We are very excited to start our weekly Soul Story, where we will be featuring yoga teachers and yoga practitioners around the world, who are going through some kind of transformational journey with yoga or just share what yoga means for them, how it helps to address real life.
Today we would like to welcome a beautiful yoga teacher, yoga practitioner, environmentalist and active surfer Elizabeth Killi, who was born in Norway, but constantly on the go exploring the world.
Alma Story: What impact has yoga had on your life? Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?
Elizabeth: Yoga was a practice that I had a lot of judgement towards before I started training myself. I thought it was for hippie freaks and gurus only. It was a competing surfer that made me change my mind and who convinced me to try. And so, I did.
I started it because I wanted to become more flexible and stronger, so that I could surf better, but eventually I realised that it also helped me calm my mind and take a moment to just enjoy my presence here in this world. Feeling my body strong, and prepared.
Before I started I was worried about future issues, I was more judgemental, I was more scared of trying new things, and of failure. I am stronger mentally now. And physically.
Alma Story: Is yoga for you a way of life or a way to exercise and meditate?
Elizabeth: Yoga for me is a way to exercise, elongate and prepare my body and mind for work and the sports I love.
Alma Story: How has yoga made a difference in your life?
Elizabeth: It has not only given me work opportunities but also helped me cure physical pain and gave me an emotional stability
Alma Story: What is your favourite style of yoga? And what do you prefer/enjoy about this particular style?
Elizabeth: My favourite style is ashtanga yoga or power yoga. More dynamic. More flow.
Alma Story: Did yoga change you?
Elizabeth: Sure, it definitely made me a lot more aware of the connections in the body, mind, emotions and spirit. I have a lot more respect and curiosity about learning more about all this now than I did before.
Alma Story: Do you feel yoga is more mental or physical?
Elizabeth: For me it is more physical than mental. For me it’s one more tool that I use to keep myself strong and healthy.
Alma Story: What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in your yoga practice?
Elizabeth: Meditation for me is both hard and challenging. I still find this piece the hardest. Biggest milestones would be advancing some positions which demand good flexibility, strength and balance.
Alma Story: How did yoga come into your life?
Elizabeth: It came from surfing. I wanted to be better prepared for surf. Many surfers use yoga as a complimentary training form to prepare mentally and physically for surf, and that is also how I started.
Alma Story: What is your biggest inspiration to keep practicing?
Elizabeth: The biggest inspiration is actually that I feel like yoga helps my body to stay injury free. I want to live a long, healthy life and I know yoga is helping me accomplish that.
Alma Story: In a world that lives for the outside, yoga helps us to look inside ourselves, can you describe what you feel when you practice?
Elizabeth: I try to focus on feeling the muscle. I try to reach them through the mind.
I can sit completely still in one position where there is muscular tension and by focusing my mind on a particular muscle it will release the tension. Its a way to become a lot more aware of your own body as a machine and how it works to keep us upright and how it takes us through life. yoga made me really appreciate my body, and in a completely different way than you might think. I don’t look too much to my body’s exterior. I appreciate it for all the work it’s doing for me. For carrying me to where I need to go. For doing the activities I love. For evolving, for becoming stronger and more functional. For being healthy. I have only one body for this life and I’m going to do my best to treat it well.
Alma Story: What would you tell someone, who never practiced yoga before but considering to try it.
Elizabeth: Forget yoga as being complicated, painful and difficult. Forget yoga as being a religion or a way of life.
Look at it as a fantastic tool to prepare your body for any kind of challenge. That’s it.
Any athlete should use it in one shape or form.
You can find Elizabeth on Instagram @elizabethkilli, where she talks a lot about environmental issues, surfing and traveling.
Alma Story’s goal is to bring back true values of yoga and do it with the help of yoga practitioners and yoga teachers around the world. We would like to remind that yoga is absolutely for everyone - every height, every weight, every shape, every religion, nationality, colour skin, etc.
We would love to connect beautiful like-minded souls, who are all into yoga or just considering to explore yoga, share their unique life stories and create a beautiful place where everyone can feel supported and inspired.
If you have a story you would like to share, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to share it with the world. You might be an inspiration or even a life saver for someone!