Katarina Rayburn Yoga: The benefits of yoga and how it changed her life.
We had the pleasure of meeting the gorgeous and equally as smiley Katarina from Katarina Rayburn Yoga. She joined us for a photoshoot and we were no doubt bedazzled on watching how incredibly strong and flexible she is.
I dabbled in a bit of yoga about a year ago. And honestly? It fizzled out pretty quickly. I realise now the importance of finding a good and inspiring teacher with a style of yoga that works for you. Everyone is different so the first attempt isn’t always going to be right for you. Don’t give up too quickly.
Working for yourself can be stressful at times, after experiencing Katarina’s class at St.Johns Church about a month ago there’s no denying I felt incredibly relaxed after! I’m also a runner who never stretches (terrible I know) so it felt amazing to have a really good stretch. Katarina’s positive energy had a huge impact on the class and its creative flow. The venue was perfect to really switch off and relax, I felt very lucky to be there. As a beginner Katarina made me feel more than comfortable. There were people of all different standards from beginners to advanced.
Yoga is becoming very popular, it originated in India about 5,000 years ago. It is an ancient form of exercise that focusses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. Fundamental to a healthy and happy life.
I wanted to hear how yoga has changed Katarina’s life. Here’s what she had to say:
Where did you discover your passion for yoga?
I first discovered my passion for yoga about 4 years ago when my friend Mim invited me to come with her to a yoga class in Shoreditch followed by some Vietnamese food.
NIKI P London Jungle Yoga Pants modelled by Katarina
What made you decide to take the plunge?
I wasn’t in a great place work wise. Struggling to find consistent work as an actor so having to work some pretty soul destroying part time jobs. I realised the happiest I was was when I was practicing yoga. This coincided with a 2 month trip travelling around India with my boyfriend Julian, I had time and space to think and practice yoga. When I got back my mind was made up and I knew I wanted to do my yoga teacher training. Not necessarily thinking that it was something I would do full time, I just knew that it was a step towards doing something that made me feel happy, but the moment I got back from my first training thats exactly what happened.
What do you enjoy most about teaching yoga to others?
I love being able to create an environment that allows people to let go and just breathe and move in a space with no expectations, attachments or ego, to let go of any stresses or worries for the duration of the class and hopefully beyond. There is obviously the enjoyment of seeing students physical improve and them noticing it too.
What type of yoga do you practice and why?
I usually practice a mixture of yoga classes each week . I’ll practice an Ashtanga based vinyasa like Rocket or Yogasana because it something i’m so familiar with I can really loose myself in the practice without having to think about what i’m doing, I’ll practice a slower more alignment based Iyengar inspired class where the poses are broken down much more and sometimes I’ll just want to flow and move in new and creative ways so I’ll go to a creative vinyasa class. I also love Dharma yoga as i’m a sucker for a backbend. I think what it mainly comes down to is the teacher rather than the class style, its a very personal thing.
NIKI P London butterfly yoga pants modelled by Katarina
What is involved in the training to become a yoga teacher?
A lot of commitment and dedication to start with. You have to really want to do the training as it’s not an easy process. It’s physically very intense as well as emotional and spiritually. For me it was like a month of therapy! You learn a lot more than just how to teach a yoga sequence. You learn about the history and philosophy behind Yoga, you learn about human anatomy and you learn how the physical practice is just a tool for understanding how our minds work, and how to use that physical exercise as a means of meditation and healing.
Where is your favourite place to practice yoga?
Practicing in the open air, looking out at the ocean at my retreat Villa on the Greek island of Paros would have to be my favourite spot but in terms of a london yoga studio at the moment it would be Indaba in Marylebone. Whenever my teachers Jamie and Dulce are in town I make sure I practice where ever they are teaching too.
Do you wonder what you would be doing now if you hadn’t of discovered yoga?
It doesn’t bare thinking about!
We hear you are planning on opening a local yoga practice, can you tell us more about this?
Yes I’m very excited about this latest venture with my 2 business partners Mim and Julian. I have been working with Mim for the last 2 years, we launched our yoga retreat and events company Wild & Rayburn Yoga just under 2 years ago and have been hosting retreats all over the world, and Yoga suppers and day retreats in London. Julian is my fiancé and keen yogi who has been very supportive and integral to my yoga journey so far. We plan to be open this winter. We have a beautiful space in Deptford, south east London, which we will be transforming into our yoga studio and kitchen. We want to provide the local community and beyond with authentic yoga and sunshine food. Our mission is to bring a little bit of paradise to Deptford in the form of Yoga and delicious veggie food, juices and healthy treats.
NIKI P London grey botanics yoga pants modelled by Katarina
How did you feel after you completed your training?
Complete happiness, excitement but also a real sense of ease, I realised I had found my calling.
What is the best piece of advice you could give someone who is thinking about starting yoga?
Do it! You won’t regret it.
Why do you think someone should start yoga?
It benefits your mind, body and soul in so many ways. It makes you healthier, happier and stronger so you can do all the things you do to your greatest ability and be there to help the people that need your help.
Could you talk us through your average day?
I usually wake up at about 8am, have my breakfast and matcha latte, then cycle to my first class which could be anywhere from Brockley, Peckham, Shoreditch, Covent Garden, kings Cross or Marylebone. After teaching my first class I usually find time to do my own practice which will most often be at indaba or the studio I was teaching at. Then I’ll have lunch and cycle to my next couple of classes before cycling home for dinner. On average I teach about 15 classes over 6 days, the majority of them are in yoga studios and a couple are private 1 to 1 classes and corporate classes at the workplace.
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone who is starting their own business?
Don’t expect anyone to believe in you until you fully believe in yourself.
What are your goals and where do you see yourself in 20 years?
My main goal at the moment is to put my heart and soul into our yoga studio and cafe. It feels like it’s been a long time coming so to see it launch will be a very special day indeed. I also want to continue hosting successful yoga retreats and sharing everything I love and learn, through my teaching.
In 20 years…maybe a few more yoga studios around the world and maybe living abroad on one of my retreat centres. Living the dream. Ha!
You look incredible. Could you share your top tips on keeping, feeling and looking well?
Practice yoga! Do what makes you happy and everything in moderation.
If you could describe the benefits of yoga in 3 words what would they be?
Keeps me sane.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love food and travelling so whenever I have the time or opportunity to I love exploring new countries, cities and the delicious food they have to offer.
If I have spare time in London I enjoy doing not very much at all, I love cooking and relaxing with friends and family. I spend so much of my time moving and travelling from place to place that when I get the chance to I enjoy doing very little at all.
What is the most influential book you have read?
This is pretty cliche but reading Shantaram was a pretty life changing experience. I finished reading it just before my first trip to India with Julian which was where I decided I wanted to do my yoga teacher training.
What is your best tip to being happy?
Listen to your gut instinct, be inspired by people, move your body and allow yourself to love.
Thank you Katarina, so inspiring! Katarina does regular luxury retreats, she has one coming up this September at Paros Greek Island. It looks incredible so definitely worth checking out and booking your place here.
A Guide to Yoga from the NHS: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/yoga.aspx
Katarina Rayburn Yoga: http://katarinarayburnyoga.com/
NIKI P London Yoga Pants: http://nikip.co.uk/product-category/activewear/
Studio Photography: http://www.wkphotography.co.uk/