sara@coolidgeyoga.com

FACE BEHIND THE CART: JESSIE KALOS

What do you do when not the friendly face behind the cart?IMG_6844

I like to travel, read, ride my bike, and play with my kitty Binx!

 

Where are you from and what brought you to Boston?

I'm originally from CT, but I lived in Los Angeles for 3 and a half years, and after moving home, I realized I missed being in a city. Boston was my next stop, and I've been here for two years!

 

Fun fact about you?

While doing ancestry research a few years, I found out that my ancestors came from Sparta, Greece! WE ARE SPARTA!

 

Latest Yoga breakthrough?

I'm so close to mastering the flying pigeon pose (eka pada galavasana)!

 

Insiders tip? 

Patience, and Practice.

 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being behind the cart?

Feeling like I'm part of a community, and meeting so many new people! It's been a truly wonderful experience.


sara@coolidgeyoga.com

FEACHA TEACHA: RAQUEL MARRA

raquel sq2Where are you from and how long have you been in Boston?
I am originally from NYC, but spent the last few years splitting my time between Ludlow, VT and Westport, Connecticut.  I have been in Boston full time since March 2017.

 

What was your first yoga class like?
My first yoga class was at a gym in midtown Manhattan during my lunch hour 16 years ago.  The class time just happened to fit in my schedule that day.  Using my breath in union with my movement came naturally to me as my workouts were mostly boxing and martial arts based at that time.  I left intrigued but not in love.  My passion for yoga developed slowly over years.  It became a part of me when I found myself able to turn to my practice during a very difficult time of my life, not as a method of escape, but as an incredibly powerful way to connect to my Self.

 

What’s your favorite pose to teach?
Handstand.

 

As a practitioner, what pose makes you cringe?
Bound Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (bound revolved side angle).

 

Where can we find you when you’re off your mat?
In the winter I am skiing. When it’s raining, there’s no place like home with my dog. I spend an incredible amount of time on the sidelines of soccer and lacrosse games cheering on my boys.

 

What’s your favorite or the most random song on your class playlist right now?
I absolutely love music and my tastes change constantly. Right now I’m obsessed with Corazon Negro by Matanza.


sara@coolidgeyoga.com

FEACHA TEACHA: JOANNA ROSENBERG

Where​ ​are​ ​you​ ​from​ ​and​ ​how​ ​long​ ​have​ ​you​ ​been​ ​in​ ​Boston? joanna compass
I'm from Westford, MA. After college we lived out in the western part of the state for a little while (the Connecticut River was just behind a line of trees in a farm field behind our home!), but eventually wondered how city living might be. I'd grown up visiting my Nana in Brookline, so Boston had a natural draw and here we are! Been here since 2014.

 

What​ ​was​ ​your​ ​first​ ​yoga​ ​class​ ​like?

While at school at NYU's Tisch, I lived right in Union Square in NYC. I wandered into a Bikram yoga studio on 12th St one day, looking for a workout that would burn the most energy and ease my anxiety. I had no idea what Bikram meant or that I'd feel like I was melting. Even though that particular style of yoga never quite called to me, I remember feeling so much quieter after class, in the most soothing kind of way.

 

What’s​ ​your​ ​favorite​ ​pose​ ​to​ ​teach?

Hmm, I think this changes all the time. Maybe camel pose (ustrasana),heart growing light and shining light! Or child's pose (balasana), coming back to the earth.

 

As​ ​a​ ​practitioner,​ ​what​ ​pose​ ​makes​ ​you​ ​cringe? 

Hmm again. Garudasana/eagle pose is never what I want to hear a teacher say, but I don't know why. Something to explore, for sure.

 

Where​ ​can​ ​we​ ​find​ ​you​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​off​ ​your​ ​mat?

 Biking, reading, writing, walking, hanging with my husband Trevor, hiking, rock climbing, oceaning. 

 

What’s your favorite or the most random song on your class playlist​ ​right​ ​now? 

 Look at the River by Ayla Nereo. So, so, so good!


sara@coolidgeyoga.com

YOGI OF THE MONTH: JENDY DUNLOP

jendy-low-resName?

Jendy Dunlop

 

Occupation?

Program Manager of a regional multidisciplinary healthcare coalition engaged in emergency preparedness planning and response. Since receiving a MPH (Master of Public Health) I have been working in the public health and health sector emergency preparedness for nearly 10 years. Never a dull moment! 

