88 Orchard Road
Skillman, NJ 08558

Richard Parrella: Back to basics, back to self.

Since a young age Richie has always had an interest in mental health, understanding the self, and supporting others in their journey. His welcoming and helpful attitude is what makes Princeton Yoga a place to come home to yourself. Richard has many gifts and we are excited that he is going to share some with our community in his upcoming workshop ‘From Nature to Nurture’ in September.

How did you find Princeton Yoga?

I heard about one of the teachers, Rama through a friend, and was told he was basically the “Yoda of yoga”, so needless to say I was intrigued.

What drew you to volunteering at Princeton Yoga?

I honestly had a tight budget, and thought, “Well, here’s an opportunity to help budget my practice, be of service to the studio, and get to know more people within the studio and community that supports it”.

Share your favorite experience you’ve had at Princeton Yoga.

Honestly, it’s tough for me to single out one specific experience that outweighs all others because a few specific ones that come to mind. My fiancé’s father, who is a professional percussionist, came to the drum circle with us, and it was a real bonding experience for Alex, her father, and I to play together. Another that comes to mind was when Dan Fernandez hosted his full mooji practice, which began with light asanas and moved into a deep awareness meditation. It was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. Another great experience I’ve had has been attending Prayers for Peace. It was my first experience with Kirtan, and I have since bonded with Devi and Marleny outside of the studio and formed friendships with them.

Do you practice yoga? If so, what are your favorite practices?

I do practice yoga. It is a practice of coming home to myself, and realizing who I am, and where I’m at in all facets of life. I pay respect to history and traditions of yoga, by learning the yamas and niyamas and following them. I also practice mantra, pranayama (breathing techniques), asana, dance, and meditation. I really enjoy fusing asana and dance, as not only a means of exercise, but as a means to full self-expression.

Do you have a favorite class at Princeton Yoga?

Phew, that is a tough question. There are so many amazing teachers here, and they all have such individual practices based on who they are as people. I find myself drawn in many different directions based on where I’m at in my life. Rama’s class is the most complete practice that speaks to me, incorporating mantra, pranayama, asana, yoga nidra, and meditation. It really is the complete yoga. After his class, I’m generally ready to dance the rest of the day away.

How have yoga and/or holistic practices affected your life?

Yoga restores balance. It purifies my body and mind. It helps me to see myself from a whole new perspective. It has given me the ability to focus and concentrate my energy in ways I never could before. It has been a means for me to truly find love and compassion for myself, and with that, for all others. I have learned the holistic practices are the only practices that truly work.
When I’m not thinking holistically, something will inevitably be out of balance in my mind and body. To be well/feel well, I must treat Mind, Body, and Spirit all simultaneously. It is the only way to true contentment.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

I would like to share how grateful I am to have a place where I can go and feel truly safe. I have always felt respected, cared for, and genuinely welcome at the studio. Deborah, Denise, and all of the instructors have so much light to share, and being in a space like this continues to inspire me to contribute to this community, and to all other communities in our world.

Coming Soon:

From Nature to Nurture

Saturday, September 30, 2017
at 1:00 pm – Sign up here

In this workshop we will be experiencing plants and nature from many different facets. We’ll take a journey together becoming a tree and practice growing your very own seed. We’ll learn about 5 natural and medicinal plants, the benefits they can provide, and how to grow them at home.