low lunge 4Kim Albuerne began practicing yoga in California, taking classes with some of the most respected teachers in the industry, including Rodney Yee, Baron Baptiste, Ursula Cox and Paul Grilley. She has since moved here to Northern Virginia where she joined the Flow community and teaches her own special brands of Vinyasa flow, yin and restorative.

That’s her bio, but what’s her story?

We’re so very grateful that she took a little time out of her busy teaching schedule to sit down with the Flow Blog and talk yoga.

FB: How’s life?

KA: That is a great question! Life is a complex and winding road. How we navigate that road and deal with the twists and turns and the ups and downs and the scary places and noticing the beautiful scenery is the important part. I would have to say I am in a very good place right now. Everyone in my family has their health; my teenagers are not nearly as un-ruly as I was at their ages. My husband and I celebrated 21 years of marriage in June and we still hold hands and kiss all the time. My kids think its gross! 😛

FB: Are you originally from California, and how did you end up here in the NoVa area? Please share a little more about your background.

KA: Actually, I am an East Coast girl! I was born in the state of Connecticut and spent my childhood in a very quaint New England town. I attended the University of Connecticut and after graduation, I moved south. I had friends in the Maryland and Virginia area and headed in that direction. I stayed for five years and then left for Colorado. This was employment relocation as the division of the company that I worked for (MCI) was headed west. I lived in Colorado for two and a half years, found it really wasn’t for me, and headed even further west landing in San Diego. Years passed and my husband and I decided that we wanted to raise our children back on the East Coast. So here we are again!

FB: What was it about those first few experiences that drew you to yoga, and not only kept you coming back, but inspired you to become a teacher?

Seated 1KA: I really didn’t know much about yoga, but saw that it was being offered by the gym that I was attending at the time. (This was in 1998, shortly after the birth of my first child.) I decided to give it a whirl, as I wasn’t quite ready to jump back into kickboxing or Krav Maga (combat fighting)! I really had NO idea what I was doing, but it felt really good. It was calm and the teacher was enormously compassionate and had a soothing way. I fell in love with the practice almost instantly. The stillness and the quiet that I experienced in savasana were unmatched to anything I had ever done. I thought to myself: “I have to share this with everyone I know!” Years later, I ventured into the teaching arena. 🙂

FB: Do you have a favorite pose?

KA: Just like my children…no favorites!  I like to be challenged, but have learned as the years have gone by and I have grown deeper into ‘the knowing’ of my own poses, where I should and shouldn’t go on a particular day. I enjoy the variations that are available for each pose and the idea of taking ‘the shape’ of a pose rather than ‘nailing it’. Finding perfection isn’t what my practice is about to me anymore.

FB: Heard any funny yoga stories lately?

KA: I have a funny story about myself! When I took one of my first yoga classes, the teacher had us begin in child’s pose. She asked us to feel the relief offered in this pose and to remember it and come back to it at any time during class. I didn’t realize that she meant to come back to the ACTUAL pose anytime. So, there I was struggling in Warrior II, attempting to ‘feel the relief’ mentally. Not understanding I should have just plopped myself down in child’s pose for a few breaths! The mental focus did work on some level, but boy real physical rest would have been great. Oh well.

FB: What can students expect to experience when taking one of your classes?

KA: I hope to offer a series that is effective at moving the energy around the body. I always begin class with pranayama (breath) practice and have started to add a small period of meditation at the half pigeonend of class for those who are interested. Yoga is truly preparation for meditation. Almost every student I have ever spoken to about meditation wishes they could ‘find the time’ for it in their busy lives. I figure, I have them captive in the studio…let’s do this! If they are not interested, of course they are welcome to enjoy another 3 minutes of savasana!

FB: In your bio, you talk about how students learn something new every time they step on their mats, can you expand little bit more on that idea?

KA: As a student of yoga myself, I feel I can make that statement with some authority. You might learn something that the teacher shares about the philosophy of yoga, for example a passage from the Yoga Sutra speaking about practicing kindness to yourself. Or you may learn that using a block in Wheel (urdhva dhanurasana) can help with alignment of the feet. You may gain a deeper understanding of who you really are as you reflect inward and explore the velvety gaps of silence. Who knows? There is always something there to learn.

FB: In follow up, how does that idea of learning manifest for you? What kind of stuff do you do in the effort to expand your practice?

KA: Being a student and a teacher of yoga, I am constantly reading, writing, taking classes, workshops, communing with other teachers about their experiences in and out of the studio. I find the study fascinating. The philosophy, the asana, the history, the ayurvedic principals…all of it makes so much sense to me and I have such respect for everything that encompasses yoga. I have a true passion for learning, and aligning myself with the guidelines offered by this physical and philosophical practice.

FB: How about your daughter, son or husband? Do they ever take your classes and what are their thoughts about yoga?

KA: Everyone in my family has taken a yoga class! My husband tries to practice regularly, my daughter is slowly beginning to think about coming to the studio and my son is another story. A fourteen-year-old American boy is a difficult customer! Which I find amusing as that is the exact audience that yoga was truly designed for back in India. I hope to encourage them all to make it more a part of their every-day, but we are all on our own journey as they say. My extended family (aunts, uncles cousins) and I all went on a trip to the Outer Banks one year. We had yoga class everyday on this huge deck on the back of the beach house we rented. It was so wonderful!

FB: What kind of stuff do you do outside of yoga, when you’re not teaching?

KA: When I am not teaching I am typically running my children around to sports, movies, work or friends homes. I enjoy cooking and have been toying with more of a vegetarian themed household. I also spend time with friends, having the occasional cocktail, going out to dinner or to see a concert or show.

Thanks for catching up with us.

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