Yoga teacher Katie Silcox shows us how to infuse our mornings with self-love and -worth…
Katie Silcox is unlike many other yoga teachers who I’ve encountered. She is beautiful. And radiant. But in her presence I quickly sensed something much deeper. She is completely in tune with self, i.e. completely secure. She is more than magnetic — to find myself in the wake of her unbreakable self-confidence was to boost my own. Katie has a special way of making those around her feel equally beautiful, funny and smart. And I hadn’t even taken her yoga class yet!
Our instructor on the latest FP Escapes retreat in Sonoma, California, Katie is a globetrottung yoga teacher and the best-selling author of “Healthy, Happy, Sexy,” a hip, sensual Ayurvedic bible for the modern woman. She touches lives through her teachings as women become more in tune with themselves on a deep emotional, spiritual and physical level. Today Katie is sharing a morning yoga routine to open up emotions and sense of self. Continue reading further to learn more about Katie and her teachings – I promise you do not want to miss this interview.
“This morning practice is more than a “salute” to the sun. Its a psycho-spiritual honoring and humbling of ourselves to the inner sun that is our prana — our life force. It is also an acknowledgement of the outer sun which gives life. Without the sun, we are lifeless! So, this is a moving body prayer.”
Stand with your hands in prayer. Sweep your arms up as you inhale and then bow forward as you exhale. Feel the union of the prayer to the sun as your reach your arms up, and the honoring of the earth as you bow and fold forward on the outbreath.
Now come up half-way. Inhale and lift your chin and your chest. Stay rooted through the legs. You can press your hands into your shins, or grab your toes. Micro-bend the knees if you need the lower back support.
Step your left leg back and bend into the front knee, coming into a high lunge. Extend your arms into the air and feel that you are deeply nourished by the breath.
Lower your arms and step back into a plank/pushup position. Keep the belly and thighs lifted, the heart reaching forward and the heels back. As you lower your body, connect to the earth.
Next, inhale and rise up from the ground, straightening your arms, arching your back and opening the heart to the sky in a classic upward facing dog. Push back through your heels, keeping your legs off the ground. Press down through your hands, micro bend your elbows and let your whole ribcage expand as you open your chest, inhaling deeply.
Press back into downward facing dog, elevating the hips as you exhale and taking your thighs backwards. Reconnect to the depth of even breathing here. Remind yourself that yoga is breath and body becoming one.
Repeat your lunge on the left side.
Return to a forward bend, inhale, come up halfway and exhale forward bend one more time. Inhale raise your arms and come up with a long spine, raising the arms again to the sun. Exhale the hands into prayer.
Repeat this several times until you feel the full blessing of the life force awakening in your cells!
How would you describe the type of yoga that you teach?
The yoga I teach is a fusion of Tantra, Ayurveda and classical yoga. It is largely inspired by the Vinyasa tradition but now must evolve to include what I call “feminine form” movements. These movements are the innate dancer/birther forms that spontaneously emerge from women’s bodies when they feel sexy, loved and safe. I teach from the Himalayan Sri Vidya tradition, but the real tradition is an intuitive and ever-changing expression of beauty-in-flux.
How did you first get involved in yoga? And when did you know you wanted to teach it?
In the past, my body was something I fought with. But through learning this beautiful practice, I was able to establish a love affair instead of a fight. In this cosmology, philosophy and science, your body is the most beautiful creation and tool that you have. In my next book, I will tell the wild tale of how a southern belle ended up in India and dedicated her whole life to yoga. More to come…
Do you have any advice for people just starting their journey in yoga?
Try lots of different teachers and styles. Let go of the idea that yoga is a physical workout and open yourself to the idea that yoga can radically touch your life path as a spiritual journey that is both loving and challenging. Be ready to burn in the fire of a regular practice. Find a teacher with whom you respect and resonate, who has deeply studied the traditions and has committed to working with one teacher. Look for the evidence of her practice in her LIFE, not in the way her body looks. Find a teacher that can really guide you and inspire you and love you. I find that lots of students yoga-shop and never commit to the real relationship required for deeper spiritual alchemy. We need to dig a deep well in order to touch water.
What is one thing everyone should know about yoga?
Anything that involves conscious breath and movement is yoga. Also, yoga, if done regularly, won’t just make you feel good, it will PROVOKE you. It will ask you to feel your emotions, to explore the dark corners and recesses of your being that need your love-gaze. Yoga is a pathway to ecstasy. Not just a technique to get a hot booty. Although you will get that too!
You just recently published a book (congrats!) – what can readers expect to hear from you?
Thank you! Yes! It’s called Healthy, Happy, Sexy and you can check it out here. This book is a love offering for women. A permission slip from the Cosmic Mama that allows you to deeply take care of yourself on all levels. Others have descirbed it as a hip, sensual Ayurveda bible for the modern woman… it is a spirit-infused yet pragmatic guide that seamlessly brings this ancient wisdom into our modern lives without sacrificing the occasional rendezvous with red wine, fashion magazines and other sensual pleasures.
Name three words that describe yourself.
Can I hyphenate? Firey-soft, flawed-perfection, irreverently-spiritual.
Name three words that describe your yoga classes.
Oh, dang — well, it’s just the words I wrote above!
What’s next for you? Any special projects you can share with us?
Yes! I’ve launched an online yoga school called the Lineage of Love, which is basically an ongoing subscription that keeps you plugged in to deep practice. You get new videos, meditations, yoga classes and juicy-mama recipes and tips from me every month. We are offering it half-price through November. So check it out here.
How can people stay in touch with you and your teachings?
Thank you Katie! We’ll catch up with you soon!