Featch-ah Teach-ah: Janine Duffy

DuffyPrint-1469_copy_mediumthumb1.  Where are you from and how long have you been in Boston?

I am originally from Edwardsville, PA and have lived in Boston since 2001.

2. What was your first yoga class like?

My first yoga class in 2001 was fun and scary. I just started law school and needed something to calm me down.

3. What’s your favorite pose to teach?

My favorite pose to teach is Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II). I love this pose!

4. As a practitioner, what pose makes you cringe?

I'd have to pick two: Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I) and Camel (Ustrasana). 

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

You can find me taking care of my three sons: James (7), Eoin (almost 5), and Oliver (almost 2). They keep me pretty busy!

6. What drew you to teach prenatal yoga? 

I came to prenatal yoga during my pregnancy with Oliver. I realized my desire was to teach yogi mamas instead of power yoga in order to help them through the ups and downs of pregnancy.  

Be sure to check out Janine's Prenatal classes Sundays and Tuesdays.

September Yogi of the Month: Kim Uyen Dang

Kim_Dang_mediumthumb1. Name?
Kim Uyen Dang

2. What do you do for a living?
I’m a teacher. I work with high school students.

3. What’s a fun fact about you?
I love travel and architecture and really enjoy walking tours of new cities.  Also, I first met [CCY instructor and manager] Rachel when I was 6 years old!

4. What’s your favorite pose?
Half moon.

5. When not on your mat, where can you be found?
I am lucky to live in Coolidge Corner. If I'm not at CCY or my school, I'm at one of the local elementary or preschools, the post office, library, park, CVS, or Second Time Around.

6. How long have you been practicing and what's your latest yoga breakthrough?
I started practicing yoga the day CCY opened! My doctor and physical therapist had been recommending that I try yoga for my back pain for years. When the studio opened in my neighborhood, it was like a sign. My first year as a yogi has been an incredible journey. Not only is my back pain greatly reduced, but I have learned several poses like crow and headstand, upon seeing which for the first time I said to myself, "I'll never be able to do that!" I am now working on (and would eventually like to hold) 8-angle pose (astavakrasana) as well as pigeon pose.

7.  How has yoga impacted your life?
Yoga has changed my life. Since starting my practice, I am much more physically strong, I can sleep well at night, and I take better care of my body. Yoga has also improved my family's life—my two kids also love yoga, too!

August Yogi of the Month: Joe Colucci

Joe_Colucci_mediumthumb1. Name?
Joe Colucci


2. Occupation?
Project Manager at the Lown Institute, a health policy think tank in Brookline.


3. Fun fact about you? 
I started college for acting, planning on going into musical theater, then left acting because I was having more fun reading The Economist than preparing for scenes.


4. Favorite yoga pose?
Crow, and the transition from there to chaturanga.


5. When you’re not on your mat, where can you be found?
Lately, at the acroyoga jams at the Boston Public Garden, or across the street from CCY at Hops & Scotch.


6. How long have you been practicing and what's your latest yoga breakthrough?
I've been practicing regularly since January; my latest breakthrough has been getting into acro (thanks, Sandy!).

Featch-ah Teach-ah: Sandy Kalik

Sandy_Feature_Teacher_mediumthumb1. Where are you from and how long have you been in Boston?
I grew up in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. In 2003, I moved to Boston for college. Even though I always imagined I'd move back to the Pacific Northwest, I've been hooked on New England ever since graduation. 

2. What was your first yoga class like?
The first time I tried yoga it was actually a part of theatre warm-ups in high school. We did Sun Salutations in a circle with our show's director every day before we rehearsed lines and scenes. At first I was resistant, but after a while I realized it got all of us into a groove with one another.  

3.  What’s your favorite pose to teach?
I have to pick one? Half-moon is always a favorite. It's such a versatile pose for flowing in and out of. But there is a sweetness to watching a room drop into a restorative pose like supta boddhakonasana or a bolster-supported twist.  

4.  As a practitioner, what pose makes you cringe?
Okay. Dirty little secret. I grimace at Warrior 1. It isn't a bad pose or one that really challenges my physical edges. It's the challenge to my mind that irks me. I have seen the way this pose is taught shift dramatically in the five years I've been teaching. Every teacher has a preference, a methodology, a lineage, which is actually amazing. But when I'm flowing through Sun Salutation Bs, I cringe at the idea of relearning the pose to the teacher, cues, class, setting, etc. Sometimes I don't want to think about it. 

