Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned yogi, chances are you’ve probably heard about Yoga International – an online “yoga hub” dedicated to providing more than 300,000 members with an assortment of multimedia content centered around yoga, meditation, and mindful living.
Not only is Yoga International a place for yoga students and teachers to go for informative articles, but it also provides endless amounts of online classes and courses for yogis of all levels.
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So, who is behind all of this yoga-related content?
Kat Heagberg is the Editor-in-Chief of Yoga International. With more than 15 years of yoga experience under her belt, she is one of the many women in yoga taking the practice to the next level. On top of being a badass yogini and business woman, she is currently in the process of writing two books, about – you guessed it – yoga!
In her editorial life, Kat not only writes about how to make challenging poses accessible, the power of language in the yoga culture, and tips for accomplishing some of yoga’s most unique poses – she also creates video content, connects with other seasoned yoga professionals, and much more.
“My job can vary so much day-to-day, which is really what I like about the job. Some days, I’m really focused on articles, editing articles and working with writers,” Kat explains, “Other times, I’m planning things out with my team on what we want featured on the site, hot topics going around the yoga world, and most importantly, giving teachers a platform who might not otherwise be heard.”
It’s no secret that Kat loves her job, especially when she is behind the scenes – teaching and filming content for other teachers and students to reference. She recently explained that she had the opportunity to film a “Strength and Endurance Challenge” for Yoga International this past winter.
“I love teaching and I love filming stuff,” Kat shares, “I know a lot of teachers say they like to teach in person, and I love teaching in person classes too, but I’m also a bit of an introvert. And even after all these years, I still get a little bit nervous, so I like working with video content and with the group of people in the studio.”
Once the video content is finalized with the rest of Kat’s team, it’s then shared on Yoga International’s Facebook groups and on the site, allowing teachers and students from all over the world to connect and interact with Kat and her team.
Kat’s Expert Tip: Think about the way you talk about people’s bodies as a yoga teacher – try to stray away from the “diet culture” that is very prevalent in so many people’s lives. As a yoga teacher, it’s important to be aware that people come to yoga for a variety of reasons, so make sure to watch for what you are incorporating into the practice as you teach.
With filming, writing, and informing other yoga teachers on the various teachings connected to the yoga practice, the topic of safety comes up frequently. How does a yoga teacher such as Kat practice yoga safely? Recently, on an episode of Yoga International’s “Yoga Talk”, Kat and her co-host Kyle dove a little deeper into the topic.
“To me, safety as a yoga teacher is extremely important and I also want people to feel comfortable moving,” Kat explains, “And to not feel like what they are doing is dangerous. You want them to feel empowered and comfortable in their own bodies.”
Kat shares that when she teaches yoga to others, she doesn’t want it to feel prescriptive. She believes that sometimes students can have somewhat of a placebo effect when they practice yoga. There are times when students fear the outcome of moving their bodies a certain way, especially if a teacher warns them about potential injuries as a result of certain movements.
“What a student is feeling or experiencing is more important than what any book or teacher says,” Kat infers, “I’m not in their body, and I think the more we can help people get more connected to their own body and to movement that feels good, the more we will help them figure out what is too much and what’s not enough.”
In general, yoga is a safe practice, so there isn’t anything to be afraid of. If you are a new yoga teacher (or an aspiring teacher) there is so much to look forward to as you embark on your yoga journey.
Kat explains that the yoga community has grown so much since she first entered the practice and it's grown in so many incredible ways.
“Once you find a yoga style that you like to practice, find a training or a course that allows you to explore that style more.” Kat shares, “It’s also really important to also be yourself."
If you are a teacher looking to gain more from the practice, don't be afraid to get involved or connect with other yoga teachers. Yoga International is the perfect place to do just that. And with International Yoga Day coming up, it's the ideal time to put your yoga skills to the test or to explore the teachings that yoga has to offer.
Whether you are new to the yoga world or a seasoned yogi, Kat Heagberg is one of the many women in yoga that you can definitely learn a thing or two from. Her career as the Editor-in-Chief of Yoga International and her passion for all things yoga-related, have taught many members of the yoga community to embrace their bodies and their minds.