At this early stage in my artistic career, I'm often inspired by other artists and creatives who are doing their thing. I want to highlight some of them here and learn more about what inspires them and how they make it all work.
Kairavi and I met in the waiting room of dance class (Kirsten is her birth certificate name, Kairavi her gifted yoga name which I think is really cool!). We were able to talk and get to know each other a bit as while our little girls learned to spin and boogie. When I learned that Kairavi teaches yoga, I was immediately intrigued. I'm a wanna-be Yogi AND inspired whenever I see someone else making time for her art and her passion. I began asking questions and she so graciously agreed to answer my questions on this blog!
You can find Kairavi on the web at Homeschool Yoga Mom. Kairavi has a great blog about Yoga, Homeschool and more. (I really liked this recent post she had with some breathing exercises to use with kiddos. I'm certainly going to give those a try!) You can find her in person teaching yoga here in Virginia. Here's a link to her schedule. She offers classes for kids of all ages (sounds like something great to do over the summer!). She also offers private lessons.
Read on to learn more about Kairavi and what brought her to this place!
Tell us first a bit about you and what you do.
My name is Kirsten Berezan and I am a thirty-something wife, homeschooling mom, and yoga teacher. We are eclectic homeschoolers which means that we borrow from different philosophies to find what works best for the child. So no two days are alike! As a yoga teacher, I am a Registered Yoga Teacher 200 which means that I completed 200 hours of combined classroom and hands-on learning. Since graduation I have logged over 200 more hours of teaching experience and over another 100 hours of continued education in Prenatal and Children's Yoga. I teach classes, conduct private lessons, hold workshops, and am working towards selling my class plans online and creating online training courses for various yoga topics.
When and how did you discover this outlet? Tell us about the shift from idea to action.
My first exposure to yoga was in a gym setting. I fell in love and after realizing a future of unhappiness working in the corporate world, I have since dedicated my life to sharing yoga. I dove into teacher training which lasted a year and a half completing weekend-long forums every 1.5-2 months. My experience with yoga has been a journey of unquestionable physical and emotional healing and I wish to reach those who also need such healing in their lives.
How do you manage your time and energy? How do you make your art a priority?
As I mentioned no two days are alike! I feel like a lot of days I just take it one step at a time and try to find satisfaction with whatever was completed. Sure I make plans, but some days those plans completely change at the drop of a hat and being able to ride the flow of the day is important. I can best accomplish this when I take the time to take care of me. I try to find time at the beginning of every day or at least sometime throughout the day to do at least one thing that I completely enjoy- drinking a cup of tea, a yoga session, reading a few pages (ok...chapters!) out of my current book, surfing Facebook, meditating, or practicing breath awareness- anything that feeds my inner being. By doing this, I can keep up a consistent supply of energy to draw from. Taking "me time" also prioritizes my yoga practice because with this ritual of self-nourishment, my creativity is able to flow more freely. Either during these moments or because I have taken these moments, I have had great ideas and realizations come to mind and this keeps me fresh with options. In entrepreneurship, current and fresh ideas are what help you adapt and create options when you're experiencing a dry spell.
What struggles have you faced and how have you overcome those struggles?
Being a full-time homeschooling parent leaves little available time to be a yoga teacher. Most of my availability is on the weekend because that is when my husband is home the most so I can spend time teaching. This limited availability has urged me to create creative outlets to share yoga. My business is all ages yoga, so I created classes for kids that I could bring my kids to while I teach. I have also offered classes through the homeschool group we belong to. Since I don't own my own real estate space to establish my own yoga studio (not an option I necessarily want anyway), I have to get creative on where I teach my classes. Currently I teach at a child's play gym and our daughter's dance studio. I started blogging and have since learned that sharing yoga through the written word is an outlet I am really enjoying! I have grown into adding other online yoga content available for sale- reducing the need to rely only on teaching classes. Taking that "me time" really comes in handy when I need to develop content for my blog! I have tons of ideas, just "not enough time" to complete it! I put that in quotations because there is time if I make it. However, as I mentioned, plans for the day can change at the drop of a hat. Class days can't really change, but planning, writing, and business administration days do! I make time to go sit at the library or take other time away from the house/family so I can focus just on work when I need to.
Who or what inspires you?
My family inspires me. Our girls have been the initial inspiration for my goals of teaching yoga to children and developing the classes I have. My husband inspires me because my wish for him is to achieve his own entrepreneurial goals and I hope that by building my business it will either inspire him or enable him to fulfill his dreams. He has always been in my corner cheering me on. My goal for our family is to own our freedom through entrepreneurship and through this spend more time building our family bonds and relationships. I want to set an example for our girls that they don't have to simply work for someone else, they can tap into their own inner talents and shine their light on the world on their own terms.
What impact does your work have on your children?
Although the girls aren't full blown yoginis or anything, they still love to pop into yoga poses every now and again. They like to come to class and play the yoga games but get bored quickly if they need to stay with me through a class they cannot participate in. I think as a parent the yoga tool I use the most is the pranayama (breath awareness techniques). I have used breathing techniques to calm them down, energize them, or lift a cranky mood. The techniques don't achieve their goal every single time but I love having them in my toolbox and the girls reach for them in their toolbox too! I love hearing them practice on their own and giving them tools that they can use anytime. They don't need me to work with their own breath and it is empowering for them to be able to self-soothe and tap into their self-control in this way.