lineage, Rebekah is goodyoga’s headteacher along with Flannery for our  teacher training. Rebekah also does goodyoga retreat and this thanksgiving (Nov. 21- Nov.30.) you can join her and Smitha in our goodtrip to GoKarna, India for daily yoga and meditation and lots more.

Get to know Rebekah a little better with her answers to the famous Proust Questionnaire.

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

A: Feeling clear and open and pure, and peacefully connected to all beings around me. These rare moments are when I’m my best self. Part of why I practice yoga involves wanting to feel this way all the time, or at least more of the time.

Q: What is your greatest fear? 

A: Death (duh!). If we break all fears down to their core, at the heart is fear of obliteration and dissolution of our egos. And our egos lay trap after trap to catch us along the way.

Q: Which historical figure do you most identify with? 

A: Good question! I’m not sure.

Q: Which living person do you most admire? 

A: Ram Dass. I have read his writings and I listen to his recordings often. He’s my hero, a beautiful soul and inspiration in my life and practice.

Q: What is the trait that you most deplore in yourself? 

A: My cowardice. I run from confrontation and bow to those more outspoken or pushy than myself. But I’m constantly working on not being a doormat, and my yoga practice has given me such fortitude over the years, such trust in my own power and vision, that it becomes easier and easier.

Q: What is the trait that you most deplore in others?  

A: Selfishness. This lack of generosity manifests in countless ways– in leaving a trace (littering), in stinginess (with time, food, money, information, resources of any kind, that could be shared), in thinking that we need or deserve more/better/different things than those around us need or deserve. This is a contracted state of consciousness. Of course I also recognize selfishness in myself which may be why I hate it so much. Our greedy, money-centered meritocratic culture breeds selfishness because it thrives on selfishness. Maybe I should put it up there with cowardice.

Q: What is your greatest extravagance? 

A: I spend most of my income eating well. Even when I’m feeling financially strapped it’s hard for me to abstain from green juice, for example. Which is totally fine. Efficient fuel is one of the most important things.

Q: On what occasion do you lie?

A: I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve lied on many, many occasions, mainly for small useless reasons. My worst lies, because they are habitual, relate to how I sugarcoat the truth all the time. I used to be worse. This relates to my cowardice, mentioned above. I’m working on this too, but it’s scary because when I speak my truth from the gut, I’m met with strong reactions. It could be that I could learn to be more compassionate in my gut-speak, or it could be that folks just can’t handle the truth. Guess I need to work on my diplomacy as well, or on caring less about what others think of me.

Q: What is your greatest regret? 

A: I try to live without regret.

Q: What or who is the greatest love of your life? 

A: Still searching. Or maybe it’s my cat Wolfy.

Q: When and where were you happiest?

A: ‘Were?’ How about ‘am.’ I don’t want to relegate happiness to the realm of sentimentality or projection.

Q: Which talent would you like most to have? 

A: I’m not an open conduit for music, whether singing or playing an instrument. I have to work very hard at it. I wish sound making of all kinds came to me more naturally.

Q: What is your current state of mind?  

A: Relaxed.

Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A: I’m changing all the time, and am satisfied enough with myself and my continuous progress to refrain from trying to answer this question. Anything I’m unhappy with is an opportunity to learn about myself and to grow.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

A: The creation of my life at every new moment.

Q: What is your most treasured possession? 

A: My body-mind continuum. Q: Where would you like to live?A: At least a few places other than New York before I die. Only the future will tell!

Q: What is your favorite occupation? 

A: Teaching yoga.

Q: What is your most marked characteristic? 

A: I sure do get a lot of comments about my booty.

Q: What is your mantra? 

A: Ha Vu Ha. I learned it from my teacher Guta Hedewig. It’s a brief exclamation from the very end of the Taittiriya Upanisad that means something like, how amazingly gorgeously profoundly wonderful. I think it is referring to consummation with god.

Q: Which yoga pose is your favorite? 

A: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). It does so many things at once, including inversion. If I have limited time, I’ll hold this pose for a minute or two with slow breath, and it’s like a reset button for all of me (mind, body, breath).

Q: Which yoga pose do you dislike the most? 

A: I don’t know that I dislike any poses. I do struggle with deep backbends like Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (One-legged King Pidge) and Siva Natarajasana (Dancing Siva Pose). And I have a cautious relationship with Padmasana (Full Lotus Pose).

goodyoga’s goodstudent of September – Rafal Cebula

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014

 

rafal_cebulaGive an applause to Rafal Cebula – goodyoga’s goodstudent of the month chosen by Rebekah, goodyoga’s Teacher of the Month.

Rebekah on why she chose Rafal as Student of the Month

I  choose Rafal because he’s perhaps the most dedicated student I’ve met, if I may be that superlative, and his dedication shows in his dramatic progress on the mat.

He’s the kind of student that inspires me when I feel like skipping practice!

He’s also steady in his practice, while being kind to himself. He knows how to push himself without going too far”. 

Rafal on why goodyoga makes him happy.

“Goodyoga helped me correct my misconceptions about yoga and about myself. For a long time I assumed yoga wasn’t for me and I would hate it. I was a not-very-flexible guy who liked to go running alone in order to think and relax. Signing up for my first month at Goodyoga felt transgressive because I wasn’t a “yoga person.” I was going to ditch as soon as I proved to myself that I shouldn’t be doing yoga. 

I could not have felt more a part of the group. I found I didn’t need to be a “yoga person” to be welcome at Goodyoga”.

