Nathaniel Murray

181st St between Cabrini Blvd and Pinehurst Ave.

Photograph: Jay Muhlin

What do you do? I'm a yoga, Alexander and movement coach with the Metropolitan Opera, specifically the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

So you're coaching divas-in-the-making? I wouldn't use that term, but the singers are the next superstars in the world of opera.

Neato. Do you pick up any musical skills from your clients? Every second is a learning experience. You can't even call this work; I just happen to get paid for something I'd be attempting to do anyway. People would kill to be where I am. I mean, you know? I OD on opera on a regular basis.

Lucky. It's more than luck.

Right. Lots of egos at the Met, huh? Yeah, there are egos everywhere. The ego is what says, We have to make this the best it will possibly be, and I won't stand for anything less.

How long have you done yoga? I discovered yoga back in the '70s, man. Actually, I recently recovered a lot of music I used to listen to in the early '70s. The stuff I liked the most was jazz, and back then a whole bunch of jazz artists were influenced by yoga. I'm listening to this music, and it's stronger and more powerful than ever.

Especially now that New Jersey has legalized some marijuana. Uh, okay. [Laughs] Well, yeah. I mean, but then that was, like, music to smoke by. You used to put a half-dozen albums under your arm and go to someone's house. When you had a double album, you smoked a jay. [Laughs]