Yoga is a beautiful opportunity for self-discovery, and each practice is uniquely transformative. Karin Lilleberg, lead teacher of our SERENE London Sweat Lodge series, has been a disciple of yoga for over a decade. Through the study of various healing arts and a disciplined yoga practice, she has spent several years on an extensive spiritual inquiry that empowered her to overcome multiple traumas in her life ultimately finding love, light and sustained joy. What she discovered on this path to wholeness fuels her passion to inspire others to heal and find their highest potential. Below, get to know Karin in a candid interview. You can also experience her style of Vinyasa yoga, which integrates intelligent sequencing, yoga philosophies and invigorating breath work, Saturdays at our Sweat Lodge yoga classes.
When and how did you start yoga?
My first yoga experience was almost 15 years ago, just as a form of exercise to balance my fitness regime. I got hooked, and soon found myself practicing yoga daily.
Life had it’s own plans and I lost my practice for few years but when I found yoga for the second time, it changed my life. This time around it felt as if I found myself for the first time, and I began to see the world through a wider lens.
How has it changed your life?
Yoga has taught me to let go of things that are not serving me. The teachings in yoga are subtle, but when I started to notice actual shifts happening in my life, I began to feel renewed and at peace with whatever was coming my way. As I started to become more in tune with my body and my mind, I actually started to listen to my intuition/inner voice. This was a huge step for me. I was so indecisive, and I was never able to figure out what I truly wanted, or what I felt. Yoga changed that for me!
Tell us about the style of yoga you teach?
I teach Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement,” and Vinyasa yoga is a series of poses that will move you through the power of inhaling and exhaling, linking movement with a breath. Vinyasa yoga heals and detoxifies the body by moving constantly from pose to pose building heat, strength, endurance, balance and focus while integrating intention with alignment and conscious awareness.
What makes a great yoga teacher?
I believe that there has to be a certain amount of chemistry present between the two. There does have to be a sense of ease between the two and the ability of the teacher to “read” their student’s physical and emotional cues.
A good teacher will be real and honest with you. He/She is confident enough to tell you when you are doing something wrong or misaligned. At the same time, good yoga teachers are humble. They embrace their own vulnerability and humanity. They don’t pretend to be perfect.
What do you do when you’re not teaching yoga?
As yoga is my lifestyle, then even when I’m not teaching yoga, my life still evolves around yoga. I read and study from books, attend workshops and practice with other amazing teachers, to keep myself updated, evolve and grow as human being and as a teacher. And as I live in London, I enjoy all the benefits and fun this amazing city has to offer.
Any words of wisdom for your fellow yogis?
You don’t have to be flexible and you don’t have to be able to put your foot behind your head or even touch your toes. You don’t have to be able to hold yourself up on your hands upside down. You don’t have to commit hours every day in silent devotion. You don’t have to do anything, except be yourself. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga, and you can gain the benefits of a strong capable body, calm and focused mind. The more you practice the better you feel. When you live mindfully, your life is your yoga. Love your life, live your yoga!
Why should people take up yoga?
As you begin to open your body, your mind becomes more clear and peace, love and kindness begins to expand in your heart.
Yoga can also change lives. It can make you both emotionally and physically healthier, stronger, and more balanced. It can motivate people to make better choices in their lives. Yoga can light the way to be more compassionate, more serving, more concerned, more human. Coming from that place we can help others do the same. Yoga is not exercise, it’s a way of life.