An Interview with Kateřina Hilerova

enthusiastist, stubborn, loving

Where are you from?

Prague and I’ve lived here my whole life.

How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

I used to go through an old book from André Van Laysbeth, that my parents had at home. Then when I was into doing and teaching aerobics, spinning, zumba, and dance from the age of 18 yoga crossed my path several times, but it felt too slow and boring for my wild lifestyle at that time. A little after that experience, I met some teachers who were teaching Power yoga and something called “Hard yoga therapy” and it suddenly got more interesting. At the age of 24 I decided to sign up for a teacher training that would train me to teach every style of fitness except yoga and met my current teacher there. He was an Ashtangi. He was a very wise and strong person. Then I realized, that I can not teach what I do not know. I didn’t finish the teacher training, but I signed for his beginner class. One class a week very soon became two, three,…and then I was practicing two, three times a day. Just like that, I was hooked. I tried many styles and enjoyed them, but from the moment 5 years in my yoga journey when I went to my first yoga retreat with Kino and Tim I started to practice ashtanga 6 times a week, and all the development (physical, but also mental) accelerated so intensively, that I more or less stayed with that 🙂

How has yoga affected your daily life?

It creates a very healthy routine, it creates space in my body, and especially in my mind. It’s my anchor in uncertain times. It’s here for me when I feel happy, but also when I feel sad. It’s there to help me go through anything going on in my life. It’s a path to freedom and never-ending source of learning.

Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what are the qualities of a good teacher?

I was already teaching all the fitness styles from the age of 18, and when I was practicing almost daily for four years I felt like I needed to give the gift of yoga to people around me. But I was not sure if I was ready. But I did the teacher’s training anyway (a second one :-D). Then we were supposed to try many styles and teachers all around the city, and I realized, that many teachers just do their practice and don’t even look at their students during the class. I decided, that I can do at least a little bit better than that and started to teach.
I believe we should always stay humble as teachers – realize, that we will never know everything, but try to study as much as we can. We need to stay students and explore outside of the “yoga box”. We need to listen to our students – ask why they came to yoga practice, and what they need to feel welcomed and supported.

What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

I had several injuries, but at the end of the day, they always helped me get a deeper understanding of my body, and the practice itself. When I met Kino, that was definitely a milestone 😀 She lit a fire in me, that keeps burning. All the amazing retreats and teacher training I was lucky enough to be part of – with Deepika and Mark, David Swenson, David and Jelena, Gregor Maehle, and many many other amazing teachers – all that always made an impact on my practice and how I approach it.

What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

When I first met my Czech yoga teacher – I saw his blue eyes with deep wisdom in them and I knew something changed.

Why do you practice?

It helps me to go deeper into this human experience.

What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

People try to find out how to “do things right”. Maybe there is another “right” for different people, in different situations…

Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

Mirror of yoga, Mahabharata, Sadhana for mothers, One simple thing, Pranayama and Meditation books from Gregor Maehle, Autobiography of a yogi, Books about Krisnamacaria, Yoga sutras …

Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

The inspiration to practice every day – but with deep understanding, that every day we feel different, and it’s just fine.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

Find what makes you happy about it and stick with that 🙂

Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

New course for OmStars and the baby in my belly :))))

What’s your Favorite Book?

All books by David Mitchie and Laurant Gounelle

What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

That’s different every time…but I never say no to vegan sushi.

What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

Also depends on the mood – I like to make baked veggies and red lentils.

What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

horse riding, swimming, traveling, spending time with open-minded people, do silly things with my husband, enjoy time with my dog, reading

Who is your greatest inspiration?

Kino and Deepika 🙂

Do you have a favorite podcast?

Ashtanga dispatch

If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

an I take my friends: 😀 Good book – a loooong one, knife, blanket

When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

an actress

What’s your favorite movie?

Forrest Gump

What’s your favorite TV series?

The Big Bang Theory

Do you have a favorite band/singer?

There are many of them

Favorite song to dance to?

Also many of them depend on my mood – maybe something from JLo, or Natacha Atlas

What is your life’s biggest question?

This too shall pass

By Kateřina Hilerova

My yoga journey started almost 10 years ago when I met my teacher at yoga teacher training. At that time I was teaching aerobics, Zumba, kickbox aerobics, and spinning so I thought I could also teach yoga. Fortunately, as soon as I started, I realized, that I can’t teach what I don’t know. So I signed up for a beginner’s yoga course and soon from yoga one day a week became yoga every day. Somewhere along my journey, I met Acro yoga and my husband. We found out, that we love to do it together and also share it. Yoga is definitely a discipline that changed my life and Acro yoga was there for us when we need some good glue for our relationship with my man. I hope to inspire as many people as possible to start to practice and return to it every single day ( even if it is for 5 minutes) – it’s so worth it!