We love celebrating our students, especially nowadays — it’s more important than ever that we celebrate each other and stay connected. This month we’re honoring our amazing student, Rob Boatti. Keep reading for our interview!
Hi there, Rob. I hear great things about you! Tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m a native New Yorker who never left, a retired attorney, have two great young adult children, and I live in Wash Heights with my wonderful girlfriend Helene… who I met in a yoga class! I’ve spent a lot of time the last few years doing the NY Times crossword puzzle, studying Italian, following pro baseball and international soccer, volunteering at an amazing community-based organization called South Bronx United, enjoying cold IPAs, and of course practicing yoga!
What brought you to yoga?
I started 10 years ago this month, while living on the Upper West Side in a prior life. It just seemed like an accessible way to move my body after “retiring” from long distance running, and hopefully lessen some anxiety, anger and depression I was feeling. It was an exciting prospect, and, even with some hiatuses I’ve taken over the years, I’m still excited about the practice.
Wow, long distance running! That’s amazing. And what brought you to Bread and Yoga?
I’ve practiced at several studios uptown, and decided to check out Bread and Yoga seriously in the summer of 2019 to catch up with one of my favorite former teachers Amy… and subsequently two more former teachers, Tom and Judi. Those three are primarily responsible for my yoga “renaissance.”
Ha! Yoga renaissance. I love that! How would you say yoga has impacted your life, physically and mentally?
It’s been brilliant for me. I honestly believe that yoga, along with several other important factors, has made me more mindful, patient and joyful, and less angry and self-critical. Physically, it’s helped my strength and flexibility as I age, and treated a number of chronic injuries I have. But it’s a practice, right? I have a lot of work yet to do!
How would you say this practice has impacted you through this pandemic?
Wow. Like most of us, I’ve really struggled the last two months. But my yoga practice has been immeasurably helpful in not only getting through each day, but finding some joy and serenity. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other… and to keep breathing!
Thank you for sharing that. Do you have any other practices that have helped you through this time?
Well, did I mention IPAs? 😉 But I just keep reminding myself (mostly Helene reminds me), that we can do very little to control this, that it will pass, and what we CAN control is how we choose to live in this moment.
Absolutely, that’s all we can do. What you’re favorite yoga pose?
There are so many! My favorite strong pose is Devotional Warrior. It’s both fierce and humble at the same time. I like Goddess too. My favorite balancing pose is Tree.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our community?
Yes… I want to sincerely thank Marcela and the entire staff not only for this sweet acknowledgment, but for creating such a fantastic community, both in Inwood and in Harlem. And I want to give special shout-outs to both Tom and Judi for not only inspiring me with their strong, creative and kind practices, but for constantly reminding me of the value of self-compassion, discernment, patience and… breathing.