#BEYOUROWN MEETS KIA MILLER
Kia Miller is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher. She is the founder of Radiant Body Yoga, a holistic approach that honours the healing and transformational potential within yoga. She is known for sharing her wonderful passion for life and well-being in her teaching. Kia views the science and spirituality of yoga as a pathway to experiencing peak performance and great awareness. Her mission is to inspire and awaken as many people as possible to their own power and creative potential.
Can you talk us through a typical 24 hour day for you?
A typical 24 hours for me when I am not teaching a yoga immersion goes something like this, I wake up at 5am, make tea and sit for 1 hour of pranayama and meditation followed by 30 mins of chanting.
At 6.30 am I make a light breakfast of almond milk, chia, and fruit. At 7.30 – 9am I have yoga class. For the rest of the day I spend my time writing and/or creating media for my social media platforms and yoga courses. Followed by sunset time – second mediation of the day. Then lastly an early dinner and early night.
How did you get started in Yoga?
My first introduction to yoga was through reading Rachel Welch’s book on Beauty when I was 15! There was a sequence of 26 yoga postures in the book that inspired me. I practiced on my own for a few years, then took my first yoga class at the Life Centre in South Kensington, London when I was 18. It was here that I was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga which I instantly loved. I came into yoga quite disconnected from my body and very stiff. The sequence of postures with the breath helped me to start to breathe correctly and unwind years of tension and tightness.
How long have you been practicing?
I have now been practicing yoga for over 30 years
Have you always been passionate about yoga?
I have been passionate about the practice since the very first day. It has been a huge path of healing for me. First getting comfortable in my body, then learning how to access my energy and move through emotional and mental blocks. Nowadays the asana practice serves as a way to keep my body healthy and the breath work and meditation keep my mind stable and focused. There was a moment that defines my passion for me, it was when a yoga teacher said to me “when life gets in the way of yoga, make yoga your life.” I heard that, and it resonated so deeply that I committed to making yoga my life.
What is the definition of a Yogini?
A yogini is one who lives the path of yoga. This includes following what is known as the 8 Limbed Path. This is a pathway from suffering and limitation toward living from a fully awakened state. You can think of it as the philosophical and moral codes of yoga including:
Non-harming (to self or other), being truthful (practicing radical self honesty), wise use of our energy (keeping your energy focused on what matters to you), living simply and in harmony with the earth, and learning to trust the abundance of life (we have what we need when we need it).
Dissolving our resistance to what we know is right for us (huge topic!), regular introspection and self-correction, and faith in the underlying intelligence of the Universe.
1.Practicing postures and Kriyas that keep the body healthy and energy vital.
2.Practicing pranayama or breath practices that balance our energy and calm our mind.
3.Learning to synchronise the senses – train them to turn inward.
4.Learning to focus and train the mind to unhook from everyday neurotic thinking.
5.Accessing a meditative state
6.Experiencing full connection to all that is
Can you talk to us about Radiant Body Yoga?
I felt like I was sleepwalking through the first quarter of my life. Once I discovered the deeper practices of yoga, like Kriya (specific sequences of movement, breath, and sound), pranayama (breath work), and meditation I go tuned into a new way of experiencing life. I started to feel the power and potential within me and and experienced a huge increase in creativity and prosperity. This is the driving force behind my teaching.
I created Radiant Body Yoga as I saw that there is a need for a certain kind of practice that can serve the modern practitioner, most of whom have busy lives and many demands on their time and energy. The Radiant Body Yoga practice keeps your body strong and flexible, moves stuck-ness physically and emotionally, and enables you to calm and focus your mind. All in 30-90 mins! The key to lasting transformation is to practice regularly, therefore the practices are designed to meet you where you at. Depending on how much time you have and the level you want to practice.
The practice is based on Kundalini Yoga, and infused with my love of the modern vinyasa approach. It consists of a thorough body warm-up through asana with breath, followed by a Kriya, a pranayama (breath technique), meditation and relaxation. There are many different practices so that whatever your body type, experience, or challenge you are facing, there is a practice for you.
How do you feel Toga can benefit us?
Yoga practice offers a way to step out of the challenges of life and consciously engage with your body, spirit and mind. At the surface level it is good for the body, at the medium level it is good for the spirit (we feel better!), and at the deepest level it offers us tools to work with and transform the patterns of the mind.
For someone who is so busy, how many hours would you say is enough to mentally and physically stimulate us?
For a busy person interested in starting yoga, I encourage you to find a studio near you and practice a few times a week. A,lso start a daily simple breath and meditation practice. Begin with 10 mins in the morning and slowly build up. Fi,rst you simply sit still and move through your body relaxing tension. Then you start to follow your breath. Gradually lengthen the inhale and exhale until they are both 6 secs or longer. Do this for a few minutes. Every time your mind wanders, bring it back to watching your breath… this simple practice of bring present to the moment, and keeping your attention on your breath starts to revitalise your body, energy and mind. It will allow you to focus much better throughout the whole day. It is the start of a great relationship with yourself.