 

Fun fact​ about you?​

I've been known to snort when I get laughing really hard. And since I love to laugh, this can be somewhat of a frequent occurrence. On a more serious note, music is one of my biggest passions in life. I studied classical piano for over 12 years growing up and also was a member of school choral groups.  These days, I'm more of a music listener/appreciator! That being said, I've wanted to learn more about the music production industry and how to DJ for awhile now, so that might have to be one of my next fun projects.

 

Favorite yoga pose?

Savasana! Oh, that's everyone's favorite pose, you say?  Ok, Urdhva Dhanurasana, or Wheel Pose. I love how big of a heart opener it is at the same time your perspective is upside down and shifted. Lessons in life right there folks!

 

When not on your mat, where can you be found?

Frolicking around outdoors, exploring, seeking out adventures, especially in the warmer weather! Where is the fun? Because that's where I want to be! Aside from the yoga studio (which is most definitely my happy place), soaking up some rays of sun at the beach with a good book in one hand and an iced coffee in the other is basically paradise. I'm also in my element on the dance floor or when checking out a band/live music at various venues around the city.  
 

How long have you been practicing and what's your latest yoga breakthrough?

I've been practicing yoga for a little over a year and a half now. From the moment I stepped onto the mat, I felt so alive, like I had arrived and was truly meeting myself for the first time in a long time.  Just earlier this month, I completed my 200 hr yoga teacher training through the New School of Yogic Arts with Laura Ahrens and Tatyana Souza. It was a magical experience from start to finish that I consider myself so blessed to have been a part of. I'm excited to continue the path of learning and growing on this journey that has only just begun.  

 

How has yoga impacted your life?

I could probably write a book here, but I'll just say that it has been the catalyst for deeper awareness and mindfulness, spirituality, self study (svadhyaha), gratitude, self-love, and contentment. There are so many lessons reinforced on the mat that you can't help but take with you out into the world. And that is the point of yoga. Perhaps the most noticeable area of growth in my life since starting yoga has been increasing ability to be patient with myself and the process, whether that relates to a particularly challenging pose or a situation in life; learning to trust and enjoy the journey and not be so focused on the destination. And that feels GREAT.


sara@coolidgeyoga.com

FACE BEHIND THE CART: SYLVIE MANNING

syl dawg

What do you do when not the friendly face behind the cart?

I am usually adventuring in the woods somewhere. I am currently hiking all the 4000 footers in New England and have been spending much of my time in NH. If I am not outside, I can be found snuggled under a blanket with my 2 pit bulls and a lot of coffee. 

 

Where are you from and what brought you to Boston?

I am originally from Winchester, MA. I spent a lot of time traveling and began to miss my family (the majority of them live in MA because they love the Red Sox). So about 3 years ago I decided to move back to the area. It has been really nice to reconnect with family, be home for all the holidays, spend time with my niece and nephew, and begin a yoga practice. It has been worth enduring the latest polar vortex!

 

Fun fact about you?

I have lived in Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Utah, California, Germany, England, and France.

 

Latest Yoga breakthrough?

My biggest break through has been finding balance in my life on and off the mat. I tend to do all things at a thousand miles per hour until I crash and then I find my self in a state of exhaustion, unable to muster up much energy to do anything. I have learned that if my life is feeling very go, go, go to balance it with a slower practice like Yin/Gentle/Restorative practice. If I am feeling lethargic or inactive I like to take a more energetic class like Vinyasa or Core Flow. This lesson has helped me to feel more grounded and stable in my life on and off the mat. 

 

Insiders tip?

Say hi to your neighbor (: Once I began to connect to people and teachers within the space it made me want to practice more often. As I began to practice more often, my life became more serene. As my life became more serene, I was able to focus on things that truly matter. Yoga and this community has truly impacted my life in a very positive way and I have had amazing conversations with wonderful human beings.

 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being behind the cart?

I love connecting with people. Feeling part of a community, especially a community as powerful as Sadhana's, is very special and life changing. I enjoy spending time in the South End, with the people in that community, drinking espresso at Jaho, eating goodies from Flour, and being able to practice in such a beautiful space. 


sara@coolidgeyoga.com

FEACHA TEACHA: TATYANA SOUZA

Where​ ​are​ ​you​ ​from​ ​and​ ​how​ ​long​ ​have​ ​you​ ​been​ ​in​ ​Boston?YogaSession_81_copy
I was born in Kiev, Ukraine, but have lived in the Boston area since 1989 and in Brookline since 2004!

 

What​ ​was​ ​your​ ​first​ ​yoga​ ​class​ ​like?

My first yoga class was at Healthworks, and I found it to be really strange, I didn't get why everyone was so into the poses. I remember really disliking navasana, boat pose.

 

What’s​ ​your​ ​favorite​ ​pose​ ​to​ ​teach?

