INTERVIEW WITH: KERRI NEILD
Can you tell us about your background?
Besides my yoga training, my educational background is fine arts, art history and nutrition. I am married, and I have two kids. I was born in Calgary but have lived in South Surrey most of my life.
What brought you to yoga?
I tried yoga because I was curious about what it was. I stay with yoga because I remain curious about it and it helps me to live my life more skillfully.
I was struggling with depression when I started yoga and I couldn’t believe how I felt leaving class; relaxed, calm and optimistic.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I became a teacher because yoga lit me up and I wanted to immerse myself in it and share it with others.
What do you love most about teaching?
I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back some of what I’ve been given. I love learning and sharing what I’m learning so teaching gives me a place to pour all my enthusiasm. I love the community and being a part of building it, because I believe in it.
What is your favourite pose?
It depends what day it is! I always love tree pose and wide legged forward folds. I love all the variations of side plank.
What should students expect from you?
Students can expect that my teaching will be influenced by what I’m practicing at that time, that I will be prepared, and I will do my best to meet them where they are.
Proudest yoga moment?
I don’t know if there’s been any big moment, I love the little moments best, the comments people share after class whether it’s an easier time with moods, or getting into a pose they hadn’t been able to before.
I was proud when I got up in front of people the first few times to teach and didn’t die, haha! I’m an introvert and have always been shy so it was a real challenge for me to overcome.
Most embarrassing yoga moment?
When I first began teaching, I was guiding people to “sit down” into Malasana, but I slurred my words and told everyone to “shit down.”
I love quotes, choosing a favourite one changes daily. Today I like:
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
Most of the time I am truly inspired by everything; other teachers, students, my kids, what I’m reading, what I’m watching, a song, being outside, etc. There really is inspiration everywhere. When I’m down I often lack inspiration, then the inspiration needs to come from honesty about that being in that place.
What is your advice for new yoga students?
I know when I first started taking yoga I felt confused about “listening to my own body” and yet I think that’s really important. I think practicing awareness around sensation and noticing how our actions affect our breath are really great places to start.