Wow already June’s Yogi of the Month, this is one year for Yoga Warehouse. It is a pleasure to have Kylie Sutton to help us celebrate, Kylie and the Moksha team have been very supportive of Yoga Warehouse starting from way back when it was still just being set up and I had only an idea. Some of the studios understood it and wanted to share in it more then others and Moksha was right on board and have been ever since. I appreciate how community minded they are. Kylie has developed a beautiful Moksha community but also extends her love to to bigger Okanagan community. She has a lot to share and I am honored to share with you some of her journey. Meet Kylie.
1 What does yoga mean to you?
Yoga for me is Freedom. Its authentic self-expression. To connect to your yoga is commitment to a journey of self discovery. To color outside of the lines. To refine a practice that is grounded through the physical body yet ignites a fire within. Once the flame is lite it burns brighter inspiring a craving for a deeper connection to self. The mat is my canvas and my breath woven into the flow of my body paints my picture. On my mat, or out in the woods on my hike when my body and breath unite with the flame of my soul I am perfectly imperfect, in that moment I am pure with no desire for a destination just divinely connected to the present moment.
2 When did you start yoga and how did that come to be?
I found yoga when I was 19 working for Lululemon in Edmonton. I was a varsity volleyball player and Lululemon was aligned with my values as a person and passion as an athlete. My dear friend; Jill White and I went to an ashtanga class at Lion’s Breath downtown and the flame ignited there. I continued on my Lululemon/volleyball/ academic journey from Edmonton to Kelowna which than took me to Vancouver Island where I was playing my final Varsity year and completing my degree.
My Chiropractor adjusted me everyday just so I could tie up my laces and play told me I needed to be more proactive so I showed up at Moksha Yoga Nanaimo. The heat was a natural love for me, anytime I can be in the sun I soak it in so it was a connection from the first moment I stepped into the hot room.
I joined the energy exchange program offering 5 hours of my time a week in exchange for unlimited yoga. In the summer of 2008 I did my 200 hour Moksha Teacher training in Toronto and from there I taught at Moksha Yoga Edmonton.
With still a deep roots to the athlete in me I decided to go play professional volleyball; so I went to Belgium and played a season of volleyball. During that time I unraveled; my identity; my ego; my lack of self and love was right in front of me. I was emptied but than I began to fill up by deepening my practice, getting clear on my vision and going back to the city I fell in love with, Kelowna. I opened Moksha Yoga Kelowna in January 2011 with the unconditional love and support of my parents and since the day we opened our doors It has never felt like a job, it’s the deepest expression of my passion; community.
During my Moksha Yoga Kelowna journey I met my beautiful husband; Brandon who has since done his Moksha training and we are following our dreams and opening up Moksha Yoga Seattle in Green Lake Village. Yoga is a way of life, its living out your wildest dreams and keeping that fire alive within your soul.
3 Where and with whom did you study with?
I studied with Ted Grand and Jess Robertson for my Moksha Level 1 and 2 In Toronto and Costa Rica, Frank Boccio for Mindfulness Yoga in Toronto and Costa Rica, Baron Baptiste for Power Vinyasa in New York, Carly Forest for Yin training in Costa Rica, Bernie Clark for Yin training in Whistler , Cathy Gauch for Aerial Yoga training in Boulder, Colorado, and Angela Zawada and Dina Souluhas for Moksha Flow training in Kelowna.
4 What kept you coming back to the mat and has that changed over time?
From the first time I found the mat it just became a part of who I am. I practice daily whether its on my mat in the hot room, beside my bed with my home practice or at the top of the mountain at Bear Creek Park . It’s a physical commitment but also a deeper devotion to self-discovery and evolution.
Yoga brings PEACE of mind
6 How has your practice evolved?
When I first started practicing it was a very physically inspired practice; lots of vinyasa and as many arm balances as I could fit in to my practice. As I shifted from the physical into a deeper expression of self my practice has slowed down. I have such a deep respect for the Moksha practice. Such a beautiful combination of strength, flexibility and balance and it just feels so right in my body. I shifted from a vinyasa junkie into a slower practice of yin and a strong moksha practice full of long holds and very little vinyasa.
7 How might you and/or your life be different if you hadn’t found Yoga?
Yoga found me and it was not supposed to be any other way.
8 What is your “can’t do without” favorite pose?
Savasana and tree pose
9 Tell us about an asana you struggle with!!
Tadasana because its hard to constantly stand strong in your own power and light.
My husband, Brandon because he is the same man when no one is watching, my mom, Trish, dad, Randy and my sister, Mallory for their unconditional and mind-blowing support for my visions and dreams. My teachers Ted Grand, Jess Robertson and Angela Zawada, my dog Marley because she is the deepest example of a yogi, my teachers at MYK and the Moksha Yoga Kelowna students, there isn’t a day that goes by that Im not completely inspired or moved by the stories you hear and the people you meet in this incredible Sangha ( community).
11 What tips can you offer beginning students for a safe practice?
Listen to your body, use blocks and straps, take modifications in the practice, try all types of yoga and don’t close your mind to the idea you can’t practice more than one type and at more than one studio. Play everywhere. Always drink lots of water 🙂
12 How about guidance for beginning teachers?
Never ever stop being a student.
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words;
Watch your words, they become your actions’
Watch your actions, they become your habits;
Watch your habits, they become character;
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
13 What few steps do you think a yogi can take today to tremendously improve their practice?
Keep learning, read books, read blogs, attend teacher trainings and retreats, surround your self with like minded people who will lift you up and push you to reach your highest potential.
I own/teach at Moksha Yoga Kelowna –kelowna.mokshayoga.ca! You can find us on facebook or twitter @MokshaKelowna and you can often find me sipping a coffee at Good Earth Café or playing at Bear creek with my puppy, Marley.
~The divine light within me bows down and respects the divine light that lives within you~
Kylie was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. She grew up playing sports and her passion for volleyball took her all over the west coast playing for Varsity teams. She played a year of volleyball at UBCO and fell in love with the city, the amazing people and the active community. This experience solidified that this was where she wanted to call home one day.
Kylie moved to Vancouver Island to complete her degree and finish off her volleyball career and during her last year of volleyball at Vancouver Island University her Chiropractor suggested trying Moksha Yoga as a preventative measure for all of her chronic injuries. After her first class at Moksha Yoga Nanaimo she was hooked and has never looked back ever since. She completed her Moksha Yoga certification in July 2008 and taught at Moksha Yoga Nanaimo while completing her Physical Education Degree at VIU. Kylie also completed the Baron Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Level 1 certification in New York, Aerial Silks Yoga Certification in Boulder, CO, Moksha level two and Yin certification in Costa Rica, and her Yin certification with Bernie Clark.
Kylie is excited about the yoga community that is growing at Moksha Yoga Kelowna. She loves to help others feel that same passion for their practice as she has achieved. Kylie believes the remarkable yogic connection you can make with the mind, body and soul is a practice that can transpire both on and off the mat. Her passion and knowledge for the health and wellness of the body makes teaching yoga one of the most rewarding things she has ever done. Kylie is so excited to teach this dynamic series and can’t wait to help students connect with their bodies allowing them to leave the studio smiling and full of life.