yoga

‘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!


This is why Mathieu Boldron inspires

Thank goodness that Mathieu Boldron is a part of the yoga community. He has a passion and thirst for yoga that is infectious and humbling. He definitely inspires people and yogis around him.  

 

Now, let him inspire you. 

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1. How long have you been teaching?

I've been teaching yoga for about 5 years

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

I got burned out from years of musical theatre when I started teaching yoga. It was my new way to express and share something deeper. My voice was broken because of too many shows and gigs on tv.
Teaching taught me that we have the power to help a lot of people change their perspective and transform if we practice and live what we teach on a daily bases.

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher? Teachers and teachings are all around constantly. If you want to teach classes, take classes, you want to teach workshops, take workshops, you want to teach retreats, take retreats, if you want to teach trainings, take trainings. There is so much to learn. The more you learn the less you know.
4. How many times a week do you practice?

Every single day 24 hours a day.

5. Who inspires your practice?

The number of people around the world suffering inspire me to be the best version of myself by practicing so I can light up at least people around me.

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

The world needs more teachers so the more we practice the more confident we feel in passing the fruit of our experiences. Practice is a lifestyle versus a style-of-life. So, to share from a place of authenticity is necessary to incarnate what I'd like to give.

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

I want people to awake themselves to a higher level of sensitivity, consciousness so they can see better, and make better choices for themselves and for their life. The more we learn to get control on what drives us crazy in life, the more we understand the ego, the conditioning and the corruption happening in our society. We can then integrate our personality better and become an inspiration to unify people around the True Self.

8. Where are you currently teaching?

Right now in Bali, then turkey, Greece, Paris and Mexico.

9. What are the best ways that you have learnt of approaching studios that you would like to teach at? Years ago it would simply be take classes at their studio and today is more about word-of-mouth.
10. Has yoga helped you through something painful? If so, what and how? Yoga asana has cured so much problems in my physical body: back problems, voice problems, allergies and food imbalance. In my mind: trust issues, power of decision and limited beliefs
11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name? mathieuboldronyoga on IG FB and Twitter.
12. Is Social Media easy or challenging for you?

I'm getting better at it. It used to be challenging in the past. But I understand now better how I can use it to share with more people the powerful yoga medicine.

Federico DAnna expands on his commitment to the practice

If you have ever taken his class, it is apparent that Federico has a deep passion for yoga. He exudes a thirst for yoga that is inspiring. 

He shares with us his journey as a yogi:

        1. How long have you been teaching?

        I have been teaching for 4 years.

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

When I'm in love with something I wanna talk about it all the time, I wanna share it. I guess becoming  a Yoga teacher was the best way for me to have people listening to me talking about Yoga.I also figured that if Yoga was so exiting to me I would have been a good vehicle, a good vessel.I try my best to be just a vessel.

I learn so much everyday from teaching, one of the thing I'm really focusing in these days is trying not to let my ego get involved.I learned that it's very important to get into a place of clarity with myself, whenever I can. I see my ego trying to get in the way but I can be clear enough not to act or say things from there, when I can be that clear, I can give and help and be of service to the students. I try to constantly recenter myself into that place of clarity. This is  a moment-by-moment practice for me while I teach, it takes a lot of energy and focus but that makes my job very rewarding and keeps me peaceful because I feel I can really give. 

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

           I try to take all the classes I can with the teachers I respect more, and if you ask  me what I                learned from them the answer is: EVERYTHING! 

I try to learn always, it's a natural process for me: I try to learn new tricks for a pose, or I try to absorb a specific energy of a teacher I admire, or the subtleties of a brilliant dialogue, I also really love to observe how the best teachers connect with their students cause I think the most important thing in teaching is the ability to connect.

 My classes are always evolving  because I keep taking classes with great teachers, in that way I keep learning new things, I absorb new energies and all I have to do is to share that with my students.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

I try to practice every day, but I don't do Asanas everyday. I try to practice Asana at least 5 days a week and keep a daily  Sadhana practice with meditation, Pranayama, Kriyas and recently, some chanting. Pranayama helps me be clear and centered when I teach so I try to practice it at least the days I have to teach before my classes.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

So many people inspire me, besides the well known gurus and texts like the Yoga Sutras, or Yogananda texts, which I've always found inspiring and I always go back to when I feel lost, here in New York. I have many names of good inspiring Yogis: Dharma Mittra Jared McCan, Erin Vaughn, Jason Morris - these are only few names. Also every Yogi that devotes themselves to help others is an inspiration to me. I think you can be a great Yogi without practicing Asanas or Pranayana, a Yogi is someone who search freedom, union knowledge, who is selflessly in service, it doesn't matter how, whenever I find these qualities  in someone, it's very inspiring and beautiful to me, that's Yoga.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

I just feel I need to practice. I have always felt that way.

Even before I met Yoga, I had my Yoga practice. I'll try to explain: even when I had no idea of what Yoga was, I always felt I needed at least an hour or so a day to dedicate myself to something completely and without distractions, something in which I could focus 100 per cent of my attention, I didn't  know what Asana or Meditation was until few years ago, but  when I was a child I recited my prayers every day and I remember I had all sorts of personal weird rituals.Then, in my 20s I was an actor and my Yoga at that point was practicing some relaxation and acting techniques to create physical and emotional realities to create a truthful and vibrant performance. 