5.  Where can we find you when you’re off your mat?
In the kitchen—I love to cook. My crockpot is almost always going with some concoction or another.  

6.  What’s your favorite or the most random song on your class playlist right now? 
I have been listening to Matisyahu's “Indestructible” on repeat all day.  No idea why it's stuck in my head, but there you go. 


Get more Sandy in your life at her Vinyasa classes, Mondays at 9:15 a.m., Thursdays at 5:45 p.m., and Fridays at 12:15 p.m. 

July Yogi of the Month: Chia-Lin Sheng

What’s your occupation?Chia-Lin_Sheng_vertical_mediumthumb

I’m a stay-at-home mom.


What’s a fun fact about you that people might not know?

I love yoga so much that in 2009 I did a 200-hour teacher training just to deepen my practice.


What’s your favorite yoga pose?

Adho mukha svanasana (Downward Dog).


Where can you be found when you’re not on your mat?

All over Beacon Street, toting either a stroller or baby carrier. That’s my second workout after yoga!


How long have you been practicing yoga and what’s your most recent yoga breakthrough?

I've been practicing for eleven years. I finally had the courage to face my biggest fear at CCY: Being upside down! I think I'm getting there! 


What role has yoga played in your life since having your baby this past year?

I cherish every practice since it's my only "me time" every day. Yoga rocks! 










June Yogi of the Month: Nick Gonzales

nick gonzalesIn the several months since Nick has been coming to CCY, never once have we seen him without a smile on his face. He inspired us all with his 40-day yoga challenge, and the fantastic way in which he infuses a healthy mix of dedication and a sense of fun into his yoga practice. We're delighted to have Nick as our June yogi of the month, and excited for him to get his hands on his free gift from Manduka


1. Name?
Nick Gonzales


2. Occupation?
World History Teacher/Adjunct Professor


3. Fun fact about you?
When behind closed doors or by myself, I randomly do handstands and/or walk on my hands. I like being upside down. :)


4. Favorite yoga pose?
Half Moon Pose (Sabatakananabananapasana?). [Editor’s note: Actually, Nick, it’s Ardha Chandrasana—but close!]


5. When not on your mat, where can you be found?  
Training at my Capoeira academy or reading/researching for my lectures.


6. How long have you been practicing and what's your latest yoga breakthrough?
I have only been doing yoga seriously for the last six months. Prior to that, I did it casually on and off for about thirteen years. My latest breakthrough is gaining the ability to use my abdominal muscles to raise myself into a controlled hand/headstand.


7. A few months ago, you took on a personal yoga challenge. What was that experience like and how did it affect you?
I did a 40-day challenge (no days off, at the studio every day) in January and February and it was a blast. It was tough, but the instructors at CCY really kept me going with kind, helpful words, good advice, and smiles. The experience affected me in numerous ways but the most significant aspect of it has to be the idea of letting go of a fitness timeline when it comes to yoga. This sounds counterintuitive because yes, I did yoga for 40 days straight, however, a particular session comes to mind that might help elucidate this concept. 


One night when I was sweating in Downward Dog pose with my shoulders feeling like volcanos and my wrists shaking like California, I realized that the Western philosophy of fitness with which I was raised often stresses that one needs to reach a fitness goal within a set time period. I believe this particular mindset stems from competitive sporting events and from goals such as "wanting to look good by summer." There is nothing wrong with this. However, to some people, myself included, it often perpetuates an arbitrary system of self-prescribed timelines that are unattainable, unrealistic, and unsustainable. As I breathed deeply and continued in a Down Dog that was clearly becoming painful, it became clear that I cannot approach yoga with time constraints. The only timeline in yoga is the one my body sets for me. If I don't get Crow pose perfectly by August, it’s okay because my body isn’t ready for it. I might get it in November. If I don't get it November, that’s okay too. There is no need to force anything—be patient. I haven't failed anything/anyone nor is anyone judging me, except for maybe myself. With this realization, I consciously made the decision to come out of Down Dog, take the weight off of my aching arms, and kneel into Puppy pose … and smiled.Manduka_Logo_HighRes



Featch-ah Teach-ah: Nadine Channaoui


1. Where are you from and how long have you been in Boston?

I grew up in the northeast corner of New York state near Montreal, Canada and Burlington, Vermont. I came to Boston about eight years ago for college (I went to Brandeis for undergrad). My love for the city is just as big today as it was when I first arrived.


