Meet The Teach: Erin Fogel
Less than 10 years after attending her first yoga class, Freehold-born Renaissance Girl Erin Fogel (who you might recognize from Boardwalk Empire) is now the owner of one of the go-to places for asana on the Upper East Side, the palatial House of Jai. Along with co-founders Molly Lehman and Meg Carlough, in just a few years she has made the Yorkville Yoga studio popular for students and great teachers from far and wide. Their new TT program begins in January, led by Molly and Amy Matthews-trained anatomy expert Cait Morth, and featuring a rock star roster including Erin, Rebecca Ketchum, Corey Loftus, Lori McAlister, Bee Bosnak, and Amitai Cohen.
An actress and producer, Erin has just completed “The Strike,” an independent film comedy she stars in, that yogis will love.
Jim Catapano: How did you get into yoga for the first time?
Erin Fogel: In 2004 when I graduated from Hofstra, I moved to 87nd St between 2nd and 3rd, and became fast friends with a cutie named Randee, who was moving in on the same day. And we were extremely unhealthy together: disgusting late-night takeout, going out and having a good time, etc. Fitness was not part of our friendship! But one of Randee’s friends found a fast love of yoga. And every time I saw her, her body was just more and more beautiful, and she wouldn’t stop talking about it.
One Sunday we had some time before an off-Broadway show, so Randee said, “why don’t we take a class?” It was very crowded. I had no idea what I was doing, I was claustrophobic and sweating and suffocating. I hated it—and then I went back the next day! I think I was feeling the effects of what my body hadn’t wanted to do. Even when you’re body is resisting, it’s still releasing serotonin. I felt so good afterwards. I started going to Lori McAlister’s Lunch Crunch three times a week. Within a couple of months people would stop me, saying they couldn’t believe how my body was changing!
JC: How was House of Jai born?
EF: My mom used to throw her back out just tying her shoes. So I sent teachers to her. She started doing private sessions with Lori and Meg, and after a year and a half she was ready to come to class with me. We’d go to class together twice a we