One of those countries in the World that everyone would like to travel to and hang their feet off the rocks! However, here we are not to write about this Nordic country, but to introduce you Khonia – yoga and meditation teacher who smiles her way through the Life and encourages others to take some time to discover the beauty of the World- The Inner World.
Q: Khonia, when was the first time you heard the word “meditation”?
A: Interestingly enough, I have been familiar with the idea of meditation since I was little. I grew up with it even without understanding the whole concept of it. My mother is very spiritual; I grew up with a type of prayer, which was always followed by a time of stillness with our eyes closed. Obviously it was meditation, but since I did not know the concept of meditation, for me it was more a concentration rather than meditation. Only later, when I learned about meditation did I understood that I grew up with it.
Q: And when Yoga stepped-in into your Life?
A: My dad had done some yoga when he was young. I remember at home we had a two chapter book called “Yoga nidra.” This was my very first encounter with yoga—from the book. Only later, when I entered University, did I experience true yoga because once per week we had a Hatha yoga class. It was part of our curriculum.
Q: Can you remember that moment when you decided to become a yoga and meditation teacher?
A: Yes, there were two instances. The first one was when I attended my very first yoga class at the University. As I mentioned, it was part of our curriculum. I recall looking at the teacher and wondering: how come she is so much older than me, but I feel so much older than her? I remember I was very stiff in my body, all this had to do with the stress and tension from my studies. The teacher just seemed peaceful, calm, flexible, healthy, and vibrant—and I thought wow, I can't believe we pay her to do this (smiling). This is a great profession to have, she benefits while helping us so much. It’s a win-win situation. She is growing as she is supporting our growth, but then I thought I could never be a yoga teacher. Because I was 21 years old and felt much older in my body, I thought I would never be able to develop enough flexibility to become a yoga teacher.
The second instance was when I did my first Art of Living Happiness program. After the Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique I was resting on the floor towards the end of the practice and I had the most amazing experience I could possibly imagine. A thought came to me, it felt like it was almost projected onto my mind: This is AMAZING! I want to teach this to others! As soon as I opened my eyes similar doubts passed through my mind just like during the yoga class experience: I thought I would have to practice this breathing technique for 10 years before I could teach it. Exactly a year later, when I turned 27 years old, I became a teacher.
Q: This is very nice experience! How did people around you react on you turning into spiritual practices?
A: My family and friends noticed a great change in me; they told me they could see I was more energized from the very beginning and many others mentioned that I seemed more joyful, enthusiastic, and yet peaceful to them.
Q: You are a teacher, you teach. But what do you learn yourself during the process of teaching?
A: Without a doubt, I am the one learning the most in every class and in every workshop. I learn from every single person I encounter and in a course or class setting, I learn from others’ life experiences, their wisdom, and their views. I see myself in them and learn more and more that we are all in the same boat; we are not all that different from each other when we connect on a deeper level. I teach and learn so much. It’s a constant growing experience and yet so joyful to see the transformation in others along the way.
Q: According to you, how spiritual practices like yoga and meditation can contribute to the Wellbeing of this World?
A: How can it be any other way? I feel that the spiritual evolution of the human race as a collective is inevitable. It is happening. We are evolving. The world seems to be in an adolescent stage and it is naturally growing, evolving, and maturing. Just like a human being goes through turbulences, challenges, and hard times in the process of maturing, humanity at large is also experiencing the same. We might see many things that seem to be falling apart, but this is a natural process of growth. In this process, I think spiritual practices, yoga, meditation, knowledge and understanding can support us and aid this natural process to happen more smoothly and perhaps even sooner.
We need individuals to feel at ease with themselves and live a peaceful life. There are enough challenges thrown at us every step of the way towards maturity, we need tools and techniques that support us and strengthen us internally so that we can move through life with enthusiasm, courage, energy, and dynamism while remaining centered and content. This dynamic expression of life in the present moment is the freedom we are all looking for and spirituality is the key to unlocking the door to that freedom.
If you are interested in joining one of Khonia’s Yoga or meditation classes, you can contacted her via Facebook. You never know, maybe this will be your first step into the deep waters of self-discovery!
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