 

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

I want them to know and trust that  we can all find a place inside ourselves where everything is perfect exactly the way it is. That whatever your perceived  limitations are, they are an just an illusion. Everything we need and want is already in us! All OF US. Realizing this on a deep level is not easy; it's the actual goal of YOGA. Its not just an idea, and just thinking about it won't help. It does not come for free, it's a practice and it's a lifelong journey. Of course it might be intense, scary at times, or boring at times, there are many obstacles in the path, but yoga also  gives us the tools to overcome the obstacles, and what else would you spend your energy on? And the cool part of it is that you don't have to wait to be enlightened to experience glimpse of that perfection, knowledge, freedom and bliss. Yoga will help you right away. You'll feel 'peaceful' or 'free' or 'strong' or maybe just generally 'better' right away after your first Asana session. So just go to yoga and something will happen to convince you....trust those feelings and be curious to investigate deeper cause it's worthy.

8. Where do you currently teach?

New York I teach at The Yoga Room, Yogatothepeople, Yoga Herald Square, when I go to Rome to visit my friends and family I teach for Bikram Yoga Rome

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

It helps immensely with the stepping stone that made me absolutely sure and gave me infinite trust. 

I have always had the feeling I had to achieve something in life, and this obsession, this vortex of my mind has always been so strong in me that for the most part I have always been living in a state of struggle to get somewhere, to demonstrate to the world that I had value, to get recognition, to succeed. So when I felt close to my goals, that would made me happy of course but most of the times I used to live in a state of anxiety, depression, a fear or an actual  feeling of existential failure. There was no space around me just to notice the beauty of nature or people or life, just because that vortex was spinning so thick and fast that I couldn't see behind that.

Alter only a few sessions of yoga , while I was laying in Savasana, I started noticing other things that I wouldn't have noticed before. Maybe just a ray of light coming from the window of the hot room, or the shining of the sweat drops on my skin or the breathing sweaty bodies around me ( I started with Bikram Yoga) and I started to notice all the beauty of those things. I started to enjoy the colors and shapes of nature and things and the people around me. And one day I realized that all this beauty around me was perfectly enough for me to enjoy life right now,  I didn't need to achieve something anymore or demonstrate I'm worthy, or being successful to be happy. The world was suddenly beautiful enough for me to be happy right away, I realize that all I had to do was to keep working on  that clarity. It was like a huge painful weight was taken off my shoulders for the first time in my life, and life was good!!

Then I studied the Yoga Sutras and it was all there:
Yoga is stilling the vortexes ( vrittis ) of the mind and cut through all the illusions.

 

 

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. 

Devoted yogi, Chauncie Parchment lets us in on his practice.

Chauncie Parchment has a practice that indicates his love for the asanas . He is a devoted yogi with a lot of knowledge. Here are some inspirational words from this yogi.

How long have you been teaching?
I began teaching yoga as an appreciation for Yoga to the people. One of the requirements before you get certified as one of their hot yoga instructors is to teach 20 classes for free as an apprenticeship.

What motivated you to teach and what have you learned?
I've always wanted to live as freely as possible and be in control of my time and energy. Wiring a 9-5 job as a city worker or as an employee of a boutique in clothing ,street or health food store did not permit me a life where I can make my own choices. I didn't like the idea of renting my time for 10, 11 or $12 an hour. I knew that my time was priceless, and to me the work I was doing was empty. I needed to find a job where I can do what I love to do. I wanted to help heal other people while I continued to heal myself. Teaching has taught me that every single day I need to clear quiet observant and helpful.

How many days a week do you practice?
I practice every day and my practice changes from day to day. Some days I can't make it to class so I practice at home, this may consist of a full practice or just Tibetans, pranayama and a couple of Sun salutations.

Who inspires yours practice?
My own belief and curiosity to reveal the secrets and benefits of the yoga practice. Along with the stories of ancient Masters who achieved phenomenal abilities through their yoga practice.

Why do you think it is necessary for you to practice?
I believe it is necessary for me to practice so that  I can remove the the physical, emotional and mental trauma that has caused energetic blockages inside of my body. I feel it is necessary for me to practice removing the conditioning that has been done from living on this earth. To help open my being to many realities that exist and reconnect to the ancient ways and lastly to maintain vitality and longevity.

What message are you trying to spread throughout teaching yoga?

To reconnect with your inner highest most powerful self, to reconnect with your brothers and sisters , to reconnect with your ancestors and to reconnect with the ancient ways of living.

Where are you currently teaching?
I currently teach at Lighthouse Yoga School, Yoga Tribe, Brooklyn Urban Asanas and Hot Spot yoga.

Have you been through anything significant in your life and how has yoga played a role in it? I've had a pretty rocky relationship with my mother and my father and other members in my family growing up we've never fully got along and it's always been a push and pull in ideas and values and I never felt like they accept me for the way I wanted to live. Yoga has given me the space to see the issues that I face within  myself and within my mother and my father so that I can catch these things while they're coming up in conversation and so that I can free myself from the fears and insecurities that are holding me hostage and preventing me from loving my own family and I love myself so I thank yoga for clearing me up mentally so that I am able to open up my heart and accept my mother my father and my family for who they are and how they are and have that loving strong family unit that is necessary for each individual on planet Earth.