The Calmest of Friends

Toni Gauthier

Theirs is not a career path overrun with Stanford grads. Rachel Lanzerotti of San Francisco and Roger Cole of Del Mar, Calif., teach restorative yoga, a practice that induces deep relaxation by systematically triggering physiological reflexes. They met while working on a UC-San Francisco study that tests whether restorative yoga can help patients with metabolic syndrome control their blood sugar and gain other health benefits. Only months later did they realize that they both had gone to Stanford a generation apart and shared the formative experience of living in Columbae. Cole appreciates how the co-op lifestyle encouraged his interest in yoga: "Outside of Columbae, people thought it was strange. Inside, they thought it was interesting." He practiced asana on the roof and taught his first relaxation classes to housemates. Lanzerotti took up yoga years after college but thinks Columbae's values—and perhaps the fresh bread, vegetarianism and consensus decision-making—inclined her toward teaching yoga and mindfulness.