My favorite pose to teach at the moment is a toss up between trikonasana, triangle, and ardha chandrasana, half-moon. The poses are so interesting with respect to the hips and the rotation of the thigh bones. When done properly both feel so lengthening in the side body and so powerful!

 

As​ ​a​ ​practitioner,​ ​what​ ​pose​ ​makes​ ​you​ ​cringe? 

The pose urdhva dhanurasna, or wheel, really makes me cringe. It requires much opening of the front body and shoulders that many of us lack and something else has to compensate... It's a pose that will be a long work in progress for me.

 

Where​ ​can​ ​we​ ​find​ ​you​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​off​ ​your​ ​mat?

Off the mat I am usually around Brookline and Boston. Taking kids to school or playing at the playground or working at a cafe. On the weekends we get outside as much as possible and in nature when time allows.

 

What’s your favorite or the most random song on your class playlist​ ​right​ ​now? 

Luminosity by Aurix


sara@coolidgeyoga.com

FACE BEHIND THE CART: BAILEY KNECHT

What do you do when not the friendly face behind the cart?bailey
I study journalism and Spanish at Northeastern University. Right now, I'm doing an internship at the New Balance headquarters in Brighton, and I also work part-time for the Boston Bruins and Northeastern Athletics communications departments. In my (limited) free time, I love to explore Boston and spend time with friends!

Where are you from and what brought you to Boston?
I’m from Colorado, so I have a special appreciation for the mountains and being outdoors. I always wanted to live in a city, though, so I came to Boston in 2013 to attend Northeastern and try out the East Coast life!

Fun fact about you?
I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, which was such a fun experience. I also got to take some yoga classes while I was there – great for expanding my Spanish vocabulary!

Latest Yoga breakthrough?
Being more mindful of my core! It’s been so helpful for my balance and strength, even in poses that aren’t necessarily known for targeting the core. Activating my stomach muscles in inversions and standing balances has made such a difference in stabilizing my practice.

Insiders tip?
Try out as many classes as possible! Sadhana offers a lot of different styles, between vinyasa, Yin and FUNdamentals, with so many awesome teachers. I think it's good to switch up your yoga routine depending on what your body and mind are feeling.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being behind the cart?
I love chatting with teachers and students after class. Everyone is happy and relaxed after practicing yoga, and it’s wonderful to be able to share that feeling with others. 

sara@coolidgeyoga.com

YOGI OF THE MONTH: MOHAMMAD ALY ELSAYED

Name? mohammad
Mohammad Aly ElSayed

Occupation? 
Senior Audit Associate, CPA at PwC formerly "PricewaterhouseCoopers", I transferred to PwC Boston through PwC Egypt in December 2014. I engage in performing public and private statutory audits as well as quarterly reviews of companies' annual and quarter financial statements.

Fun fact​ about you?​ 
I'm an amateur self-taught musician, I play guitar and oud (an old Middle Eastern lute-like instrument). I love flamenco music and I know a lot about flamenco music, more than a typical Spanish person would know.

Favorite yoga pose? 
Being fairly new to yoga it's hard to decide on a favorite pose yet, as I honestly like many poses, but what resonates with me the most is taking a breath for clarity in plank pose before lowering down to chaturanga (Four-Limbed Staff Pose, a.k.a. pushup) as well as tadasana (mountain pose) with palms in front of the heart as when I align myself with gravity. I feel a strong line of energy and opening flowing through my body.

When not on your mat, where can you be found? 
Hanging out with friends, listening to or playing music, reading and watching videos about yoga, meditating and talking to family and cousins overseas.

How long have you been practicing and what's your latest yoga breakthrough? I've been practicing for 6-months and 3-days to be precise:) My very first class at Sadhana was on April 1st, 2017, but I did realize right away that Yoga is a practice that I will keep doing for the rest of my life. I feel grateful and very lucky to have been introduced to Yoga in such a great studio like Sadhana, with all these wonderful teachers around. Balancing on one foot is my latest breakthrough, either in Tree Pose (vrksasana) or Chair Pose (utkatasana). In the beginning it was very hard having a fairly flat foot but through Q&As with different teachers I learned much more on how to balance and adjust my balance.