2. What was your first yoga class like?

I took my first yoga class in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I had been in the city for about four days and was totally run down by the Spanish, public transportation, and my lack of friends. The yoga class felt so very reviving, and that particular yoga community became the backbone of my year abroad. I knew the night I took my first yoga class that I had found something that would change my life forever.


3. What’s your favorite pose to teach?

I’m not sure that I have a favorite pose to teach. My favorite moments as a teacher are when I get to witness students having breakthroughs on their mats, in whatever form that takes and in whatever pose that may be. I have a lot of respect for savasana, though, and I like to prioritize a good, long savasana over anything else I offer in a class.


4. As a practitioner, what pose makes you cringe?

It totally depends on the day. Sometimes I love pigeon, sometimes I hate it. Same goes for urdhva dhanurasana (wheel) and hanumanasana (split). Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) is probably my least favorite pose right now. I love inversions, but my experience in sarvangasana is not as liberating as it is with other inversions.


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

I am a cancer genetic counselor at MGH during the work week. Besides that, I love to travel, paint, and bike. I have to admit, though, I tend to spend a lot of time on my mat.


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

My favorite yoga song is "Baba Hanuman" by Heather and Benjy Wertheimer. I guess I don’t really have a top random song on my class playlists; the music I play in classes tends to be light on lyrics and hopefully has a soothing/inspiring quality (at least it does for me). 


Be sure to catch Nadine for Vinyasa on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., FUNdamentals on Sundays at 10:30 a.m., or Flow and Restore on Sundays at 6:00 p.m.

May Yogi of the Month: Tom Neu

cropped TN catskillMeet CCY's May Yogi of the Month and our buddy, the very charismatic and hilarious Tom Neu. Say hello to Tom next time you see him in the studio ... and, Tom, Manduka has a very special gift with your name written all over it on its way! 


1. Name? 

J. Tom Neu


2. Occupation? 



3. Favorite yoga pose?

Bharadvajasana—a serene and beautiful pose.


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

Six years. My recent thumb injury from a cycling spill forced me to improve my forearm balances since down dog was out of the question for months.


5. Why do you frequently wear a fishnet shirt in practice? 

Sweating makes me fidgety and distracted so I try to stay cool; wetting my hair before practice helps immensely.


6. How has yoga affected your life? 

It has introduced me to a diverse group of pleasant and happy people who share my wonder of the human body.










Featch-ah Teach-ah: Lindsey Blake

lindsey-blake-090acc-solstice_copy1_mediumthumb1. Where are you from and how long have you been in Boston?

I was born and raised in Michigan amongst the woodland and orchards near the Great Lakes. I spent three years living abroad in Florence, Italy and have been a proud resident of Boston for five years. 


2. What was your first yoga class like?

I attended my first formal yoga class when I was 16 years old at a studio near my home.  I can still remember the sweet smell of the studio and the warm smile of my teacher.  It was an incredible experience that I hold close to my heart. 


3. What’s your favorite pose to teach?

Savasana. The way in which we come into awareness at the end of a practice with the culmination of asanas—resting in the mind, body, and breath—is a transformative space to hold. 


4. As a practitioner, what pose makes you cringe?

Mayurasana or Peacock Pose.


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

In the kitchen. Creating meals with local, seasonal, and organic ingredients is one of my passions. Incorporating the quote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” is a great inspiration at mealtime!


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

Garth Stevenson’s album, Flying, is a long-time favorite. Soulful strings are my jam! 


Catch Lindsey at Gentle Yoga, Core Flow, or Vinyasa!

April Yogi of the Month: Susan Howards

Susan_Howard_mediumthumbOur Manduka-sponsored April Yogi of the Month, Susan Howards, has been a familiar face around CCY since our grand opening. We’ve recently been so inspired by how she has used yoga to recover and rehabilitate from a shoulder fracture she suffered from this winter. Go, Susan!


1. Name?

 Susan Howards


2. Occupation?

I am a criminal defense and domestic violence attorney.


3. Fun fact about you?

In addition to my day job, I’m also a theatre and film actor.


4. Favorite yoga pose?



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

In court.


6. How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been practicing for fifteen years.


7. How has yoga affected your life?

This winter, I had the unfortunate experience of slipping on ice and fracturing my shoulder. Yoga has sped up my recovery and controlled my pain. Manduka_Logo_HighRes

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