We’re pretty sure you know Briohny Smyth. Even though you might not know know her, you must have seen her yoga prowess displayed in the awe-inspiring yet controversial Equinox video. Our jaw drops each time we see her virtuosity – and even though we’d rather just sit and watch her do the poses, this Cirque du Soleil hopeful will help you step up your game.
Check out our Q&A with Bri, the inversion guru:
What makes your style of teaching unique?
What I teach is my interpretation of the universal practice of yoga and hopefully someone is inspired by it. My classes are unique because they are taught through my voice and point of view, which is unique. Although strenuous and athletic, I encourage my students to make choices that work for them so they can recognize their own uniqueness, as well as a stronger connection of body, breath and mind.
What do you hope your students leave your class feeling?
My practice has always been a kind of sacred time where I can let go of my usual chaotic mind and simply be present. I hope that my students can feel that same sacredness, and have fun too.
Who are your major influences?
Because I trained with Annie Carpenter and Lisa Walford, I am strongly influenced by their attention to alignment and their understanding of how the human form works with yoga. More recently, I’ve been able to discover and shape my voice with the help of my husband, Dice Iida-Klein [also a yoga teacher]. He continuously inspires me to learn and experiment with new ways to teach and practice.
Where do you find inspiration? What would you like to share with our readers for their inspiration?
My daughter inspires me the most – she reminds me to enjoy the simple things in life. As a teacher, my inspiration comes from the constant drive to learn. It doesn’t matter what level of practitioner you are – there is always an opportunity to learn more. Dice and I love taking other teacher’s classes and when we travel we always try to take a few classes or join a workshop. There are times when we come across situations where we may experience jealousy or the competitive aspect of the human condition, and these experiences serve as a constant reminder of how important it is for all of us to support one another and learn from each other. We are all part of this amazing yogic journey, so practice YOUR yoga and try to stay as present as possible through the journey. Remember that you are exactly where you need to be and like Guruji said, “Practice and all is coming.”