How has yoga impacted your life? In the simplest words, Yoga has changed, is changing and will keep changing my life. I lost around 30 pounds just from keeping a daily yoga practice over a period of 3 months combined with being mindful about my diet. I never thought it was possible to get more into areas and muscles in my body that I didn't even know existed. The physical aspect of yoga is just one of the countless blessings of yoga. I am eager and humble to keep learning more and more. I consider my yoga practice as my surfing board through the changes and ups and downs that we encounter in life. I keep reminding myself to bring my practice outside of the studio into real-life with the focus always on the breath.

sara@coolidgeyoga.com

FEACH-A TEACH-A: JESSICA DELLA CALCE

Where​ ​are​ ​you​ ​from​ ​and​ ​how​ ​long​ ​have​ ​you​ ​been​ ​in​ ​Boston?Jessphoto
I grew up in Rocky Hill, CT, a small town just south of Hartford. I moved to Boston 11 years ago when I was a volunteer in Americorps. The following year I went to Boston College to get my Masters in Reading & Literacy Education and began teaching kindergarten in Cambridge.

What​ ​was​ ​your​ ​first​ ​yoga​ ​class​ ​like?

My first yoga class was in the fall of 2012 and it was magical and confusing at the same time! I loved how I felt but had no idea how my body was supposed to move through the poses. I always believe it takes trying something three times to get a feel for it and by my third class I was hooked.

What’s​ ​your​ ​favorite​ ​pose​ ​to​ ​teach?

The pose I enjoy teaching my youngest students is savasana. We are living in a fast-paced world and it is important for children to know that they have the power to slow down. Savasana gives kids permission to relax and create a sense of calm and inner peace. They begin to understand that off their mats they can return to this peaceful state too. One of my 5-year-old students recently said “I’m crying happy tears because I feel so calm.”

As​ ​a​ ​practitioner,​ ​what​ ​pose​ ​makes​ ​you​ ​cringe?

Wheel Pose!  Throughout my years of practicing yoga I’ve been working to open my shoulders and learn to backbend from my upper back. I’m making progress, slowly.

Where​ ​can​ ​we​ ​find​ ​you​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​off​ ​your​ ​mat?

You can find me at the Maria L. Baldwin School in Cambridge, encouraging students to embody the growth mindset as they learn and grow as readers and writers. You can also find me at the beach with my toes in the water, cooking and baking in my kitchen or eating something delicious at Flour Bakery and Cafe.

What’s your favorite or the most random song on your class playlist​ ​right​ ​now?

I love using music to help create the energy and tone of a class. One of my current favorites is Try Everything by Shakira from the Zootopia soundtrack. One of my all time favorites is Jubel by Klingande, it just makes people smile no matter what mood they are in!

sara@coolidgeyoga.com

YOGI OF THE MONTH: MARY JAFFEE

mary jName?
Mary Saudek Jaffee

Occupation?
Arts administrator (music), recently retired. Most recently was I Executive Director of Project STEP, a classical music training program that identifies black and Latino 5-year-olds with exceptional musical ability, and gives them the training, support, and equipment they need to succeed. In 2014 we won the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Award and I had the thrill of a lifetime in going to the White House to accept it from First Lady Michelle Obama. Project STEP continues to be a small, selective, highly successful program, with this year's graduates going to Yale and Juilliard.

Fun fact​ about you?​
I am and always have been surrounded by males. I was the first female to be born since 1863 on my father's side and was the only girl in my family, with four brothers. I have two sons, my husband is one of two males in his family. My first grandchild - a girl - will be born in October, and I'm over the moon to have her commence another generation of Jaffees!  

Favorite yoga pose?
I've grown to love downward dog. It feels really good, - finally! - stretchy, but solid.

When not on your mat, where can you be found?
If I'm in town, I'll be working on one of the organizations I'm involved with, mostly music ensembles, a couple of social justice programs. If in Maine, sailing or sitting on the porch looking out at the ocean. 

How long have you been practicing and what's your latest yoga breakthrough?
I did a few classes in 2008, but my real practice began December 29, 2016. One of my sons gave me a one month certificate to Sadhana for the holidays. It was a great start. I'm about to finish my 7th month. My latest breakthrough; beginning to do crow successfully, although haven't done it in over a month now so it may be rusty now, but it was getting there!

How has yoga impacted your life?
When I began yoga in January I was pretty unhappy about being retired, despite its having been a three-year lead-up. Feeling unproductive and generally blue, I started yoga thinking at least I'd get in decent physical shape. The classes were immediately satisfying while being challenging, and I felt buoyed physically and mentally. Yoga continues to lift my spirits and restores a sense of wellbeing. I enjoy being in the company of the thoughtful, kind teachers of this studio, who are always encouraging and inspiring. 
It's a service to the community to reach people on both sides of my age (a few months from 70) and encourage them to take classes. Our bones become brittle and muscles stiff, balance is increasingly challenging and strength diminishes. Yoga reverses those processes, eases pain, improves balance and builds strength. It is liberating!

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