2016-08-29 Actor -> Yogi
Hello dear friends and followers of my journey! It's been quite some time since my last written blog (a year as of this month, to be exact. Holy smokes.) Many of you have likely noticed that this year I went from "Kinga who acts" to "Kinga who yogas" (sure, let's make that a verb.) To some of you it may have appeared as a sudden shift, but really, this was a transition in the making for a while.
After investing in a career in acting for 12 years, the appreciation for the craft was still there but the passion to pursue it had waned over the last couple years. It was January 2015 when I decided to put the arts on an indefinite hiatus; it was months of stewing over this decision before I could finally admit it to myself and then share that with my agents (who were wonderfully understanding and supportive of my choice, thankfully), and then another few months before I could start saying it out loud and sharing it with others. That's because then, it would become more concrete. It would actually be the bona fide truth. Who was I to become if I wasn't Kinga the actor?
A series of deep questions rose very quickly to the surface of my mind, ones which surely every human being grapples with at varying points throughout their lifetime. What do I want to do with my life now? There is a saying thrown around (I don't think there is much research to support this, but I digress) that Americans change their careers an average of 5-7 times over their lifespan. So.. I guess one down, 4-6 to go.
I had to ask myself: what other occupation on this Earth could make me excited to get up out of bed every morning for "work"? I use quotations because I am a huge fan of the motto: "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." That saying is attributed to Marc Anthony, with another variation to Confucius; either way, the message rings clear. That begged the question: What do I truly enjoy? Well, I enjoy helping people. I have a genuine interest in health and wellness (Physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual). I like exercise and getting the blood moving.
These answers prompted a stroll down memory lane. I first began practicing yoga after a breakup about 4 ish years ago; it was something I had always wanted to try, and leave it to heartbreak to kickstart a new hobby for a gal. Not only did I want to engage in more physical exercise, but yoga has long been revered for it's mental and emotional healing prowess and hot yoga in particular for it's detoxing properties. I ended up getting a 1-year unlimited membership at a local Bikram hot yoga studio. Just several months into my practice, one of the newer instructors there had asked me if I was also a teacher at the studio (ha!), perhaps because they thought my practice seemed advanced. It certainly stroked my ego at the time as a newbie; sure, I soon realized I had a skill for the physical practice of yoga, but being a teacher? It was a thought that very loosely floated through my head every now and again, not even a real consideration really, but like a passing cloud would very quickly dissipate into the ether and I'd go on living my life, wondering what dessert I'd want to treat myself with next.
In regards to teaching Bikram yoga specifically, one thing I did know was that it was ultimately too regimented for me. All classes are 90 minutes long, going through the exact same 26 postures in the exact same order every class. No music either. It was a strong foundation from which to build my personal practice upon, however having said that, if I knew then what I know now about the founder Bikram Choudhury, I would have abstained from that practice (look up allegations/charges if you're curious). Fortunately, for anyone interested, there are countless other styles and lineages of yoga available to further your knowledge.
Fast forward a few years later to summer of 2015. I decided to take the 200-hr YTT (yoga teacher training) through Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, as the summer previous I had tried a 1-month unlimited membership at a nearby location and loved the variety of classes in both yoga and fitness, and I really dug how instructors could style their classes to fit their personality (while of course keeping with the general structure of the intended class) and choose their own music! I felt like it would be a solid fit for me and I was excited. Completing my 200-hr YTT while working full time was one of the most mentally challenging endeavours I had undertaken. I literally had 1-2 days off per month for 6 months, excluding a month "off" over the Christmas holidays (insert mountain of written essays/take home tests/other homework here). After all that, I came out successfully on the other side with a Yoga Teacher Certificate in one hand, a tequila caesar in the other, and a new chapter in my life waiting to be written.
My birthday is just a week away, which means my current personal year (from birthday to birthday) is coming to an end, and a new one is about to begin. This period of time should usually ignite some new goals to be set, and mine is to lead my first workshop. So to you, dear readers and yogis (present or soon-to-be!), I ask: What would you like to see offered in a 1-hour workshop?
See you on the mat!