Nancy Kim – Priorhouse Yoga Teacher Interview #1

Hello Blog Readers.

Today I have a Priorhouse Interview with Yoga Teacher Nancy Kim

I wanted to feature some yoga teacher interviews last month (September) because it was National Yoga month, but yoga can be celebrated any month, right? Also, it is that time in my blogging life where I am ready to do some interviews. My goal is to share 50 interviews – not in any major hurry to reach the fifty mark – and I am starting this journey with three yoga teacher interviews.

 

 

Priorhouse Interview with Nancy Kim

How often do you teach yoga?

I usually teach 6-12 classes a week.

Favorite class to teach?

My favorite class to teach- is not quite a traditional yoga class- I like to weave in flowing movements and create unconventional combinations and in put them into a vinyasa sequence.

How long have you been teaching yoga?

I have been teaching for almost a year- it will be a year by October 2017.  Yoga has gotten me through some very difficult times in my life. When I began my training, in August 2015, I was at a point in my life where I needed to feel like I was connecting with and contributing to my community in a way that was meaningful to me. Teaching yoga was a dream I had for quite a long while but it was always that – just a dream – until I decided to make it happen.  I pooled all my savings and put it toward my 200-hour training with one of my favorite teachers, J. Miles, and I began my journey as a yoga teacher.

 

Any tips for someone who wants to teach yoga?

Figure out why you want to take teacher training.

How often do you practice yoga?

I practice yoga every day when I’m at home. It’s a little harder when I’m traveling.

Favorite yoga quote?

My favorite yoga quote is by Allison Dearling

“It ‘s about showing up to your mat consistently not knowing what is going to happen and being okay with that. It’ s about rehabilitating yourself and not believing the “experts” when they say you are too injured or too old.  It’s about believing that you can do anything even if it’s the most scariest impossible thing you could ever dream of.  It’s about uncovering who your really are.  It’s about being kind to yourself so that you can then be kind to others.  Yoga is about discovering that most of the crazy thoughts in your head are not true.  It’s about being healthy without pushing yourself to your limit.  It’s about slowing down to get strong.  It’s about breathing and moving and smiling on the inside.  It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the best.”

Favorite pose?

Don’t laugh, but my favorite pose when I started teacher training was Savasana (Corpse pose) and I think it still is!!

Favorite place to do yoga?

Tough to say if I have a favorite place to do yoga. There are way too many venues to pick only one. So I’d say wherever there are people who can share a good “ohm” together.

 

Can you share a little bit about your yoga teacher training?

My instructor, J. Miles, is a co-founder of Project Yoga Richmond (PYR), a non-profit organization (in Richmond, Virginia) dedicated to making yoga more accessible.  He passed along his passion for creating a yoga community that welcomes everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from. I currently volunteer at PYR as a check-in assistant, but I would love to be an ambassador for them someday and would love to help with their outreach in the Richmond area.  In addition to helping PYR make yoga more accessible to others, I eventually want to earn my 500-Hour Teaching Certificate in Yoga Therapy. My overall aim is to deepen my knowledge of yoga so I can continue to provide further guidance to those interested in a therapeutic approach to yoga.

My 200-hour teacher training was in Vinyasa/Hatha Yoga, which provided instruction in a variety of subjects – such as the history of yoga, human anatomy, physical adjustments, Sanskrit, Ayurveda, a full break down of classical yoga poses, and readings of spiritual texts.

I have taken additional workshops for training in anatomy, adjustments, and trauma informed yoga.

Do you have any tips for beginning students?

Start where you are. What I mean by this is to let yourself be a beginner. Yoga is about so much more than being the most flexible person in the room. Yoga is all about your awareness, which comes from within you. Everyone is different so don’t compare yourself to someone else or how perfect your practice was yesterday.  It is about the present moment, where you are…

Be faithful to yourself- meaning treat yourself as kindly as you would your best friend or loved one.  This may mean taking a moment to reflect in between poses to catch your breath or using an extra blanket under your seat to make a pose a little sweeter.

Make it your own- meaning- modify the practice to work for you. For example, maybe you have an injury and you cannot reach the floor you can then bring the floor to you! Grab a couple of blocks and set them up so you can reach them.  We are all different and what feels good to some of us may not be right for others.

 

 

Thanks so much for reading. And many thanks to Nancy Kim for allowing me to interview her for this blog series.

In closing, here are a few tidbits about why I asked Nancy for an interview.

Nancy has not been my teacher for very long, but she has a “teacher’s heart” and that exudes from her as she teaches. The styles and energy “put off” by various teachers covers a broad spectrum and after practicing yoga regularly, I started to become very picky about who I spent my hours with.

Nancy’s classes have this rippling “teacher’s heart” kind of energy (if that makes sense) and she also seems to have a plethora of new ideas to share. The analogy that came to mind comes from my son’s kindergarten teacher. When we lived in Northern California, my eldest son had this amazing teacher, Mrs. Henderson, who was fresh out of school.  She brought all this zest and zeal to her classroom – with the latest in phonics, math, and learning strategies.  We were already registered for a school in a “better” district and we were grandfathered in for the year, but I took a chance and kept him enrolled with Mrs. Henderson’s class. Well – – what a great call that was and when my son left her class, he was doing third grade math, writing little paragraphs, and reading so well. Our family was super blessed. She even let my youngest son visit her class (a few times) and he could say hello to the other students. Anyhow, Nancy’s fresh approach to teaching yoga is like Mrs. Henderson’s fresh ideas. Nancy sometimes incorporates props (but not too many) and offers fresh sequences that integrate traditional poses. I also love her music choices – almost always instrumental – and she plays it loud enough to where it enriches the class. (That is a personal preference about the music – and some folks like it off – or kept super quiet…. to each their own, eh?)

