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Sky TingHave you ever had the experience in a yoga class, when an instructor offers an insight or tip that really rings true? And sometimes, the small adjustment you make in response (whether physical, mental, or spiritual) can transform how you practice each time you roll your mat out afterward.

With that in mind—and in honor of National Yoga Month!—we asked five superstar New York City yoga instructors from the city’s top studios to share a piece of advice that resonated with them in a profound way and helped them progress as both students and teachers. (Hint: None said it was “N’amastay in bed.”)

Click through for some serious yogic inspiration for September and beyond. —Jamie McKillop

(Photo: Vanessa Granda for Sky Ting Yoga)

 

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Kay_Kay_Clivio_3Kay Kay Clivio
Senior teacher and head of teacher training, Pure Yoga

“The best piece of yoga advice ever passed on to me was from one of my deepest teachers, Ana Forrest. She taught me to use the breath as medicine. That we are all healers and to connect that source of intuition inside when you are working with yourself on your mat. To be fascinated with yourself and the sensations that arise as you move through your body. To practice from a place of authenticity and use breath and the practice to connect with and ignite the spirit.”

(Photo: Pure Yoga)

 

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Ossi RavehOssi Raveh
Founder, Brooklyn Yoga Project

“The more students practice, the more they open up, and as we move through our asana and our bodies become stronger and more flexible, so do our head and heart. With that strength and flexibility our lives change and yoga is a door that opens our lives up to infinite possibilities. The advice that came along with this knowledge was realizing that our words and guidance will move with people beyond their mat, and so our awareness and support of those we guide and ourselves needs to go beyond the mat, too.”

(Photo: Brooklyn Yoga Project)

 

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Bethany LyonsBethany Lyons
Founder, Lyons Den Power Yoga

“From Baron Baptiste, ‘Practice. You cannot give students what you do not have.’

(Photo: Lyons Den Power Yoga)

 

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Krissy Jones, Yoga teacherKrissy Jones
Co-founder, Sky Ting Yoga

“My favorite piece of advice is from my teacher, Nevine Michaan [of Katonah Yoga]. She always reminds us that feelings can lie, so we should rely on measurements instead. You can feel like a shelf is straight when you’re hanging it on the wall, but then check it by using a leveling tool. Same thing for yoga. You can feel like your arms are at a 90-degree angle in plank pose, but when you measure it by placing a placing a block behind your wrist and you’re not actually at 90, then trust the measurement, not your personal way of doing the pose.

Emotions get in the way of seeing clearly often times (in life, and on the mat). Measure is reliable and will give you consistent results. It’s unusual to think of yogis as champions of mathematics and precision, but that’s sort of what it is. We are working to get rid of the wishy-washiness in yoga. We want to be clear, consistent, and hold up over time.”

(Photo: Krissy Jones Yoga)

 

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IMG_5765Kristin McGee
Celebrity yoga instructor

Yoga is not one size fits all. I have to take the time to be present enough to meet each and every one of my students where they are.”

(Photo: Kristin McGee)

 

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