Do you think Yoga has become over commercialised?
The practice of yoga has become commercialised, but I do not see this necessarily as a bad thing. In fact, the commercialisation of yoga has allowed it to be readily accepted by people from all over the world and from many different walks of life and religions.
A whole culture is building around the practice of yoga, reflected by studios in every major metropolitan city; in the clothing that has been so widely adopted by the Western World; and the use of many yogic terms in the common vocabulary, like: Guru, Mantra, Karma in its fullest expression, yoga is a way of life and offers a pathway to achieve our fullest potential, however there are many ways to start on the journey.
For some, the physical practice and workout is enough, others enjoy meditation, and there are many choosing to adopt the yogic principles in every aspect of their lives. I encourage everyone to start a practice. Keep looking around and trying things until you find a teacher or practice that inspires you. Commit to it and you will see change and development in your life.
Can you tell us the importance of mediation?
I believe meditation is one of the most valuable tools at our disposal. So many of the high functioning, high level entrepreneurs that I meet have an established meditation practice.
It is what gives them an edge, allowing them to work intuitively and clearly. A regular meditation practice develops within the practitioner a refined ability to self-reflect and self-correct. It also teaches you to keep your attention in the present moment rather than constantly future tripping or past dwelling. Once your attention is focused in the present moment for a sustained period of time, you open to a super conscious state. This is the realm of intuition and inspiration. From here you will be able to direct your life at a much higher level.
I had been reading about meditation 10 years before I started! I knew it was the thing to do, yet every time I sat to meditate I got overwhelmed by the cacophony of sound that was my internal dialogue. I was also unclear about which technique I should use as there seemed to be many different approaches.
When I was introduced to Kundalini Yoga, I started to meditate every day using first breath techniques to calm the mind, and then mantra (specific words) to focus it. This was so valuable for me in the early days, as both the breath and the mantra help to clear the loud internal dialogue and create a receptivity and calm. After almost 15 years of dedicated meditation, I now have a very different relationship to my sense of self and my thinking. Meditation is the gift that just keeps giving.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
This is not recent advice, but something that I remember frequently. It involves three words “Continuously, Consciously, Choosing.” It relates back to the last question about mediation. In each moment we are choosing to focus on something. An untrained mind will be scattered and fractured, moving from one thing to the next, dwelling on negative events in the past, worrying about the future, chewing on a resentment etc.
A trained mind is aware that whatever we focus on we energise. I like to be continuously consciously choosing where I place my focus.
When I catch my mind in a negative place I consciously choose to focus it on a positive one. In this way, I am using my mind to serve my higher consciousness, rather than letting my mind run the show. There is a great yogic saying “the mind makes a wonderful servant and a terrible master.” As we become aware of how our mind operates, which loops it gets stuck in, then we can consciously choose to direct it to serve our soul.
What are your goals for the next 6 months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Most of last 12 months were spent touring and teaching on the road. This is where I get to meet people face to face and share impactful experiences that can literally turn someone’s life on at the next level. It is very rewarding for me, however, all that travel has to be balanced by stillness!
Therefore the next 6 months is about cultivating quiet time and refining my practice and offerings. I have a couple of short tours lined up to India and Northern California, but for the most part, my focus is on refining my yoga teacher training curriculum, building a greater social media outreach, and offering a series of online programs.
I have a great team of people working to help me achieve this. We are currently running a free email program called “40 Days to Greater Awareness,” a 40-Day Meditation program and also a 14-Day Radiant Cleanse, all of which are online.
I am also recording daily videos to share with my online audience. The greater intention is to build community and share impactful teachings. We all do better when connected to others and working together to grow and evolve. It is thrilling to me to see a global community come together under the umbrella of Radiant Body Yoga with a collective mission to serve others through the practices of yoga.
What does it mean to you to truly #BEYOUROWN?
To “Be Your Own” means a few things to me. To know who you are beyond the masks you wear, and to have a healthy and functioning relationship to your deeper self, to your truth. To be in the habit oself-honestylf honesty.
To practice wholeheartedly ‘minding your own business’ – in other words, stay in your lane, do not worry about what others are doing, saying or thinking, but be present to yourself, honour your truth and practice being kind and compassionate at the level of mind, speech and action.
The Bhagavad Gita, a key yogic text offers the following advice: “Better to do your own dharma (life’s path/purpose) imperfectly than another’s perfectly” – when you are in a state of wholeness and internal connection you will have the courage to follow your own dharma, to “Be Your Own.”
Finally, what can we expect from you in 2018?
2018 will see me continue to serve the yoga population through classes, workshops, teaching at festivals, leading teacher trainings and retreats with my husband Tommy Rosen for those in recovery from addiction. I am also dedicated to reaching out to as many people as I can with the tools of transformation that yoga offers.
I am committed to helping people dig beneath the surface of their life, to uproot the weeds of self criticism, doubt and confusion, and to see them regain their vitality and connection so they can thrive and be all that they can be.
Twitter: @KiaMillerYoga | Instagram: @kiamilleryoga