Teacher Profile: Mara Goldfine
Here's a profile of one of our newer teachers at Tula, Mara Goldfine. I knew she was special by the way that she entered our community, as a student. She was here all the time- taking classes, making friends. I didn't even know that she was a teacher until another teacher suggested that I give her an audition for our sub list. Her audition was what I now refer to as 'authentically Mara' (because why would you imitate when you are already so awesome? ;) and I knew right away that she would do well here.
Her classes are challenging. She expertly weaves together strength with flexibility and always offers you a glimpse into just how far a pose can potentially go. Every class I attend with Mara I learn something new, I do something new. She always keeps it fresh and interesting and I love that about her. I'm so happy that she's a part of our community and that we get the privilege of learning from her and growing along with her.
Here's a liitle bit more about Mara.....
Nick Name: I've never really had one that stuck.
Hometown: Just outside of Boston Massachusetts, a little town called Wayland, that had a high school, a library, a Dairy Queen and not much else.
Favorite Color: I like warm colors, crimsons, red-purples, carnelians.
Favorite Yoga Pose: What a tough question. I think my favorite pose shifts a lot in relation to mood and weather. I love postures that demand a combination of both strength and flexibility, like Kala Bhairavasana, which is side plank, with a sundial bind, although I may only be saying that because it is the pose that I'm teaching the week that I'm writing this.
Least Favorite: (Why): Mayurasana, Peacock pose. Whenever I practice that posture, I feel like I am fighting my own anatomy. I feel that I am fighting the length of my arms against the girth of my chest, and the position of the shoulders denies me most of the strength of the back. This is one of the few yoga poses that in the 7 years of my practice feels like nothing in it has shifted at all.
Favorite Place: I love to travel, and I think that that is because I haven't found a favorite place yet.
Movie: Sita Sings the Blues. Watch it. It's amazing, it's an animated adaptation of the Ramayana, and it is hysterically funny.
Book: Like my favorite yoga pose, I think this one also shifts dependent on what I've been reading and thinking about. Currently I'm obsessed with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin, because it is a fantasy story that is not derivative of JRR Tolkien, which is so refreshing that I can't get enough of it.
Why do you teach Yoga?
I love to watch bodies move in space, and I love to watch people leave class moving differently, their faces and demeanor completely changed. I like to watch that face people make when suddenly alignment clicks into place, and the posture changes completely in both mind and body.
How do you define Yoga?
I think yoga is a way to reconcile the self you see in your mind with what happens in the body. The mind and the body can tell completely different stories, and the process of uniting the two can be difficult and painful, but ultimately can be quite gratifying for the sense of self.
What would your last meal be?
Without doubt, my last meal would be a raw fish feast.
The band you can't live without?
I definitely can not live without Puscifer. No matter what I'm doing, no matter what the mood, it works for me.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do?
I would love to go to Java Indonesia. In terms of what I would do, it would be a toss up between yoga (Duh.), scuba diving, and studying the traditional bronze casting techniques that are unique to Java.
When you aren't teaching yoga, what can you be found doing?
In addition to teaching yoga, I am also a sculptor. I cast large figurative art in bronze, aluminum, and iron, and have a studio space in Humbolt Park. Between that and yoga, I spend any remaining time cooking.
Three fun facts we don't know about you?
1. There is more milage on my bicycle than my car.
2. I'm almost always listening to audiobooks, not music, if you see me with my headphones in.
3. I've been on every continent except Antartica.
You can find Mara at Tula on Mondays at noon and Tuesdays at 8pm and often subs for other instructors as well. This year, she will be teaching our July 4th Firework Vinyasa at 10am. She will also be leading topics in our first Tula Teacher Training starting in October 2016!