Have you been able to take a class with our Michael Gould yet? He is a dedicated, conscientious, and humble yogi whose lighthearted and melodic delivery is disarming, lulling, and motivating all at once.
We asked him a few questions recently about what makes him tick.
Q: What initially drew you to the practice of yoga?
A: I have always been interested in physical fitness, and for years I was an avid runner, biker, and swimmer, and found these activities to be very beneficial. But as a criminal defense lawyer doing trial work in New York City since the early 80’s, I realized that I also needed a way to reduce some of the stress in my life. In the later part of the 1990’s, I was getting lots of hip pain and knee pain from my workouts, and was told by orthopedists that I would have to think about hip and knee replacements, and I was not trying to hear any of that! so I tried yoga, first Yogazone VHS tapes of Lisa Bennett and Charles Matkin, and Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga tapes, because I was afraid to show my face at a live yoga class. Once I got hip to the lingo and the poses I finally went to a class in Brooklyn with my good friend Laura who already was an experienced yogi, and I was hooked. I loved the flow from one asana to the next, sometimes speeding it up to make it more cardio, get a real sweat, sometimes moving slowly and mindfully, making it so strong, paying attention to the breath and the intricacies of the pose. I saw the great value in both approaches. I found myself getting so much stronger and in control of my body, and found a natural flexibility that was so cool and inspiring, and I found my stress level going way down to help me in my crazy work. And guess what? no more knee pain, no more hip pain! Inevitably I moved to the more spiritual aspects of the practice, and to a regular meditation practice, which has helped me be comfortable and calm, regardless of the “vicissitudes of the hurlyburly” (as Iyengar has put it).
I found my stress level going way down to help me in my crazy work.