Michael Mark — poet, walker, hospice volunteer

Yoga is a holistic experience for many — mind, body, spirit — but did one element or another first draw you to the practice?

I believe I had the thirst for all three — they are so interdependent I couldn’t point to one over the others, though, moment by moment I do draw on different sources for sustenance

How about as your practice evolved: did yoga feed your mind or your body or your spirit more; were those elements more in balance than when you started?

yoga fed all three and yes, again, yoga helped to balance me

How long have you been practicing yoga?

I have been away from my mat for three years now — I was a five to six day a week practitioner for five years

How frequently do you practice yoga?

these days my practice is focused on the breath — which I work on almost constantly — and walking meditation

What do you miss most about yoga in the studio?

the community — the satisfaction of dedicated effort — the teachers’ insightful spiritual offerings even as we moved through rapid flows

What’s the greatest obstacle to you having a regular yoga habit?

I am my biggest obstacle when it comes to my practice, as I am in most of my life — but this questioning, I believe, is giving me a tender push towards my mat — deep bow

When you were starting out, what came easiest and what was more challenging?

inversions were always tough for me — balance poses, I’d say, came more naturally

What have been the greatest benefits of yoga for you?

patience — when practicing I was less tight in all ways, more roomy, and that allowed me to flow with all more healthily and gracefully

Apart from yoga, do you practice other techniques of mindfulness or meditation?

Vipassana and most consistently offer and recite Metta

Do you regularly do other forms of exercise?

I am a long distance walker and have walked the Camino De Santiago three times, Offa Dyke in Wales and trekked the Himalayas — I was regularly walking 6-10 miles a day — then came pickleball — obsessed!

Outside of a yoga session, do you ever just strike a pose and stretch?

yes — are you watching me?! — I’ll spontaneously strike a Warrior 2 pose or a Tree pose

If I gave you an expenses-paid yoga retreat, where would you go?

Chiang Mai, Thailand — I’ll just need a moment to pack

—interview © Marshal Zeringue