This month’s student of the month is Ben Capps. We love celebrating our students, who come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Thanks so much, Ben!
Q: Hi there, Ben! Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to yoga (and Bread and Yoga).
A: You see I’m new to this all! Yoga, Buddhism, mindfulness are all practices that have always peaked my interest. It took me 33 years to finally get to my first yoga class, and by the end of that first class I knew it was right for me.
My first regular studio experience was in the heights, where I was born, grew up and lived. Recently I moved to the Bronx –I know, sooo far. Then I started going to Bread and Yoga. In a strange way it felt like coming home…
Q: How would you say yoga has impacted your life, physically and mentally?
A: Yoga, mindfulness and the community at Bread and Yoga have helped me in so so many ways. When I showed up at B&Y, I was in a sorry state physically and spiritually. We are so lucky to have all of the B&Y teachers. Thank you all, you’ve truly changed my life! I finally feel that I have the ability to help myself, to heal myself a little bit everyday.
I’m currently reading the Sutras of Patanjali (slowly) and an epic Samurai tale called Musashi. I’m planning to start the Bhagavad Gita in the spring to take with me camping this summer.
Q: How has yoga impacted your life and work?
A: Yoga has given my body a second chance — you see, I’ve played the cello since I was four. When I say play the cello, I mean decades of constant practice, upwards of 10 hours playing, plus traveling each day. I’ve lugged my cello in circles around the globe. At this point in my current physical iteration, I almost need an equal proportion of yoga practice to cello practice in order to stay balanced and to be able to perform. Yoga, in essence, has changed my cello playing, which is WILD to me! (I’m planning to teach a cello yoga class at a conservatory one day! 😉
There is this moment at the very beginning of a concert when you’re alone on a stage in silence, the audience watching, waiting for your first sound. In that moment is where I’ve always felt most alive and in touch with the world, with people, both seen and unseen. I never knew that I could find that anywhere else, but I can! So for me it’s like when the Ujjayi Breath kicks in – then I’m there.
Q: What’s your favorite yoga pose?
A: My fav yoga poses are Virabhadrasana – the warrior poses make me feel strong and focused, yet grounded, centered, alternating between peaceful and humble. 🙂
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I make a living performing solo and chamber music on the cello (Bach through tomorrow) and teaching cello at two conservatories for kids & Hunter College. I better wrap this up, because I’m about to perform at the Washington National Cathedral in an hour and I need to stretch it out first!!
Hahah. Thanks so much for your time. It was great hearing your story, Ben!