1. Tell me about your personal journey with yoga. Why is it important to you?
My first yoga class was at the age of 16. I had recently finished my young career as a national level competitive gymnast and my body was overworked and injured and I needed something that was gentle and healing. At first, yoga was all physical, I saw myself as “good” at it because I was flexible and strong. I looked up to the instructors and how they held space for people and the confidence they portrayed. I practiced on and off for years. However, it wasn’t until many years later when I was going through a particularly challenging time in my life that I turned back to yoga for something deeper. I found myself disconnected from the once childlike and carefree spirit that I was. I had a Scuba Diving accident that onset loads of anxiety which was the universe’s way of bringing up all of my old junk so I could clear it out. I first used breathwork to help with my panic attacks and meditation to find the root of it all. I slowly watched myself heal from the inside out and stepped into the most aligned, powerful and authentic version of myself. I always knew there was more to us than what meets the eye, and when I dove into energetically shifting the way I view the world and live my yoga instead of just practice it, I saw my life in a whole new light. I now exist in that childlike, carefree state every day and have the tools to deal with all of the ebs and flows of life in a state of peace and gratitude.
2. When did you first begin teaching yoga? What made you transition into a leadership position?
After my “wake-up call” or however you want to define it, I saw myself transform. I watched my frequency every day and realized that I am the one who gets to create my reality. Everything changed from that moment on, it’s like a light switch was flipped on and I was at home in my body and mind once again. I understood everything and nothing at the same time. There was no way I could have this awakening and not share it with the world. I had the body awareness knowledge from my time as a gymnast, I was a natural teacher because I am a nurturer and I had the wisdom from listening to my intuition from loads of self-work and soul searching. I knew from the first yoga class I taught that I wanted to do this forever, every day I get to do this work, I feel like I am helping people drop back into their personal power and freedom and helping them remember and return to who they really are.
3. What makes your classes unique?
Because I am unique of course, we all are! I put my heart and soul and full presence into every single class, every single time. My personal yoga practice is very frequent so I am always learning new things and expanding my yogic knowledge. You will never take the same class twice with me, there are always new ways to do things and look at things and your body is a dynamic and ever evolving tool and that is the way I use these sequences of yoga postures. I use yoga not only to heal you and soften you but also to challenge you, build you up and make you stronger physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I focus on the connection with yourself and the deeper world around you. Most importantly, I allow the postures to do the work for themselves, you are the real teacher here, I am just the facilitator.
4. How does music benefit your guidance in a yoga class?
Music sets the environment of your yoga class. It is important as an instructor to understand when the energetic vibrations need to be high, soft or silent. Pairing high-vibe, intention based music with yoga postures is a new age concept and one that I think has elevated the whole experience. When the right mood is set while you are practicing it feels almost like you are dancing with the divine through your movement.
5. Tell me about your next event and where we can follow you online.
I will be co-leading a 200 Hr. Yoga Teacher Training at Mello Yoga in January. All other events and details are on my website at www.yogakp.com I am most active on Instagram @kierstie_payge
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