TEACHER FEATURE: Kelley Voegelin

What brought you to yoga?
Fate. I wasn’t even looking for yoga nor did I know much about it when I found it. I had been living down in Argentina & was feeling very far from home, lost, & heavy hearted. One day somewhere in my inner fog I felt a very strong need to look up yoga in Buenos Aires. I didn’t see a flyer or speak to anyone about it; it was an instantaneous inspiration. Later that week I was taking private Iyengar lessons from a dear teacher & never looked back.

In what way has yoga had an effect on your life? and what drew you to teach?
The health benefits of a regular yoga practice are many & obvious & have effected my body, right on down to cellular level. I am so well cared for through my practice. But, the greatest effect yoga has had on me is that it has given me a spiritual practice. I look forward to my own quiet time to meditate, breathe well, study my mind, set intentions, & feel aligned within myself internally.

I was drawn to teach yoga because I reached a point where I craved to be immersed in yoga for the better part of my day & my “day job/ career at the time” was majorly getting in the way of that 🙂 I had been a teacher of many other things in the past… preschool, art, English. To then become a teacher of something that I am utterly passionate about & continuously inspired by seemed only necessary & natural.

favorite posture?
Pigeon pose. It allows me to literally ground myself way down on my mat, get very quiet, fold in with my forehead supported & eyes closed. When I first started doing yoga, pigeon was so intense for me that it’d make me feel nauseous & I couldn’t wait to come out & now I never skip it; I always end up there.

What has been your biggest challenge or surprise in yoga?
Stilling the mind. It’s easy to be mired in the past & then in a split second begin to worry about the future. Staying fully aware of right now & not being so easily mentally tugged here & there is by far the most challenging aspect of yoga. I continue to study & be humbled by our powerful minds.

what do you love about breathing room?
I love the warmth of the community. The teachers, the students, & the space are welcoming, genuine & down to earth. It immediately felt like the right place to be.

what inspires you?
Creating a practice that brings me (and my students) into a state of overall well being & balance. The shifting of the seasons & the cycle of the moon, as well as meditations, mantras & mudras always provide great inspiration & support.

favorite playlist?
I have a favorite playlist that begins with gentle piano tracks complimented by uplifting string instruments. It moves into a some tracks by instrumental ambient musicians who provide gentle yet repetitive beats, & it ends with a meandering slow cello track.

What advice would you give yourself if you could time travel back to your first time on the mat?
Keep doing this because it’s going to forever change your life.

how do you fill your time outside of teaching? What is something that we might not know about you?
I make abstract pieces of art on any kind of paper, with any kind of crayon, marker, watercolor, found object collaged in & then I sprinkle into the composition sacred & geometric shapes & patterns, flowers, fractals, fairies. I also really love plants & gardens. Watching my plants form bright green new growth & expand into bigger pots is extremely satisfying… I could spend hours repotting, watering, pruning, tending to a garden of any size or shape.

do you have a personal mantra?

I am happy, I am healthy, I am abundant, I am loved