It is clear that Ksenia is passionate about yoga. However what is more endearing about her, to me, is her demeanor, poise and posture. Being in her presence, her humility, determination and inner- peace is inspiring to me.
Be inspired by her too...
1. How long have you been teaching?
2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?
I started teaching because when most things in my life no longer made sense, yoga made more and more sense. I was at a life/career crossroads, unsure of what to do, so I began to strip away the things that were no longer important and focus on what was. Yoga was one of those things and I wanted to share with others.
I've learned (and am still learning!) how to not take myself so seriously. Public speaking is intimidating. Leading others and sharing our truth is intimidating. Lightness and authenticity help. When we trust and share what we love we become a vessel for it to come through.
3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?
I'm lucky to have amazing teachers in NYC. They ALL inspire me to practice and teach because of the impact they've had on me.
One of the things I've learned in different ways from different teachers is that what we practice we become. Want to land a handstand? Practice that handstand over and over, and fall and fail, 10,000 times. Want to feel more connected? Connect to your breath to your body to your self, over and over everyday, even when you don't want to. Want to find purpose? Be of service.
We're always practicing something. Notice what that something is.
4. How many times a week do you practice?
I try to practice daily. Even if it's not a full asana practice, I make time for breathwork, meditation and mantra. It's the small changes over time (often through resistance) that make the difference over a lifetime.
5. Who inspires your practice?
My yoga community - teachers, students, masters past and present. My not-yoga life - friends, family, work, play. Everything is connected.Part of it is self-motivation. What can I do to re-connect to myself, to be more present, to be more compassionate?
And, another big part of it is surrounding myself with people who challenge me. If we're comfortable, we're not growing, and practice is all about growth.
6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
Haha, for sanity. I used to practice as a physical exercise and mental break maybe once a week. That gradually increased to 2 times a week, then 3 times, then 4 times, 5 times and now daily. I noticed that I feel better when I practice, so I started practicing more often. Over time it became less of a decision to go do a thing, and more of a habit. It's what must be done so I can be my better self. Now I don't really think about it, I just do it. Yoga is sneaky that way.
7. What message do you like to spread by teaching yoga?
This is always changing as I change, but the underlying thread for me is that we are our best teachers. There is no right path, there is no right answer. It's our everyday life, our relationships, the stressful job, the lack of sleep, that crappy thing that happened to us, that teach us. Growth is a constant work in progress.
The power of yoga is not that it gets us into a cool Instagram pose, or to touch our toes, or to sleep better at night (which are all good things). It's much more subtle than that. Its power is in a gradual unveiling that behind all of life's ups and downs there's a stillness within us that cannot be changed by time or circumstance. The practice of yoga is finding our way back to that.
8. Where are you currently teaching?
Currently teaching @yttp and privates
9. How has yoga helped your character develop?
As I become more aware of my mind and body on the mat, I become more aware of my feelings and (re)actions off the mat. Realizing that I am not my sadness / my anger / my frustration (that no one is) helps me move through the world with a little more compassion. It helps me soften around judgements and stories and see that we're all connected, we're all in this together.
My practice has also given me the disciple and confidence to leave my 9-5, to start my own business, to change the way I consume, to reduce my footprint, to grow my own herbs and food. It's a ripple effect.
10. What has kept you practicing all these years?
Life! And all its craziness. The practice grounds me, gives me a sense of balance, peace and purpose. It's been the one constant in my life over the last decade. As relationships, circumstances, age, health, perspectives change, my practice remains. I'm fascinated by the essence that doesn't change.
And as I aspire to be a good teacher, I must always be a good student.
11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?