inspire

‘You can have the most amazing standing bow and eat all the kale, but if you're not kind to others, you're missing something.’

Ksenia Voropaeva is a yoga teacher based in New York City. She is also the Founder of Anaday-   available in our retail section

Ksenia Voropaeva is a yoga teacher based in New York City. She is also the Founder of Anaday- available in our retail section

1. What style of yoga do you teach? 


I teach a mix of lineages that have been taught to me, and that resonate in my personal practice. I believe in teaching what I know. So I combine Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, Dharma, Kundalini, Mantra, plus incorporate new things that I'm learning and working on myself. I'm forever a student and that keeps me curious and growing. Being a teacher means being a student first.

2. What is your intention behind teaching?

To pass on the teachings and help people feel better.


3. Who are your mentors in yoga? 

So many amazing teachers through the years in NYC! Jared McCann has pushed (and still pushes) my practice to the next level. Erin Rose gives a depth that's like no other. I now notice my kidneys when I practice. Gauri has shifted my life in so many ways through mantra work. My partner, Mario,teaches my everyday how to take the yoga home (om shanti). And I’m always learning so, so much from my yoga community—the amazing humans who I feel like I've known through lifetimes at this point. There's is something so special about deep asana and mediation work with people. You get to know them on another level. It’s like osmosis. These are my mentors.


4. What have they taught you? 

Be present, do the practice every. single. day. (doesn't have to be asana, doesn't have to be on a mat, but it needs to be something), be kind, be of service, love.


5. Please mention a book that you have read about yoga that has had a positive impact on you? 

The Science of Breath.


6. What lesson are you currently learning in your Asana practice? 

Big shifts happen in subtle ways.


7. How often do you practice? 

Everyday.


8. How do you implement the other 7 limbs of yoga into your life other than Asana? 

Through everyday actions. The more I practice and connect with my inner-self, the more I recognize how everything is an extension of my experience—home, health, relationships, career, finances, dreams. Everything is connected. So for me, it's a matter of recognizing my patterns and shifting them. The Yamas and Niyamas are foundation #1. You can have the most amazing standing bow and eat all the kale, but if you're not kind to others, you're missing something. And that something is reflection of our own fears (aka absence of love). Once we start to really confront ourselves and our patterns (of harming, dishonesty, excess, attachment, non-contentment, fill in your Yama/Niyama blank____), we begin to remove the blocks to energy/love/divinity, and the rest of the limbs fall into place. It’s a constant remembering that my home, family, career, everything else in life, has to come from this place of awareness.


9. Why is being present so important to you

They say time is an illusion and the present is all there is. That's tough to wrap my head around. What I do know, is that it's only when I'm fully present that I feel a deep sense of connection. When I'm not worried about the future or analyzing the past, and am just doing my asana, my meditation, or creating, my energy flows. Rather than trying or forcing, I become a channel. Stay receptive, as Dharma says. That's only possible in the present. 


10. How can we keep up with you on social media? What is your IG handle and/ FB name?

Find me @heyananday!


Sara Schwartz shares her yogic journey with us

The yoga community is fortunate to have a person as loving, kind and compassionate as Sara in it. Over the few years that I have known her, she has maintained her kindness and yoga practice.

This yogi is an inspiration. She shares with you some inspirational words. 
 

1. How long have you been teaching?

7 years 

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

I started teaching at Yoga to the People in San Francisco. Teaching felt very hard to me, I was painfully shy and had a small voice. Someone, maybe it was Katite, said: In Yoga, if something is hard for you, go towards it. That is the yogic way. So I decided to pursue teaching because I knew it was the most impossible thing for me at the time. I'll tell you within 6 months it became easier. Within 3 years I didn't get nervous anymore. And now, 7 years later, I know teaching yoga is my dharma, my life's purpose. Teaching Yoga I've learned that you never know what someone is going through, so try approach every student as a dear friend. Even the ones on their cellphone and with mean mugs. I've learned tricks and modifications from watching the students. I've learned that if you just stick with something you will get better at it.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

I learned some discipline from Yancy "Scotty" Schwartz. I never liked following the rules. Sometimes in yoga if you follow the rules you will receive the benefits. I watched this work for Yancy and so I tried it out. I found there is a comfort, an anchor, in finding some discipline and sticking to it. Right now for me it's my practice of the Gayatri Mantra.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

The first three years I practiced everyday. Then I noticed my body did well with one day off a week. Now I do a daily mantra practice and for asana just listen to my body. If I feel worn down I take a day off. 

