Featured Yogi: Adele

Name: Adele Maree Kinghan
Studio: Private coaching in person and online, and teacher training with Yoga Sanctuary Auckland
Years teaching: 8
Years practicing: 10
Favourite yoga style: Embodied Flow

Favourite time of the day to practice?
Meditation – first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. Asana  – I prefer either later in the morning when my body isn’t as stiff from sleep, or late afternoon when I feel I’m hitting a bit of an energy slump and moving and breathing offers a reset and recalibration.

What’s the most productive hour of your day?
I like to ease into things, so although earlier in the day is more creative for me as there’s less ‘detail of the day’ to distract me, I’m probably most productive in the afternoon.

What’s your advice for finding a class that feels right for a new student?
Be careful of looking for rightness or wrongness and be open to exploring. What is “right” will change day to day as you evolve and change. Becoming rigid in your choices and how you practice is counter-intuitive to the essence of yoga. I’d also be wary of any teacher who says their version of the truth (i.e. style or philosophy) is the only truth… all yoga ‘styles’ have their origins in seeking to answer the same question: how do we eliminate suffering and find freedom? Or in other words, how do we become embodied and liberated? How do we attain knowledge of self and co-create with that knowledge? Different classes and teachers are providing different paths of self-study up the very same mountain, some days it serves you to take the slow winding path, and some days it serves you to take the steep hill climb. The more you’re in tune with your needs and the ‘how and why of your practice’ the more you’ll trust in following the path that’s right for you, on any given day. It’s my goal for my students to not to have to practice with me to get their yoga fix – that they become their own teachers and guides, where the yoga is readily available to them in every moment of every day. The best approach is to pause every now and again in your practice/in the class and ask: “Is this way of practicing serving me? Is this bringing forth the ‘I’ I seek to be?”

How did you come to practice yoga?
If by yoga you mean asana, then it’s a bit of a long story, I’ll give you the cliff notes version. I grew up with a strong passion for movement – my first love was dance, everything from ballet to hip-hop and my dance teaching paid my way through university. That all fell by the way-side once I stepped into corporate life, and then even more so when I was thrown my first spiritual grenade, in the form of an overnight acute diagnosis of advanced stage bowel cancer. I was 25 and given a 30% chance of survival. It was post surgery, during chemotherapy that I found my first doorway into yoga. It began as gentle pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation, which I learnt by reading library books – as a way to manage the pain and anxiety, and eventually some gentle, mindful stretching. That was my practice for a long while, and it wasn’t until I got the sign-off to go travelling that I first found asana. We were living in a small mountain town in Canada and I initially sought out a dance school with no luck. There was one yoga studio in town – I had no idea what style it was or what would be involved, but I do remember this: it was like a homecoming. I was able to trust my body again. It felt so damn good to move and breathe freely. I started to regain strength and belief in my right to be here – of this body, of this world. And that was that.

When did you know that you wanted to teach and why?
When it was no longer an option not to; everything I was discovering about myself and the nature of the world, I couldn’t not share it.

Who has influenced you on your yoga journey?
It would be remiss of me not to mention my teachers and mentors – Tara Judelle, Scott Lyons and all the other teachers who’ve generously shared their time, energy and passion with me and without which, I wouldn’t be facilitating what I facilitate. But most of all I’ve been influenced by my students,  who courageously show up for the yoga, day in, day out. Who are willing to look at who they are; their mental constructs, their patterns, how they breathe, move, act and relate in the world. Their commitment to upshift the conversation of consciousness, to do better for themselves and the world they’re creating, gives me bucketfuls of energy and joy and hope.

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?
I read. A LOT. I meditate – it’s like a power nap (I’m also very good at napping). I’m a fan of movement of any kind. Nothing beats (pun intended) putting on my favourite playlist and dancing around the room. I also like to take frequent digital sabbaticals and spend more time outside. Is it also weird to say I’m rejuvenated by cleaning? Ya know, sacred space and all that 😉

Do you have a favourite posture at the moment?
Not so much. I’m less and less interested in the poses themselves, and more interested in the quality of the experience; my capacity, my resiliency, my easefulness, which can happen within the container of any pose.

Is there a book or mantra that you would recommend every yogi read or know?
I highly recommend following all of Adyashanti’s works. Books? The list is endless, I’m that person who has at least five books on the go at once. A few of my faves that are on the recommended reading list for my teacher training are The Enlightenment Process by Judith Blackstone, and Wake Up Now by Stephan Bodian.

What do you love about your part of town?
I can’t answer this question as I don’t have a part of town right now. As I write this I’m about to leave Queenstown – where I’ve been on a sabbatical of sorts – and head to Bali to teach for six weeks. After that, who knows, all I know is that I’m showing up for the ride.

Thank you so much, Adele!

Would you like to be a Featured Yogi? We’d love to know more about you! Or is there someone you’d like to nominate … another teacher, a stupendous student? Getting to know our fellow yogis creates connection. We like that. Get in touch here.

© The Yoga Connection 2016

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