Almost 8 months later, I could not have been more wrong. The varied teachers at the Greenpoint studios were universally supportive in a way I could not have anticipated, from memorizing my name quickly enough to make me slightly uncomfortable for not remembering their name in return, to accommodating every student’s individual needs.I could not have felt more a part of the group. I found I didn’t need to be a “yoga person” to be welcome at Goodyoga”.

 

Welcome back Amy!

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014

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We’re excited to have Amy back in the paddock after two months of adventuring in India. This means that we now got back a full on Ashtanga program. YAY! Also, we want to say thanks to Lorrie for taking care of our students in the meantime. You rock!

New Ashtanga Schedule

BUSHWICK: Led classes – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am, and Sundays at 12pm

GREENPOINT: Monday-Friday 6.30-8.30am and Sunday (exact time TBD). Temp. location until September 21st: Triskelion Arts – 118 North 11th Street in Studio B.

Ashtanga PRICING
As of September 2nd, prices return to former pricing:
$175/month (3-month commitment) and an annual commitment price of $125/month.

Here is what Amy had to say about her adventures.

“​Wow. All I can say is, what a summer. I’ve barely begun to process everything that has transpired over the last two months. What I do know is this: I have learned so much from Sharath and my fellow teachers from all over the world these last weeks and I am inspired and excited to come home and share much of it with you, my students. 

Not only did we break down primary series pose by pose in depth, but for those if you practicing intermediate, I did my own intense breakdown of that series in the context of my own practice.

It’s been one revelation after the other, truly, and that’s only the learning that happened on the basic physical level. In true paramparā fashion, it’s now time to pass the knowledge onto you.

I am personally excited about this new idea of having a self-contained program. With our own private space in which to work, I hope to create an even more focused class environment. In addition, expanded hours can again be explored down the road without having to contend with other yoga classes. Please continue to give feedback as we try this new format.

I am so grateful to Sharath for gracing me with the opportunity to focus deeply on my own practice and reconnect to simply being a student again. In addition, please join me in giving a world of thanks to Lorrie for taking good care of you in my absence. Lorrie will happily continue to be a presence in class as she assists me in Mysore and covers occasionally. And lastly, thanks to everyone back home for giving me the space & time to leave, so that I can return with more to give back to you.

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​See you soon.

 

– Amy

 

 

Goodyoga’s August Goodstudent of the Month – Jennie

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014

jennieWe would like to introduce Jennie, goodyoga’s goodstudent of the month for August, chosen by Kat, our teacher of the month. Kat explained her choice with the following:

I choose Jennie because she has a very centered practice and brings an ease to the practice and a very gentle energy. If she’s practicing, I feel better teaching. She is also friendly to all the other people and there is a chat”. 

Jennie on why goodyoga makes her happy:

“Goodyoga has helped my mind, body and spirit get stronger.”

“To get up and go to class in the morning is a joy and an easy part of my routine to commit to. I’ve found some wonderful instructors to practice under and have honestly never felt better. Thanks, goodyoga! Thanks, Kat!”

Teacher of the Month August – Kat

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014

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We are happy to present Katherine (aka Kat) as August’s teacher of the month at goodyoga. Why? Because Kat is awesome and students love her classes which build a strong body, a full breath, and awaken our sense of being. See Kat’s schedule HERE.

Get to know Kat a little better with her answers to some goodquestions.

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A: I think that having perfect happiness is impossible. There’s an ebb and flow at all times. I can be happy in one moment and then have concern or fear in the next, no matter where I am. There are certainly pleasant times for me – anytime I’m near near water or with my family. I love my family, because it’s where I feel safe, secure and loved, though I’m not always happy while I’m with them.

Q: What is your greatest fear?

A: I fear my own fears getting the best of me by making me do terrible things that may hurt others. I fear forgetting to do what is right.

Q: Which historical figure do you most identify with?

A: I identify with Queen Elizabeth I. She was a bold and did what she had to do to make herself strong in a world that thought otherwise of women. I admire people who stand up when others sit. I hope everyday to find the courage to be patient.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?

A: A living person that I admire, but who actually just passed a few weeks ago, is Elaine Stritch.

Q: What is the trait that you most deplore in yourself?

A: At this time of my life, I deplore that fact that I procrastinate most projects that would add to my success as a yoga teacher.

Q: What is the trait that you most deplore in others?

A: Right now, theft. My bike was just stolen.

Q: What is your greatest regret?

A: Currently, it’s not locking my bike up in my courtyard. I honestly feel like it was such a mistake. However, I’ll soon be in another state of understanding and will see it as all part of where I am.

Q: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

A: The greatest love of my life is the love I have inside of myself – for me and for those who know me.

Q: Which talent would you like most to have?

A: I want to be able to pick up any language at any given time or place.

Q: What is your current state of mind?

A: My current state of mind is pretty relaxed, yet heavy with worry.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: I have no idea.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

A: I don’t have many possessions, but I do have a ring that my mother got for me when I was 18 and graduating from high school. I didn’t like the typical class rings that were sold by the school, so my mom and I went out to a jewelry store and I picked this out. I havent taken it off for 11 years.

Q: Where would you like to live?

A: I would like to live anywhere as long as there is a yard and I’m near water. Or Berlin. I just went on vacation there and the city is perfection. People are good, it’s clean and efficient, but still has personality and a very cool vibe.

Q: What is your most marked characteristic?

A: Chill and laid-back.

Q: Which yoga pose is your favorite?

A: Currently, Warrior 1.

Q: Which yoga pose do you dislike the most?

A: Disliking seating spinal twist these days.

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