5. Who inspires your practice?

I am super inspired by Erin Kelly. She is strong and flexible and moves very slowly. I'm also inspired by Sri Dharma Mittra, Sadguru, Amma and Shiva (King of the Yogis!). 

6. Why is it necessary to you to practice?

Money comes and goes. Beauty comes and goes. Sadly friends and family come and go. The only thing that is truly with us for life is our consciousness, our mind and spirit. The practice connects me with my spirit, helps me understand the workings of my mind. I believe it is one of life's deepest purposes to practice and come to understand what it means to be human.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

My original career dream was to be a U.N. Peacekeeper. The quote in the YTTP quotebook about the monk who wanted to change the world, but realized he had to change himself first really inspired me to pursue yoga instead. I always like to share with the classes that by creating a peaceful environment within yourself you are making a big step towards community and world peace.

8. Where are you currently teaching? 

Red Diamond Yoga, Hollywood Power Yoga, YogaWorks, Equinox and Create Yoga Space. All in Los Angeles!

9. How does being married to a yoga help you develop your practice? 

One of the most wonderful things about our marriage is that we can practice together. Sometimes we meditate at the same time and the focus is so much sharper. We share fundamental values and beliefs. I can come to him with my yoga questions and he always has a great answer. 

10. Has yoga helped you through something that you struggled with? If so, what and how?

Oh my gosh I've had anxiety since I was a small child. I used to get these panic attacks where I couldn't eat or sleep. Just sit there with a racing heart and hurting stomach suffering. And I'll be honest, by my 20's I didn't see how I could live in this miserable skin much longer. I wanted to be free of my body. I knew yoga helped but I hadn't committed to the practice- it took a long time. I think going to India was a turning point for me. I remember reciting a mantra on mala beads next to the Ganges River and for the first time in my life peace flooded over me and I thought: here's my life preserver! The next year I was doing Bikram yoga and getting these crazy panic attacks in the room. Not being able to leave I learned how to use my breath and mental focus to overcome the panic rush. Now I feel pretty much comfortable in my own skin, I enjoy life and think the planet is beautiful, and sometimes if a panic attack comes by I can say: oh its just a panic attack. Theres a distance between me and it. I make a cup of tea and breath it away. 

Courtney Fitzgerald shares some yogi words with us

If you have ever been in her class, you understand her humour and sense of compassion. She is a yogi whom I admire and would like to share with you some inspirational words from Courtney Fitzgerald:

 

1. How long have you been teaching? 3 years

 

2. What motivated you to teach and what did you learn from teaching? I was feeling grateful for all the joy and courage I had found from practicing under a couple of incredible teachers. I wanted to enable others to feel this way. Though I definitely played it cool and said I was doing a teacher training to learn more about the practice. 

 

3. How many times a week do you practice? I do some type of exercise 6 days a week. I used to do yoga every day and found that that was unhealthy for me. I probably do a standard yoga practice 3-4 times a week. 

 

4. Who inspires your practice? It's not usually a who. Sometimes it's a meaningful quote. Or when teachers suggest picking a word to use as an intention for the practice, "freedom" is often the first word to pop into my head. Although one time recently it was "puppy" (it worked out fine). My pal/fellow teacher Brian has probably had the most influence over my physical practice because he doesn't let me off the hook with old habits and I appreciate that.

 

5. Why is it necessary to practice? Practicing yoga lets me feel like I can move through things. And change them. And feel frustrated and clumsy but also calm. And once in awhile I feel like an elegant swan. I feel like I know with more certainty how I feel and what is driving me in my life after I practice. And I also know that it will change over time. 

 

6. What message do you like to spread through teaching? It's important to feel stable so that you can adventure. You're never stuck and you can always change your mind. 

 

7. Where are you currently teaching? Y7, The Yoga Room, Yoga Vida, hOM, Exubrancy, various private clients and businesses around the city.