Six hot yogis

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



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  • Photograph: Zenith Richards


  • Photograph: Zenith Richards


  • Photograph: Zenith Richards


  • Photograph: Zenith Richards


Photograph: Zenith Richards


Irene Nicolella

31, financial software product manager, Upper East Side

How did you become a yogi?
A few years ago, my work started offering a weekly class, and I loved it. Then Pure Yoga East (203 E 86th St between Second and Third Aves; 212-360-1888, opened in our neighborhood, and I've been practicing there ever since. I played sports in high school, and in college I ran and lifted weights, but I never achieved the physical results that I do with yoga.

What's your current practice like?
I mostly take Hot Power Vinyasa classes. My job is pretty stressful, and after sitting in front of the computer for nine hours, yoga makes me feel so much better. It puts things in perspective.

How has yoga affected your diet?

I've always been interested in eating healthy and organic foods, but now I'm more conscious of it. I eat fish and chicken, but no red meat or pork.

What's the biggest payoff?

I'm pretty petite, but yoga has made me stronger. I'm the same size, yet my clothes fit me better. When I first started practicing, I couldn't even stand on one leg. Now I can do crazy things with my body.

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