Exploring Yoga in Boston

Kaitlin Daddona is a Public Relations and Arabic student at Boston University, but she also spends a great deal of time with yoga. She asked me to shoot some photos for her blog, and we discussed how the Boston yoga community is perfect for interested students.

Ben: How long have you been practicing yoga?
          Kaitlin: I started doing yoga in 2009, but have only been seriously practicing (going to the studio every day, having a home practice, meditating, etc) for a year.
B: What is it about yoga that appeals to you?
          K: Yoga brings a certain stillness to the body and the mind that is so hard to find in your daily life.  Asana (the physical practice of yoga) allows for such simple but important clarity.
B: How do you find yoga has affected you?
          K: Since I’ve started yoga, everything about me has changed. My body’s transformed and I have a much greater appreciation for everything I have.  Yoga has made me much more aware of myself and the people around me.  I make better choices, from the people I hang out with to what I do in my free time.
B: How do you keep up-to-date with other yogis & gyms?
          K: I am ALL over social media.  I’m actually a public relations student at Boston University, which contributes to being slightly obsessed with being socially engaged. I’m on Twitter (@itskaitdaddona) and I have a growing yoga/health/fitness tumblr (Lifeismyantidrug). I use both sites to communicate and exchange tips, revelations, and insight with other yogis.
B: Where do you practice?
          K: I’m really committed to Back Bay Yoga Studio, which is located on Boylston Street and owned by Lynne Begier, who is also one of my main teachers. It’s a beautiful studio with the biggest diversity of teachers I’ve ever seen, which is what really attracts me.  If I’m in the mood for a big workout, or a mellow stretch, or calming meditation, I can find a teacher there to suit my mood.
B: If you can’t get to a gym, what alternatives do you have?
          K: Since teacher training, I’ve learned the importance and beauty in having a home practice.  It is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult things to discipline yourself to stay on your mat for an extended period of time, but once you learn to do it, and I’m still learning, it’s the most rewarding feeling!  I’ve also began to incorporate meditation and pranayama (breathing practice) into my life outside of the studio, which help to ground me when I can’t be on my mat.
B: You’re a ROTC cadet, do you find that ROTC & yoga complement each other?
          K: Being a ROTC cadet and a yogi don’t complement each other as much as they do supplement each other.  Yoga has added a whole new aspect to my experience in AFROTC (Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp), and vice versa.  Without my yoga practice, I’d think I’d go crazy dealing with such a high stress environment that is the military these days,  but without ROTC, I think I’d be living on a cloud 24/7, which I can’t imagine being a good thing, haha.  At this point in my life I can’t imagine being without either.
B: Have you found the Boston-area yoga community especially accessible for students?
          K: Boston is the best place to be a college student, and a student of yoga, but maybe I’m biased haha.  There are so many studios around the city, and each one I’ve been to give amazing discounts and special deals to students and people visiting for the first time.  I totally urge everyone around Boston to explore!
B: Do you have any New Years resolutions involving yoga?
          K: Last year, one of my new years resolutions was to become a 200- hour yoga instructor, and I’ll get my certification in January! It was the first real resolution I’ve made and really was committed to achieve it.  Next year I hope to obtain my 500-hour teaching certification (if time and money allow). Another, less tangible, on-going goal of mine is to further incorporate the 8 limbs of yoga into my daily life.
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