With the ongoing hassle all over the globe due to COVID-19 and lockdowns, I personally noticed a sudden rise in people wanting to increase their immunity and an exponential rise in efforts for improving their health and mental peace. And, of course, one such highly popular practice improving health is yoga and deep meditation. Realizing this great opportunity to share something really valuable with the audience, I reached out to Kathleen Eastman, one of the established and renowned yoga mentors and meditation coach of UK. Kathleen was all the more support to promote the interest of yoga and meditation in the general public.
So, buckle up as I chat with Kathleen Eastman about her journey in yoga practice, yoga mentorship, health, etc.
For our readers, please give us a brief introduction about yourself?
I was raised in a very small town in the least populated state in the US: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. My mom is Irish and my dad is American, so my younger sister and I grew up with a blend of the two cultures; we spent a lot of our childhood traveling back to Ireland. I grew up in a structured, disciplined household and was held to a high standard – not only with academics but with athletics, family communication, and morals. I have lived in Georgia, New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Costa Rica, Spain, and now London! I speak Spanish fluently and love
surrounding myself with people from all walks of life. There is so much beauty in diversity.
How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?
In 2016, I found Aree Khodai and her power yoga class at Equinox West Hollywood in Los Angeles. I had taken a couple of yoga classes previously, but actually didn’t enjoy it at first! I grew up playing athletics and was a Division I soccer player in college, so I never felt that yoga was physically “challenging” enough for me. Aree’s classes completely changed the way I thought about yoga: very physical, different types of music, a sense of community (AreesArmy) which is crucial in yoga. (This isn’t always talked about – but yoga can be a competitive space sometimes!) I continued to take yoga from Aree as well as other teachers and started to learn more about consciousness, self-compassion, and spirituality through the practice. Music has been a HUGE part of my journey as well: the playlists I curate have an important connection to my classes, my message, and the way I teach.
When did you decide to dedicate yourself to yoga personally and professionally?
I moved from LA to Madrid in 2018 to get my Master’s degree in Business Administration. My business school had a yoga club, and I was chosen as president. I started teaching classes for students and really discovered my passion for holding space for others. I also realized how many of us need yoga in our lives!
This year, when COVID hit and the world went into quarantine, I knew it was my chance to get certified and complete my 200-hour teacher training – I did it online! I’m now starting to teach in London and continue to lead classes via zoom.
How has yoga changed your life in a particular way and what is your Yoga philosophy?
Like many of us, I’ve always been hard on myself and focused on continuously improving. When I first started practicing yoga, there was a lot of frustration, comparison, and striving for perfectionism. Of course, I still deal with these feelings sometimes, but yoga has provided the space for me to sit with emotions and feel them as opposed to ignoring how I feel. I found a meditation practice through yoga and have become part of amazing communities in many different countries.
My yoga philosophy: everyone can do it and there is no such thing as being “bad” at yoga. Yoga can be practiced alone, online, in a sweaty room, in silence, in a chair, with hip hop music, upside down, laying on the ground. You can practice yoga if you’re “not flexible,” if you’re feeling sad, if you’re joyful if you want to sweat, if you want to chill, or if you simply need time for yourself.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?
Try different classes! Sometimes it takes a couple of tries before you find the right fit. Don’t be afraid to try different teachers and styles of yoga. Also – be patient with yourself. We focus so much on the end pose or “looking” a certain way. My advice: focus less on how it looks and more on how it feels.
What do you find rewarding about being a yoga instructor/mentor?
I love watching students discover their ability to connect with themselves, whether that be through the physical (asana) part of the practice, or through a more spiritual/conscious aspect, like through pranayama (the breath.) We are all so hard on ourselves at times, and I want to help others understand the immense power and beauty of their bodies and minds. I also love bringing people together! There’s nothing better than the post-yoga feeling and being able to share that with the people in the room with you.
Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?
I’ve just launched my own nutrition business- kraftgreeen by kraftleeen. I recently, also, graduated with a degree certifying me as a Nutritionist and Health Coach and am excited to start one-on-one personalized nutrition consultations.
If you were to describe Yoga in just 3 words, what would they be?
Inner power, grace, and self-awareness.
Lastly, what is ‘success’ for you?
Mastering the art of living in the present moment, daily expression of gratitude, and making those around you feel empowered and comfortable to be themselves.
Thanks for joining us Kathleen. We wish you a great future ahead.