Thursday, 20 July 2017

Interview with Yoga Teacher: Karin Croney

In this interview series I will introduce you to different Yoga teachers. Same questions, different answers! Variety is Key, isn’t it? So enjoy reading and get a peak into the perspective of these teachers. You will also get tips and precautions for when you wish to start with Yoga. The goal is to give voice to the yoga teacher around the corner, the one who we do not read about in the fancy magazines and to inspire you to do yoga! 

Karin Croney lived in Morocco for 11 years and has recently moved back to England to the beautiful Bath. She is married, has three grown up daughters, three grandchildren and a dog. Whilst interviewing Karin, I was impressed by her youthful, sparkling persona, curiosity (I had to answer a lot of questions myself ; ) and energy. It was a delight interviewing Karin and noticed how an attitude of wanting to learn something new keeps our minds sharp and open. 

1. What is yoga according to you?

Karin Croney (KC): Yoga to me is reconnecting the mind to the body via the breath linking the two together.  Yoga calms the monkey mind and brings us home to live more comfortably in our body. The practice of yoga releases  the  blockages of energy in our body that have built up over time by our life experiences, the food we have eaten and the habits that have developed as a result. Yoga is about the opportunity to grow and change.

2. Why do you teach yoga?

KC: I want to share this incredible practice with people. Anyone can do yoga. People think they have got to be flexible and that is not a prerequisite. You do what you can do and it’s amazing how quickly you see improvements with regular practice. The seemingly impossible becomes possible!

3. Name three of your favourite things about yoga.

-  It has enabled me to break out of a restrictive comfort zone and achieve things I never thought possible.
-  The feeling of ease and flexibility in body and mind.
-   It keeps me young!

4. Why do you think people should try yoga?
KC: Yoga is a great antidote to the pressures of every day life. Yoga helps to open us up to experience life more fully.

5. Have you seen your audience changing over time, and if so, in what way?
KC: It is nice to see the changes in people, the increase in their flexibility and confidence. One of my favourite groups in Morocco was a group of elderly French ladies. They were very stiff to begin with and I had to provide blankets for their knees etc. Their general flexibility increased they held themselves better and we had so much fun together!

6. Did your teaching method change over time, and if so, in what way?
KC: I had been teaching for about 11 years in Morocco. My favourite type of yoga is mixed hatha and coming back to the UK recently, I had so get used to doing things differently.  For example, the duration and pace of the classes -  I had been used to teaching classes of between 90 mins to almost 2 hours, now I found that I had to teach 45 minute or at best 60 minute classes. I taught mixed Hatha, in which one can do so many different things, a bit of flow, pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation etc. Now I had to teach faster paced Vinyasa Flow classes here in Bath. It is all great as this increases the learning curve and I had to adapt. People lead increasingly busy lives so you have to go with the flow!

7. Who are your inspirations in yoga?
KC: When I first started practicing yoga, 19 years ago, whilst living in Brighton, this was with two great teachers, Kristina Karitinou Ireland (she was married to the late Derek Ireland, who had been instrumental in bringing Ashanga Vinyasa to the UK) and Julie Martin (now of Brahmani Yoga, Goa). I went on a yoga retreat in Greece with teacher Kristina and it was there that idea of training to become a yoga teacher took root. On my return, a yoga teacher friend, Janaki, encouraged me to do the Sivananda TTC course in Kerala India, 2004 - this opened up the world of yoga to me – the philosophy, the different forms of yoga etc and the whole experience of disciplined life in an ashram was life changing for me. There are said to be about 80,000 different asanas so I no longer wanted to be restricted by the set sequences of Ashtanga vinyasa, though my style of teaching has been influenced by it. A year later in 2005 I completed the Advanced Sivananda Teacher Training in a small ashram in the Himalayas. Over the years my style of teaching has evolved as so many different teachers, types of yoga and students have inspired me.

Tara Lee, from the UK, is a teacher that I greatly admire. She teaches prenatal yoga and dynamic flow. She has a lovely calming, modest presence, her sequencing is excellent and her dialogue is well balanced.

There are some great teachers on Eckhart Yoga - my first teacher, Julie Martin being one of them. Also Veronique Gauthier, who came on one of my yoga holidays in Morocco, she was diagnosed with MS about 15 years ago but has kept the effects of her condition at bay through the practice and teaching of yoga.

8. Please give 2 or 3 tips for people who want to start with yoga.
- Don't compare yourself, to others, everybody is unique.  We all have our different strengths and weaknesses according to our body type and conditioning.
- Do not push yourself too hard, work towards your limits but don’t exceed them. Be gentle. Use the principle of ahimsa, non harming, that starts with yourself.
- Try different types of yoga until you find a style and a teacher that suits you.

9. Which precautions would you give when people want to start?  
- Listen to your body and be mindful.
- It’s not a competition, not with others or yourself!
- Don’t forget to breath!  
- If you are struggling to breath you are pushing yourself too hard – ease off.

(Karin is on the left)
10. Is there something else you would want to share?
KC: My specialty is eclectic mixed hatha, which means I can use a whole range of different poses, which I can vary. I have got a lot of experience with groups of young mothers, older ladies, one on ones etc. So if you are interested just contact me!

Thanks so much for this interview Karin!!

Name: Karin Croney, Bath, UK
Type of Yoga: Mixed Hatha
Classes where/when: contact Karin
Tel: 00 44 7539831557

No comments:

Post a Comment