My favorite memory from one of Nancy’s classes comes from earlier this year.

I was having a rather busy few days and my mind was distracted. I had also missed a bunch of classes that month and so I was trying to get back into my regular schedule. So as the class unfolded, she said something about, “Not comparing today’s yoga class to any other classes you have had that might have been better than today’s class.”  She was subbing for a teacher and I think she was just reminding students to stay open to her style…. but in my mind, I was thinking about comparing my own yoga output – which she later did ended up talking about – but at this class she was talking about comparing teacher guidance… and that day,  I had not been to yoga regularly and I was feeling rusty. Her words about not comparing to “better classes we had before,” which led my mind racing back to the time I was progressing so much – like when I moved into crow and held it smoothly. Then I flashed back to one of Alec’s 2016 power yoga classes when I was also advancing in my practice. Even though yoga advancing cannot be measured the same for everyone – and Nancy reminds us that it is so much more than a pose – ahhhhh 

So there I was…  thinking that my yoga on this day would maybe be sub par….. As the class moved on – my mind was settling – as Nancy’s awesome music was playing – well I realized that I misunderstood her comment about not comparing “today’s yoga classes with other classes we have had” – She was referring to not comparing the teacher experience and the overall class instruction to other teacher’s we have had – she was not necessarily referring to each person comparing their individual performance that day.  I kept cracking a smile as I realized my error – because it was funny how I was thinking – “yeah, today I might not be cranking out my best – not like the days I was “working it” good back in 2016….” lol. I told Nancy and we both laughed (I hope I explained the misunderstanding clear enough because it still makes me smile to think of it now).

If you tried yoga and did not like it – well I want to remind you that there are many different yoga styles and maybe there is a style – and teacher –  that is right for you.

Please let me know if you have a favorite photo from this post. I like the opening trio collage and the one with the quote from Nancy.

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31 thoughts on “Nancy Kim – Priorhouse Yoga Teacher Interview #1

    1. well van – thanks for sharing that – and please come back for my friday fiction later cos it ties exactly into what you just wrote about your daughter.
      and last spring I was in a small group for a few weeks and one of the moms was all upset cos her daughter – a graduate from a prominent university – walked away from a local company here (can’t say the name) was working as a Barista – I reminded her to look at the healthy side of what her daughter did – I mean it sucks to have to leave a solid job, but her daughter did not “sell out” and while she has some serious things to still work through – cos it is not easy breaking away – her momma should be proud that she is not ignoring career unrest. I know we can get crippled with choice and work is still work – but good for your daughter for chasing her passion. Further – I believe the world needs more dedicated yoga teachers – so woo hoo

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Enjoyed all the pictures. I started a yoga class here and just as I was starting to get into it, she changed the class time. Sigh. Haven’t been able (or willing) to go to the later time. Actually, I haven’t done much of anything lately 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Linda – thanks for sharing that cos i can relate a lot. A change like that can impact me as well – it might not sound like a big deal – but time of day matters – and then so does the change- especially for some folks who like routine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this post Y – reminds me and encourages me to go back to my yoga schedule. But then there’s always something to be done – in the cyberworld 😉 I liked the quote photo and the first one was really eye catching 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad that this post might lead you to do a bit more yoga.
      And I have found a decent balance with my practice – and there is this guy that comes to mind when I think of the cyberworld. This guy Ted was a huge contributor for a site called
      earthclinic- I did not follow the site – but peeked in now and again – and he had a stroke. I read a comment somewhere that said his stroke might have been sitting related – cos his hours of writing online became addictive and we all know how sitting too much is bad.
      Mahesh Nair sent me an article about the dangers of sitting too long – and even Marks Daily Apple notes it at times – with the standing work station.
      and so all that to say – that in my opinion – there will be no cyberworld “water hole” to socially connect to if we neglect our physical blood flow.
      and yoga – (and my recumbent bike) help me – but it is hard to make time…. isn;t it???

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      1. The weather’s cooled down over here and am planning to walk to office, which is not too far from my place. This way I ensure some movement without eating into my writing time 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great plan – and our local grocery store just started carrying those under the desk cycle pedals – but they looked junky and I also am not sure I could pedal and write ?

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  3. Great interview, amigo. It’s very thoughtful of you to have done that. I loved all of your questions and the answers. My favorite: “Yoga is about so much more than being the most flexible person in the room. Yoga is all about your awareness, which comes from within you.” Knowing this is so very important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks M – and yeah – I have a few quotes ringing in my head from Nancy – like when we were talking about getting a photo – she said she wanted to be careful because yoga is more than a good pose or stretch (something like that) and I recently saw a celeb doing a pretzel pose and it was less about the beauty of breathing and being in tune with a stretched body – this person almost seemed to show off

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      1. Well this was not about a correct pose – it was about showing silicone breasts and a bulging butt. Which I guess is really in – lol
        And as u know – correct pose is key – I used to go out back and do some warrior three poses – and had a season where it was so fun to hold that pose – but then I had a little pain and it was because I was slightly off in alignment – amazing how adjusting the hips made it work –

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  4. I am so excited to follow your journey as you interview 50 yoga instructors. As an instructor myself I have already been intrigued by your first few interviews. Thank you! I have been teaching mommy/baby yoga on up to elderly. Yoga is a wonderful path of new discovery each time one comes to the yoga mat!! Namaste!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello – well only about 6 or 7 of my interviews will be with yoga teachers – I already have about ten more in the archives (just interesting people I have met)- oh and I would love to hear more about what you do….

      Liked by 1 person

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