Be Well

I am a hedonist when it comes to fitness, food, and my city. I work out because I love the feeling: power, endorphins, productive pain. I see movement as celebration and therapy, and food as art and love. New York City chants along generously to this kind of hedonism. There’s an energy on this island that unites body, mind, and spirit at a brilliant pulse. Here are some stories from that rhythm.

I Cheat At Yoga

I ditch prescribed sequences. I practice irregularly. I bail on the nasty poses and linger in the lovely ones. Most days, I’m here for the Savasana.

Still, I crave order, though I fear the structures and strictures (and sunrises) of Ashtanga and Iyengar practices. But I’m called to a new day. I’m starting over. Years into my relationship with yoga, and months after I tucked away my 200-hour teacher-training certificate into a copy of Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, I’m starting anew. 

A wise pair of yogis over at Pure Yoga NYC has swept me up in the basics of Ashtanga and Iyengar, generously and regeneratively toppling me into the vortex of regimented practice. There's Adam Vitolo, who brings a scruffly, mellow vibe from his early mornings riding the Long Island waves to his twenty-year study of Iyengar, filtering a yogic peace through bone-dry humor and hard-won patience. The signature Iyengar shorty-shorts were, as he says, "a slow surrender." And then there's Scott Harig. The devoted tribe that shows up to his Ashtanga Open Practice (at 6:00am, on the dot, six days a week) will find that this dirt-bike-racing yogi has ditched Lululemon uniforms for faded rock-and-roll T-shirts and switched out the sitar music for the yowl of the Black Keys. It's probably the closest thing to a Mysore Ashram in the USA, but with a killer guitar lick. So if you're looking for an unaffected guru, I know some guys. You'll find me in the back corner, learning the rules I can break.