“If you can’t go outside, go inside” - this quote visually presented in many ways, was shared on Social Media very often during COVID pandemic. The majority of people had to stay home, and everyone invested this time differently. During the COVID lockdown, Yogini Carly has finished Kids yoga teacher training and started the journey in becoming a Yoga teacher. 23 years old Engineer from Bedfordshire, England, has vast plans! She wants to share her passion for Yoga with teenagers and show them that besides Yoga being a fantastic tool to deal with challenges, Yoga can also be fun.
Q: Carly, Yoga has many exciting ways of entering one’s Life. How did Yoga find its way into your Life?
A: I’ve had a non-committed relationship with Yoga for a very long time! My first experience was going to a class with my Mum aged around 14. It was a lovely Hatha yoga class where I first experienced detaching from the outside world through Yoga. We continued attending this class for a few years until I left for the University. During my studies, I didn’t have the disposable income to spend on yoga studio classes, so I mostly attended a yoga class at whatever gym I was a member of. I think I lost my connection with Yoga a little here. Even though my teachers during this time were so lovely and some of the most memorable teachers I’ve had, the gym setting was not ideal. It was always so noisy; the lights were either bright or entirely off; it would smell of sweat, and it just generally made it hard to immerse myself in practice.
When the COVID lockdown happened, my yoga teacher started offering online yoga classes. It brought Yoga right into my living room and made me realise I don’t have to be in a class to roll out my mat and flow. This increased home practice motivated me to start my yoga Instagram account.It was on there that I got inspired to start my yoga teacher training! I only started my account around 6 months ago and I can’t believe the changes it’s made in such a short time. I am now close to teaching my first yoga class and earning money by sharing my passion with others.
Suggested read: Yoga Teacher Training: are you ready to teach?
Q: You are also Kids yoga instructor. What was your motivation to complete this training?
I only completed Kids yoga training during the COVID lockdown. However, now that I’ve started my 200hr yoga teacher training, I’ve learned so much more and feel even more prepared to one day teach Yoga to children.
My dream is to teach Yoga to teenagers, to help them cope with the anxieties and stresses that come with navigating high school, exams, relationships, and everything else they face.
I believe I can make yoga fun and accessible to teenagers and give them the tools from a young age to deal with whatever Life throws at them.
Q: Everyone regardless the age can benefit from Yoga practice, but when it comes to Kids, we would like to ask
When should kids start yoga?
As early as they can start to control the movement of their bodies! My training covered ages 2-17. Obviously, at very young ages (2-5 years), Yoga will not look like the conventional practice we think of as adults. The best approach to teaching this age group is through 'yoga stories.' Simple poses like a cat, cow, downward-facing dog and 'nap pose' (savasana) can be incorporated as part of a fun children's story. For example, the main character of the story could be a dog, and every time he says 'WOOF,' this is the children's time to get into their downward-facing dog pose. Keeping it fun and stories exciting will keep young children engaged. As children grow, Yoga will have to adapt with them, but I truly believe Yoga is accessible to all ages.
Q: Teenagers could be challenging to approach, especially if they have difficult times. What skills should a yoga teacher have to enter the world of teenagers and present to them Yoga?
A: I think understanding why children of different ages are attracted to Yoga is essential to consider. For teenagers, they will be dealing with significant external and internal changes. Puberty, physical changes, and pressure from the media to look and be a certain way will affect this age group.
Yoga can be presented to teens as a way to exercise their bodies, increase flexibility (what teenage girl doesn't think being able to do the splits is cool!?), and have fun.
The well-being benefits of yoga practice are unlikely to seem 'cool' and attractive to this age group, so they do not need to be advertised. Yet, they will benefit from them greatly without even realising.
Suggested article: Yoga for Kids and Teens
Q: Who is inspiring you in this Life, and why?
A: Every yoga teacher I’ve had has inspired me in some way. I’ve learnt something different from each one, and I hope this will lead to me being a well-rounded yoga teacher myself. My Mum is also my inspiration. She’s an amazing woman who is always looking for adventure and new challenges. While caring for four young children, getting a law degree, marathon running through mountains, and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with severe altitude sickness - this is her- Inspiring!
Q: What is your favourite yoga quote?
A: My favourite quote is
‘True joy is gladness not based on circumstance’
This quote for me resonates with Yoga. I feel joy when I’m lost in the yoga practice, regardless of what is happening in my Life on that day.
Q: Carly, you are the winner of Zenagoy give away “Get & Test,” and now you practice Yoga on Earth-loving yoga mat. What is your first impression, feeling, and experience with it?
A: ZENAGOY MiFlow alignment yoga mat is beautiful, and I have already received compliments on it during yoga classes. I love the middle alignment line, the soft feel of the mat and Lilah color is just gorgeous.
It’s incredible to know that I contribute to this planet's well-being by practicing yoga on a yoga mat made from recycled plastic bottles and is kind to the Environment. As a yoga teacher, I will have to lead by example. Sharing with my students the understanding that owning an Earth-loving yoga mat will bring every yogi closer to living Yoga as a Lifestyle - will be necessary.
Q: When you feel sad (if ever), how do you cheer yourself up?
A: My guilty pleasure is binge-watching Netflix. My latest addiction is an American reality television series "Selling Sunset".
I also just love to spend time outdoors. I find it much harder to feel sad when surrounded by Nature. My boyfriend and I love long walks in the countryside!