A dynamic and positive force on and off the mat, Kara Sweney is a total inspiration in feeling the fear and doing it anyway. It was love at first sight when we met Kara and are incredibly grateful to her for inviting Ashram Yoga into Yoga Ground. Over 7 years she has kept this a beautiful and welcoming yoga space for so many. Here's to many more!
What steps do you take to include yoga in your daily routine and how do you stay inspired to do so?
As for many of us, a daily in-studio Yoga practice is pretty hard to maintain, though I'd love that. You would think it would be easier given I am a studio owner! I get a physical asana practice in when I can but luckily, as we know, Yoga is so much more than what happens with our bodies on the mat. I incorporate breathing techniques into my everyday life. I find supermarket queues are an awesome place to enjoy some mindfully soothing pranayama. I also mouth tape at night which I find enormously beneficial in encouraging slow nostril breathing. I am motivated to maintain consistent practices as they are a tonic for my anxiety which I can manage really well when I keep up my Yoga.
In what ways do you demonstrate that you care for, and appreciate others?
I have a really good gratitude practice. We finish all my classes with gratitude, for ourselves, our healthy bodies and minds, our fellow yogis and the space for holding us. Many times I day I recognise and note positives, in people, in moments big and small. I have always placed importance on this. I'm a massive empath, I'm a hugger, a note-leaver, a "just thinking of you" text sender. I like to do all the things.
Would you like to share a story about your teacher training?
I joined the Intermediate YTT course with Ashram Yoga with a big case of imposter syndrome. I was so nervous that I wasn't good enough, that I didn't know enough, that I "taught differently to the Ashram Way" and wouldn't be accepted. Talk about making up stories in my head! The training was a real wake up call around my habit of doing that. None of those things were true, I was totally welcomed in and accepted. Our differences in thinking and doing were embraced and explored. It was awesome. And a reminder that sometimes what is standing in our way is ourselves.
At What point in your life did you decide to teach yoga? I joined my first teacher training with no intention to teach at all; just a desire to go deeper into the practice. But the deeper I went, the more I wanted to share. I would lie in bed every night making up classes in my head. I taught my friends first, in their kitchens, empty classrooms, on tennis courts, wherever we could, to help me get experience and confidence. Then before I could reach out about teaching at a real studio I ended up buying one! My best friend tagged me in the for sale post on Facebook. I'd already quit my marketing agency job a month prior, with the view to creating a window for the universe to deliver me something that would serve me better and voila! I still had imposter syndrome kicking around, little green me, fresh out of Yoga school buying a studio!? But I felt the fear and did it anyway as they say. And here we are 7 years later, still here, passionately sharing the Yoga!