Yoga District (YD) is proud to showcase its wide variety of teachers in periodic “Teacher Features” – Q&A’s with the instructors on our blog. Today’s Teacher Feature highlights a thoughtful, compassionate instructor, Klydie.
Klydie’s class was recently praised in the DC online news source The Hill is Home. She provides insights about her students like: “It takes a deep sense of compassion for self as well as some good ol’ courage for a student to speak for themselves if they aren’t comfortable. This is empowerment in its rawest, most immediate form, yet so many feel they should stay quiet and not upset things even if they are screaming on the inside.”
What is your favorite style of class to teach, and why?
I’ve learned to teach many styles of yoga in the past couple years and I love them all. I particularly like teaching Vinyasa Flow classes since I can add elements of many different styles. I generally call it “Mutt Yoga” and I teach it on Tuesday nights at the I Street YD. You will find it listed as Yoga 2.
Describe your personal circumstances or experiences that made you want to share yoga.
A few years ago I started practicing yoga consistently, mostly at YD, but I loved practicing at a number of other studios too. This physical practice brought me to a level of self-knowledge and confidence I had never known before and I was so thankful. Because I grew so much from it and met so many lovely people, I wanted to give more to the yoga community. That led to me interning for a year at the H Street studio, but I still wanted to dive deeper into yoga. That led me to my first training, a 200-hour intensive at YD.
What advice do you have to others sharing or seeking to share yoga with others?
Aye ya! What advice can I give? We are all seeking more knowledge and understanding and we’ll all find it in our own ways. There are many paths towards sharing yoga with others; they are all valid and they are all needed.
Please describe a challenging moment that you have experienced teaching, how you faced that challenge, and what you learned from it.
Well, I have taught my share of classes of only two people over the years and it is probably one of the most challenging experiences as a teacher. The energy is different, its awkward and embarrassing at first, and it takes a lot more drive and determination to make it work beautifully. Each of those students deserves a well-taught class and, well, sometimes it’s actually nice to get out of the habit of teaching to larger classes. It doesn’t matter how many people you teach; what matters is the quality of what is taught and being present and dedicated no matter what.
What pose or practice do you like to teach to help students feel empowered? To relieve stress? Please describe how you saw this practice work with an individual or group.
I love to teach empowerment through restorative yoga. In restorative, every body part has to be placed perfectly so or the student will likely feel discomfort almost immediately – and the poses are held for fifteen minutes sometimes! It takes a deep sense of compassion for self as well as some good ol’ courage for a student to speak for themselves if they aren’t comfortable. This is empowerment in its rawest, most immediate form, yet so many feel they should stay quiet and not upset things even if they are screaming on the inside. I consistently encourage people to speak up if they need assistance and I have seen people go from agitated to peaceful once they allow themselves the time and attention it takes to find the right pose.
Please describe a yoga posture, breath or meditation practice that any of your students connect with and why. Have they taught you a practical application for this or any other pose?
Lately, I’ve been including a Metta (loving kindness) meditation at the end of my Tuesday classes. In the practice we send loving thoughts to ourselves and to other beings, including our enemies. Generally in our busy lives, we don’t take that extra moment to send love to ourselves and I think the practitioners in this class appreciate a moment to do so.
How has sharing yoga affected you?
Sharing yoga has enabled me to grow beyond measure. I have a deeper connection with myself that I can readily enable and tapping into that connection has brought me so much joy. The biggest thrill is seeing all the lovely smiling faces in my classes every week, every month, every year. There has not been a moment when I felt that I didn’t want to teach. When I come into the class and feel all the vibrant energy, I just want to give my all to help my students grow and connect more with their awesome selves. For me, sharing yoga has become a tool of acceptance. I can now fully accept myself as I am and show my true self to the world.
Could you describe any best practices in sharing yoga that you apply regularly in your classes?
In sharing yoga with others, it is imperative for me to ground myself beforehand so that I can be open and clear while teaching. I also encourage practitioners to have a light heart. We have enough heavy, stressful, seriousness going on in our lives already.
What is your favorite thing to do around town?
My fave thing to do is spend quality time with friends. Whether out on the town, outdoors, at someone’s house, or in a yoga class. I’m so lucky to have such amazing friends with such big hearts! I also love to hike, SUP, kayak, and camp in the warmer months. There’s such well preserved lands around the city thanks to national conservation efforts that have been ongoing for decades!
What is your favorite thing about the DC yoga community?
My fave thing about the DC yoga community is it is genuinely welcoming to all no matter what. I can always expect to smile at someone in a local class and they smile back, even if we don’t know each other. I also love how these bonds grow into friendships as the same people keep practicing in the same classes. I struggled with finding friends when I first moved to DC until I took my first yoga class, then it was easy-peasy–I found my tribe.
If you had to describe your life in the form of a yoga pose, which pose would it be?
Hmmm, right now I would say yogi dandasana. Its a pose in which I really have to be honest and face my anatomical limits in the moment. I have pretty extreme hip flexibility, but that doesn’t mean that I should always go to the limit of that flexibility and beyond to get into the pose. In this pose, one has to play with the limit, sometimes going beyond, in order to achieve the pose. I tend to live my life in this way–testing my limits in order to grow.
How long have you been in DC?
YD is proud to have such a standout instructor in our roster!