As I hear other teachers mention the same stories I've told, or pick up on my mannerisms, I am humbled. On a daily basis I joke about my kind of yoga being called Kari Kwinn Vinyasa Flow Yoga, because I think that naming one particular practice after oneself is a bit... pompous. But at the same time I realize that what I'm teaching is Kari Kwinn Vinyasa Flow Yoga. It is a combination of the yoga classes my four year old self took on crisp autumn mornings instead of physical education, the years of participating in improv comedy and stand up as the 'straight man,' the shame of living years of my life trying to be someone I wasn't, and the joy in living my right life.
My teaching is informed by my every move, and I've come to realize that others who have taken my classes have absorbed bits of my verbiage and style and created their own yoga. This yoga evolves in the way that language evolves. It is a living thing that takes root in each of us and expands to the limits of our interpersonal reactions. It becomes the way we tell our story and share our personal significance with the world.
Can you recall a particularly profound yoga class you have taken? Where you were moved to tears or felt a few fleeting moments of bliss? That is a part of you today, it is in the conversations you have with loved ones and interactions with the clerk at the grocery store. Whether that moment stays at the forefront of your memory, it is the reason you take a breath instead of yelling at the driver who cut you off, or the reason you give away your last five dollars against your better judgment. If you teach yoga, it flows through you and ripples out into the world.
Your yoga is not your yoga, it simply flows through you.
Om bolo sat guru bhagavan ki