You've heard the story before,
you just haven't heard my version. . .
It started when I attended my first yoga class while I was studying in Australia. I was 18 years old, fearless and entangled in an uncontrollable energy I had no clue how to handle. I knew it then, yoga will one day be my life. I just had to discover how.
It was the feeling I was left with after those first classes that kept me coming back. The sense of belonging, not just in that room but in my body. As most teenagers are, I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I was never enough according to myself and my mental health had taken a toll on me as it had on so many others before me. When life brought me on a roller coaster kind of journey the following six years, yoga is what kept me going. Yoga was my safe haven, my place to relax, my motivator, my glue, my inspiration and my kick in the butt. The yoga mat, the practice and the beach created an atmosphere I was not willing to let go of.
When I told people I wanted to become a yoga teacher most looked at me and thought it would be a part time thing. Surely I hadn't studied for six years at a prestigeous university only to let it all go? And how was I going to pay my student loan back on a yoga teacher's salary? My career as a yoga teacher started off as a part time thing, as most start-up companies do. Only for me this wasn't a company as such, it was me teaching classes around an Australian beach town I for many years called home. I completed my first yoga teacher training in 2016 and begun gaining practical experience working in various studios around the Gold Coast in Australia. When I had the chance to write my second master dissertation about kids yoga, I was ecstatic!
I spent four months researching the benefits of yoga for children with trauma. In collaboration with Bela Menso Brain and Behaviour Centre and my supervisor Dr Grant Sinnamon, was I able to teach yoga to children with PTSD, autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder. For a period of six weeks did I teach daily yoga classes to children with these disorders, collecting data to address whether an intensive yoga intervention as a part of a clinical treatment program for children with PTSD would see a measurable change in children's adaptive behaviour. The study suggests that children’s yoga as a supplement to regular psychological treatment results in significant improvements in the children’s adaptive behaviour.
This experience sparked my love for kids yoga and opened my eyes to the possibility of doing yoga as a full-time job. I returned to Norway shortly after the thesis was concluded and started Kamilla's Yoga only a few months later. After two years of part-time jobs, an unimpressive bank account and a few sleepless nights, am I finally able to call myself a full-time yoga teacher.
I specialise in yoga for children, tweens and teens, and am greatly interested in the physical and mental benefits of yoga for kids and adults. My adult classes are focused on developing a physical, sustainable and personal practice for each practitioner, while my kids classes are focused on fun, friendships and well-being. Today, I collaborate with various schools in and around Oslo, and teach between 15-20 classes per week. I co-own Asana Safari, a yoga and travel company that creates yoga retreats around the world and am about to launch a third company this year. After many requests from students, friends and followers have I decided to start offering free classes online, by making videos in Norwegian and English that will be posted weekly on youtube starting this fall. I am yet to share more information about this, and trust me when I say I will!
For me yoga is a lifestyle. Yoga is a way of living that I cannot imagine I will ever let go of.
For you, however, yoga can be whatever you would like it to be. Yoga can be a form of physical exercise, a way to gain flexibility or a form of mental and emotional training. It can be an exercise for the breath and a tool to improve or even heal various disorders and diseases. It can be a way to assist aging in a healthy way, it can be a spiritual journey and a way of life. Yoga can be all of this, it can be some of it, or it can be something completely different. But one thing is certain, yoga is personal and your practice is yours to keep.
As a teacher I love to see kids smile, to hear them laugh and to witness their joy when they master something new. I love to watch as they grow and bloom into themselves and be a part of their journey through childhood. I love to listen to their stories, incorporate their games and learn from their experiences. I love to watch how an adult's body relaxes more and more during savanna at the end of each class. I love to see how the eyes of a woman brightens up when she understands something new about her body, to witness a man learn new ways to be physically strong. It makes me genuinely happy to see people come together in a room to share this practice.
I love being a yoga teacher and I will never regret the day I decided to go for it. I am grateful for not listening to the people who doubted me, for not allowing them to doubt myself and for seeing possibilities in my dreams where others saw obstacles and impossibilities.
And remember, if I can do it. You can do it.