6 Rockstar Yogis Tell Us Why They Practice Yoga (Bonus: Awesome Photos!)
The new yoga documentary Why We Breathe was created by filmmaker Jonathan Pears to answer everyone's questions about yoga and how it makes life more fulfilling and happier. I sat down with all the amazing yogis interviewed in Why We Breathe and asked them plain and simple: Why Yoga?
Because it feels good! It's literally the perfect balance of mind body and spirit for me.
Name one inspiring person you'd love to meet and what you'd ask.
Steve Jobs. I'd ask him what's on his iPod.
Dice Ilda Klein & Briohny Smyth
Because we LOVE it. We love that our practice encompasses so much and it caters to how we're feeling NOW. On days when we're feeling more physical, we bring on the heat with some handstands, inversions and backbends. On days when we feel more like grounding, we turn to pranayama and deep yin postures. Our practice helps us to become more aware of who we are to ourselves and to those around us. We know this is constantly changing…we know that our yoga practice is constantly changing. How awesome is that?!
If we didn't teach yoga ...
We'd be doing what we love anyway: practicing and being a student of yoga. Teaching is amazing because we get to share with so many amazing yogis around the world, but the vital portion of teaching yoga is remembering why you wanted to teach in the first place. Because you enjoyed practicing and learning yoga from others.
It's what keeps my body strong and flexible, my mind clear, and my heart open. It's taught me to be present, to allow each moment to be as it is, and to accept myself as I am. It reminds me to embrace all of the emotions of life, to allow them to move through me, and to be grateful for the simple fact that I'm alive.
If I didn't teach yoga ...
I'd probably be a school teacher somewhere in Central America. Teaching is in my heart, but so is surfing, and Central America has amazing waves!
It's the ultimate transformer. It can be whatever you need: physical therapy, grounding, a way to ease stress, or boost mental health. It's calming, it's invigorating…it's a tool that I can use as needed, I LOVE that!
Name one inspiring person you'd love to meet what you'd ask.
Nelson Mandela. After all that he's been through, I'd be curious to ask him what's the most important thing he'd done and what are the most important things in his life now.
I live yoga because it told me I was perfect when everything else said I was lacking. It's like a piece of putty that you can mold to whatever phase of life you're in—strong, weak, thrilled or heavy. My mood and body is always dramatically improved after my time on the mat. Let's not forget that I also named my dog Ashi after Ashtanga Yoga:)
If I didn't teach yoga...
I'd own a restaurant and be the executive chef, be the editor-in-chief of a magazine, be an Olympian, an art docent, naturalist, dog shop owner or skydive instructor. The last one will actually happen sooner than later!
Through yoga I learn to pay attention to the part of me that really matters. The part of me that lives in that truth, always. Abiding and living from this space helps me to live with greater skill, love, and compassion. Yoga reminds me to live with purpose! Oh yea, it also feels really good!
If I didn't teach yoga ...
I'd teach surfing. I'd be a professional free surfer, a surfer who travels and searches out the hidden surf breaks of the world. As I traveled to these exotic locations I would teach the local kids how to surf. I would teach them life skills through the beauty of the ocean. I would teach them that the ocean can be your Guru and your playground.
Kathryn Budig is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and author known for her accessibility, humor, and ability to empower her students through her message, "aim true." The Kansas native graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor's degrees in both english and drama before moving to Los Angeles, where she trained at Yogaworks under Maty Ezraty and Chuck Miller. She is the author of Aim True: Love Your Body, Eat Without Fear, Nourish Your Spirit, Discover True Balance! and travels around the world teaching.