This is interview eleven of my traveling yoga teacher interview series.
Each month, I will post a new interview of a traveling yoga teacher I meet along my travels.
If you know someone who you think would be a great fit to this series, send me an Email!
I would LOVE to hear from you!
This month features:
Kristen Williams, ERYT500
What type of yoga do you teach?
Anusara inspired Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, Yin, Gentle Yoga Flow, Yoga Teacher Training
What are your three must have items while traveling?
Passport with proof of vaccines
Picture of my family tucked into my journal
What travel tool do you recommend using?
Booking.com for accommodation.
Skyscanner for flights.
Atlas Obscura to find unique things in cool places around the world.
TripAdvisor and Google Reviews
What is something you learned on your first trip/job abroad that you think is key for other traveling teachers to know?
It can go wrong! I had a retreat planned in Fiji. I was there for 3 months to explore (because if you are going to fly for 18 hours you might as well stay a while!) The night before my weekend retreat, two low pressures came together and it rained 9 meters of water… thats 27 feet of rain! The airport was closed, the bridges were washed out, it was a disaster! Needless to say, there was no retreat. After picking myself up and reminding myself that I was not a complete failure, I realized that this was the real yoga! So, remember that yoga is more than what happens on the mat, it’s how you respond to ‘life’ instead of reacting to it. Breathe. It’s ALL yoga!
How did you find your jobs abroad?
Facebook and using Trip Tribe, but more so in creating my own experience.
What is the day in the life of a traveling yogi like?
Some days are filled with finding beautiful and accessible locations to film classes for my online studio.
Some days are for reading and journaling.
Some days I shower, some days the sea is the shower.
Some days are spent at airports or trying to pack everything into a tiny backpack!
Some days are enriched with culture and conversation with locals.
Some days are crap, it rains all day, you get stuck at an airport because you don’t have the paper saying you have had the yellow fever shot.
It’s ALL Yoga and in my opinion there is never a bad day of travel and yoga!
What is something to be aware of as a traveler?
Don’t be dumb and don’t buy dumb shit! Remember who you are, stay aware, regardless of how comfortable you are with someone, always keep your head.
Watch for water bottles that have been glued shut in India.
The street food in Thailand and Cambodia are the best!
You can borrow glass bottle cokes from local restaurants in Nicaragua, just return them to the restaurant like you promised.
Make sure you have your vaccination sheet.
I’m not convinced that the EuroRail is the best way to do Europe. Every ticket we needed required an upgrade and an extra fee.
I could go on and on with lessons learned, but more than anything, look at each experience as an experience, breathe and enjoy the ride!
What should a first time traveling yogi know about the professional yoga life?
Be real, don’t oversell yourself.
Have a website and a Facebook page but, be authentic.
Tell me more about the Yoga CoOp.
The Yoga CoOp was formed as the yoga community in Winston can be quite expensive. As K10Yoga School grads were moving out into the world, this became a space for them to step into teaching. They rent space and we charge just $10 for a class keeping yoga affordable and accessible for everyone. As we have grown, more unique and cool classes are developing, Yoga for the Veteran Community, Love Yourself Series, Kids Yoga, Body Positive Yoga, VinYin even yoga for the spanish speaking population is in the works. We see a need in the community and we find a resource to meet that need.
I’m an ambassador for Embody Love Movement offering workshops and Facilitator Training’s at the CoOp too. It’s all about letting go of those media inspired ‘yoga bodies’ or bodies in general, and coming home to your own body. The mission is to celebrate inner beauty, commit to kindness and contribute to meaningful change in the world!
Yoga From Anywhere looks awesome! What inspired you to create online classes? How are your online classes different from your in studio experience?
The K10Yoga Stream was inspired by traveling more and teaching in studio less. I thought, let’s take advantage of these beautiful places and give the gift of yoga around the world to others. I had a number of students who wanted to establish a home practice and get out of the studio. I found a platform for it and jumped right in. I had a number of students who were not comfortable stepping into the local studios so it’s just fun to take what I love and continue making yoga more and more accessible to everyone, even from their home!
What does your dream yoga position or career look like?
Honestly, this is it!! So some days I travel, some days I teach, some days I travel and teach!
The vision may continue to evolve, but keeping it organic and authentic it never even feels like work!
What one piece of advice would you share with other yoga teachers?
It is hard coming home from a trip that’s maybe been months long and your students ask… where to next? And you are trying to re-land from where you’ve been. Sometimes the expectation of what you’re gonna do next begins to drive the travel.
What mantra are you currently living by?
I love Mark Twain’s quote:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”
Connect w/ Kristen Williams
Kristen originally from Canada is the founder of K10 Yoga in Winston Salem, North Carolina. She has been traveling the world and teaching yoga since 2012. To get more inspired by Kristen, check out her blog post on inspiration HERE. If you’re somewhere in the world and in need of yoga, check out her Online Yoga Studio. Lastly, learn about her unique travel experiences with peace, goodwill, and love to the world through Genesas.