We talked with Caroline Klebl in February, 2020.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
I started practicing yoga when I was 18. Within three years, I traveled to Mysore, India to learn from ashtanga yoga guru Sri K Pattabhi Jois, whom I continued to train with for nine years.
I’ve been teaching yoga for over 20 years and teach yoga workshops, retreats, and teacher training courses in Los Angeles and around the world. Over 500 students have graduated from my yoga teacher training courses.
I wrote the book, Ashtanga Yoga, Primary and Intermediate Series and Produced Yoga by Caroline Klebl, an instructional yoga DVD.
Photographs of my yoga poses have appeared in two yoga calendars, on the cover and in magazines around the world.
My articles are regularly featured in yoga magazines.
I’m currently based in Los Angeles where I teach annual yoga teacher training programs.
In 2020, I will be teaching courses in Los Angeles, Berlin, Switzerland, North Carolina, and Portugal.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
Ashtanga yoga is to be practiced 5 or 6 days a week. Traditional rest days are Saturdays, the full moon and new moon days and for ladies the first three days of menstruation.
It is important to practice yoga on an empty stomach, since many yoga poses compress, stretch and twist the abdomen.
Early morning, as the sun rises is considered to be the most peaceful and spiritual time of day to practice yoga.
Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a dynamic style of yoga practice, which emphasizes deep breathing and fluid movements which connect one posture to the next.
Ashtanga yoga consists of 6 progressively deeper and more challenging sequences of yoga postures. Each sequence includes 60 to 70 yoga poses. Each posture is held for five to ten deep breaths. The practice of ashtanga yoga takes between one and a half and two or more hours.
I practice ashtanga yoga in the mornings for one and a half to two hours and occasionally practice restorative asanas in the afternoons for an hour or two.
Restorative yoga poses can be held for up to one or two minutes and relax the body deeply.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
It is important to maintain a regular yoga practice, by setting time aside for yoga practice and turning off your phone and eliminating other distractions until your yoga practice is complete.
The body maintains and builds upon strength and flexibility from one day to the next.
It is important to prioritize your yoga practice since yoga practice provides you with clarity of mind for the remainder of the day.
Practicing yoga improves your ability to attain to all of life’s goals and accomplishments. As Pattabhi Jois is oftentimes quoted: “Practice, practice(yoga) and all is coming.”
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
This year, I am teaching ashtanga intensives, yoga teacher training courses and retreats in Los Angeles, Berlin, Switzerland, North Carolina, and Portugal.
I schedule my training programs 6 to 12 months in advance and I’m currently looking into scheduling courses for 2021.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
One of my favorite deep relaxation practices is yoga nidra or yogic sleep since it induces a very deep transcendent state of relaxation. Yoga nidra includes scanning the entire body and deeply relaxing each body part, one at a time.
When practicing yoga, it is important to be gentle with your body. Each posture needs to be practiced hundreds of times for it to be mastered. It is important to stretch gentle into yoga poses.
I recommend not consuming caffeine. Caffeine can make you overexert when your body is tired. It is important to rest when you’re tired and return to your yoga practice, with healthy energy.
When the body becomes sore from practicing yoga, it is important to rest and then continue with your yoga practice within a day or two. As muscles stretch and strengthen there can be mild discomfort, but practicing again the next day oftentimes alleviates any discomfort.
If you find that you are very sore, you may need to exert less pressure on yoga poses. Yoga postures are very deep stretches that move energy in the body and mind, to attain to spiritual realization.
Breathing deeply and stretching gentle into yoga poses consistently is the method by which yoga poses are mastered.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I maintain a lacto-vegetarian diet. According to yoga philosophy, a vegetarian diet is considered to be sattvic or pure. It is said to improve your health, purify consciousness and eliminate unethical thinking.
I maintain a vegetarian diet that includes dairy. I consume 3 to 4 servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese each day as well as grains and beans, especially soy. Milk products are high in protein and calcium, which strengthens your muscles and bones.
To increase the weight I eat nuts, such as almonds, walnuts or pecans. Additionally, I eat fruits and vegetables and take a food-based multivitamin.
Instead of lotion, I use sesame oil. Sesame oil improves flexibility and lubricates the joints. For purification, I take Triphala, an ancient Indian herbal formula that purifies the body and reduces all types of ailments.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I’m inspired by yoga gurus such as Sri K Pattbhi Jois and BKS Iyengar, who practiced hundreds of yoga poses and spread the teachings of yoga successfully around the world.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
To develop a deep and meaningful yoga practice, it is important to learn from an accomplished practitioner and experienced teacher and practice regularly for years.
You can begin to see results in your yoga practice within a couple of months if you practice four to six days a week. This progress will continue as long as you practice four to six days a week.
If you only practice yoga once a week, you may not experience very much progress. In the Yoga Sutras, an ancient text on yoga it is advised that to improve your yoga practice it is important to practice correctly over an extended, uninterrupted period of time.
Additionally, the Yoga Sutras emphasize that yoga practice can be mild, medium or extreme and the intensity of practice leads to results of equal strength.
My yoga practice has consistently been for one and a half to two hours a day, five to six days a week for over 22 years.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Everyone new to yoga, all levels of yoga practitioners, aspiring yoga teachers, and yoga teachers are welcome to attend my workshops, retreats, and yoga teacher training programs.
This year, I’m teaching residential programs, which include meals and accommodation in North Carolina and Portugal. These yoga training retreats can be attended by yoga enthusiasts from across the country and around the world.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My website sourceofyoga.com includes additional information about yoga, articles and my upcoming teaching schedule.