Six hot yogis

We asked how regular practice changed six New Yorkers' bodies---and their lives.

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  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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Photograph: Zenith Richards

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Marc Patillo


31, waiter, Upper East Side

How did you become a yogi?
I first got into yoga in 2007 because of my wife. I have a big track-and-field background and I played football, but the first yoga class I took was tough. I immediately fell in love with the challenge. When I had to have my thyroid removed, I was really weak and tired after the operation, and yoga was the best rehab and recovery for me.

What's your current practice like?
I mainly do Hot Power Vinyasa. I love the benefits of the detoxification and sweating [plus] the workout you get in a hot room. I try to practice at least five nights a week.

How has yoga affected your diet?
I don't even want to drink because I just feel so clean and good. [You do] so much good for your body that you don't want to damage it. I still love meat, but now I'm all about eating raw, clean foods.

What's the biggest payoff?
Yoga calms your mind and your body, and you feel better about yourself. I've always been in good shape, but it's amazing how much I've strengthened my core, my abs, my butt and my shoulders. It gives shape to every muscle in your body.

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