This year our beloved Kylie Williams will be one of the teachers who will lead the 7:00 p.m. community class at monumental yoga. We asked Kylie to share a few thoughts about her yoga journey, her time at The Hot Room, and her thoughts about the big event this Friday.
When did your yoga journey begin?
I began my yoga journey while in college for dance. I had some extra downtime and wanted a way to become more limber and efficiently work my body. I began practicing Power Vinyasa and eventually tried Original Hot Yoga a few years later.
How did you discover The Hot Room?
I am from Indianapolis, Indiana and found The Hot Room while home from college. I’d fallen in love with the Original Hot Yoga style in Pittsburgh but had not found a fit in Indianapolis until The Hot Room opened.
What do you love about teaching at THR?
The diverse and welcoming community is what makes teaching at THR so great. Some days I wonder how it will get done, but once I see our students faces I am instantly energized, inspired and happy. Watching their work in the room has helped deepen my understanding of the yoga, but more importantly my life’s purpose.
One of your most inspiring or memorable moments as a yoga teacher?
Teaching my first 90-minute class. That tired me out more than any yoga class I have ever taken. I was so excited! Like I was getting shot out of a cannon. I left no gas in the tank and was completely whooped by the end. What kept me going was Hye Jin and a few fellow trainees in the front row with big smiles. A whole new level of respect for my yoga teachers developed after that day.
You are known for bringing tremendous amounts of POWER and ENERGY to all of your classes. Where do you find this energy and how do you bring that consistently to all your classes each day?
I’ve always been a “strong” dancer. Some dancers are elegant, poised or graceful. I was always athletic, sharp, precise- something I didn’t always know how to embrace. Now I believe that same quality in my dancing shines through in my teaching. The fact that I am extremely passionate about the work is another factor. I believe in every word I say in that room 110%. The willingness of our clients to work hard and try something new keeps it fresh even if it’s the same postures. Tremendous change is possible and that excites me.
Outside of the studio where do you spend your time?
I teach dance on Monday and Tuesday evenings at a studio in Westfield called Central Indiana Academy of Dance. There I teach ballet, jazz, tap and creative movement for 3-4 year olds. I also teach at a dance studio I grew up taking classes at called Turning Pointe Academy of Dance. At this studio I teach yoga for dancers. You may even catch some of them taking class at the studio. For pleasure, I am a contemporary dancer with Phoenix Rising Dance Company. Our 2019-2020 season begins October 17-20 at The Phoenix Theatre!
Do you do any other type of fitness or conditioning outside of THR to support your dance career?
I am so grateful The Hot Room gives me everything I need to stay in conditioned shape for dance. I stick to a heavy diet of Original Hot Yoga and always sprinkle in Inferno Hot Pilates, Hot Power Vinyasa and Hot Power Sculpt as much as I can. Adding these classes to my regimen has improved my endurance and strength during performances. To support my career and wellbeing in other ways I will get facials and massages. Many times from our amazing THR students!
How has yoga helped elevate your work as a professional dancer?
In a dance audition it is not uncommon to hear choreographers ask the dancers to show who they are through the movement. Portraying any message through movement is an abstract idea, then bringing the concept of self into the picture blurs things further. Yoga became the vehicle for me to discover my interpretation to life’s great unanswered questions. Through this self inquiry work I’ve built confidence and love for myself I’d never experienced before. I allow myself to shine onstage. I want share with audiences. This mindset switch has allowed me to elevate all aspects of my dancing-flexibility, control, dynamics and performance.
As a professional dancer and athlete do you find hot yoga being essential? Why?
Hot yoga is essential in order for me to function at my best. Everyone is different. I think hot yoga could benefit many dancers and I encourage all performers to give it a try. If I have rehearsal or a show, I make sure I take a hot class. Physically, I am ready. I like to sweat at least once that day before I hit the stage. When I am warm the movement feels good and I can perform instead of worry about the moves. Mentally, I am focused. I’ve spent 1 hour or more totally focused on my body, balance, flexibility and strength, and self confidence. At this point I’ve done everything I can to prepare and I’ve proved that to myself by showing up on my mat one last time before its showtime.
Describe one of your most transformative moments at The Hot Room.
The most transformational moment for me as a student is always when I am forced to be still and simply breathe for the sake of staying sane in the room. Every day we are different. I love being with the uncomfortable instead of fighting against it. Those are always my most transformational moments as a practitioner.
Describe your experience leading up to Monumental Yoga this year.
This year’s monumental yoga experience has been exciting! I always anticipate the event, however, having a big role in this year’s festivities. has me just that much more ready! I love following @monumentalyogaindy on Instagram to stay up to date on all things happening.
What was your initial reaction when asked to teach the master class at Monumental Yoga?
Laura Burdick called to ask me to teach for Monumental Yoga and I was ecstatic! It’s an honor to be asked to teach for such an event in the Indianapolis community. I’ve gone to the event in the past couple years, rain or shine, and it’s always a blast. Juices, jewelry, yoga, puppies, laughs! The number of people who come out to celebrate is incredible. Never have I felt such palpable feelings of happiness, kindness and community.
What are your thoughts about bringing several studios, teachers and styles/modalities together for one evening?
Everyone is different. There is no right way. Yoga is not one thing. If there were to be an evening dedicated to yoga and mindfulness I would want it to be diverse.
You are very familiar with performing in front of large audiences. How do you feel about leading thousands of yogis on Friday?
I am thrilled to be leading so many yogis on Friday! The number of people on the circle is what makes Monumental Yoga feel so special. The energy is contagious. Those that are there are making a declaration to be their best authentic selves and try something new. My hope for those yogis is to experience connection and resonance.
I encourage everyone to come out to monumental yoga because it is an opportunity for you to experience community in a whole new way!