Vinyasa Yoga with Emilie Hallgard, @GingerEM

Emilie, @GingerEM, is an Vinyasa Flow teacher & handstand coach from Sweden, passionate about delivering creative yoga flows and a yoga experience that changes the lives of her students.
First time she found yoga was in 1999, then in 2016 she found Vinyasa Flow which lead to a strong personal practice and eventually becoming a yoga teacher, opening a studio and an online yoga business.
Yoga and meditation are strongly connected for her and it’s a lifestyle more than just a workout. Yoga is part of her life in everything she does, from the tone of her voice to every daily decision.
We at Wellyfit are honored to have this interview, and also starting from June 21, a Challenge hosted by GingerEM.

You do yoga to become more flexible, not because you already are flexible.
— GingerEM, Yoga Teacher @ Wellyfit.com

Due to Corona, most forms of exercise have been forced to go online or in other ways change the way they exercise. How has your practice of yoga changed?

My yoga practice hasn’t changed with the pandemic, since I was already mainly practicing online and have done so since 2016. However I do miss having the possibility to go to a studio and experience a well designed vinyasa flow, the energy in the room, the wise words from the teacher and the long, soothing relaxation. And I miss going on retreats and totally immerse myself in yoga.

What has it meant to you as an instructor to lead others digitally to such an extent?

When I did my Yoga Teacher Training I was already set on teaching online, since I had an existing global community and wanted to spread yoga all over the world. And as the pandemic hit, I was already considering myself an online AND offline yoga teacher, having the tech-stuff set up and feeling comfortable with online teaching. The main difference is that I have closer contact with my online students now, as I teach more live classes, compared to when most classes were recorded. And the live classes allow me to have a lot more people in class compared to in my physical studio.

Now that the restrictions are starting to drop, will you go back to physical classes rather than Online? Or is Online something you continue to invest in?

Since I knew from before I wanted to be an online teacher, I plan to keep teaching online even as the restrictions go away. I love my physical studio and meeting my students in real life, but I also love the endless possibilities that online teaching gives me. Besides from delivering a yoga experience I also get to connect people from around the world and they can share their struggles and experiences with me and with each other. It lets me meet people I would never have met otherwise and they make me grow as a person.

There are many useful forms of exercise, but in what way would you highlight Yoga as a good form of exercise?

There are so many different kinds of yoga, and some are more physical than others. I love Vinyasa Flow because of its strong, physical aspects and the focus it demands of it’s practitioners. You move in a flow, connecting one pose to another, sometimes with elements from animal moves and functional training, but everything is connected to your breath. It requires full focus and body control, and since you move with strength and grace, the practice becomes safe and prevents injuries. And when the sweaty, physical flow is over, you wind down and rest in a long relaxation.

Finally, to those who have never practiced Yoga, but want to get started. What tips do you have for them?

If you never practiced yoga before, my best tip is to approach it with a smile on your face. Don’t take it too seriously, allow yourself to be playful on the mat. And don’t ever say you are too inflexible for yoga – you do yoga to become more flexible, not because you already are flexible. But as with most things you need to give it time, and during that time you need to have fun. So challenge yourself, laugh at yourself, connect to your mind and your body and enjoy the transformation that will come. Because transformation always comes.

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