Meet Kelly, one of our corporate yoga instructors in Connecticut.
What inspires you to teach fitness or yoga and how did you get started?
I have been a student of yoga for over ten years. I began practicing because i wanted to find a better way to handle my stress and anxiety, also help me quit smoking. I became truly inspired and 3 years ago when i made a commitment to myself to begin living a healthier lifestyle. I learned through a mentor that yoga is truly a relationship. A relationship with yourself, a relationship with the mat, and a relationship with the universe. My relationship with myself was the first I had to work on, it was finding compassion for myself and honoring who I am. I think that is the biggest issue people have today, we don't give ourselves enough love.
Favorite classes to teach/specialty:
My favorite classes to teach are gentle candlelight classes. Sometimes they're a flow class, syncing breath to movement but the dim lights and slowing working into a pose allows me to teach a deeper spiritual connection.
Favorite exercise or pose:
My favorite exercise is to dance, it is an amazing feeling when you can let go, feel free and allow an art like music to take over. My favorite pose is legs up the wall, it is an inversion available to most, it helps reverse blood flow, regulate blood pressure and promotes a restful sleep.
Favorite healthy snack:
My favorite healthy snack is lentil chips! They're made with bean flour and are great in fiber.
Favorite cheat food:
Favorite fitness product:
Yoga Blocks!! I have a background in Iyengar Yoga which uses all yoga props (blocks, straps, bolsters, rope wall, chairs and sand bags) to make the most of each pose. With blocks I have the ability to find my correct alignment and feel extremely balanced.
What are your interests and passions when not teaching fitness/yoga?
I am currently finishing up my certification to become a doula. I've had a passion for working with children and have taken on various roles in the caregiving field since I was 15. I also love to read, hike, camp and dance.
What are your hopes for your class participants?
My priority when teaching is that my students receive what they're looking for going into the practice. My hope is for their practice to evolve through mind body connection. I want students to truly feel their body, understanding their muscle groups without an anatomy picture and instead through their movement. I also hope yoga can provide a calm reflex/reaction for everyday situations by using the muscle memory created through their breath-work.
What is unique or special about teaching in a workplace environment?
I think workplace environments are special because it creates a safe and available atmosphere for beginners. Workplace fitness classes typically are new yogi's who are hesitant but interested therefore expectations are low. It allows me to go into the class and explain how yoga is truly what you want to make it. Its about each of their own personal journeys. These classes usually have really great discussions as well.
Do you think fitness or yoga can change someone’s life for the better? Have you witnessed it?
I have witnessed yoga being effective in many ways and it's always been a positive outcome. My personal journey with yoga has been an overall lifestyle change. I have benefited from the nutrition side (feeling what good food vs bad food does to my body, how food sits in my stomach or is digested), from the physical side (working with children creates lower back pain and running tightens hip muscles) and especially the spiritual side (being mindful with my own actions and what I want to contribute to this life).
Do you think fitness or yoga can help foster community and communication in an organization? Have you witnessed it?
I believe yoga is an amazing way to bring a community together. The principals of non violence, love and acceptance are something this world needs badly. If we teach this generation of children how to handle conflict calmly, to love all things unconditionally and show by example acceptance of the unfamiliar we can truly have a brighter future. I have seen various non profits who offer free yoga and spiritual happenings to the homeless and incarcerated men and woman, I have also been a part of enrichment programs in New Britain, CT which focus of cultivating and opening these young children's minds. My hope is to one day open a Community Wellness Organization to meet the needs of everyone regardless of income, with a special focus tolerance and acceptance.