Annie Kiel

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Teaching since: 2013

Styles that inform and inspire my teaching: Ashtanga, Trauma-informed, and Yin

Why I teach yoga: Yoga had a profound impact on me during a particularly hard time of my life, which is what inspired me to teach. My personal experience inspired me to marry yoga and public health by co-founding Firefly Yoga International, a nonprofit that uses yoga as a complementary public health intervention for survivors of trauma. Through Firefly, I train yoga teachers on the principles and practice of teaching trauma-informed yoga.

Why I practice: I first practiced yoga during college and grad school, but became a dedicated practitioner in 2011. I was drawn to the physical and mental challenges of ashtanga yoga and found it to be the most grounding and empowering body-based practice I had ever experienced. I continue to practice because yoga keeps me in touch with myself and helps me to be a more aware, authentic, and compassionate person.

What to expect from classes with me: I take yoga class sequencing pretty seriously and spend much time and energy planning in order to offer creative and intentional sequences. I aim to teach progressively to ensure students have variations to choose from, stopping at the place that feels most safe and accessible for their body. Every posture has a purpose related to a theme or as preparation for a peak pose (arm balance, inversion, bind, transition, etc.). I incorporate trauma-informed language into classes and 99% of the time I teach without music. I work to cultivate community and encourage students to connect in class. It's not uncommon for folks to laugh together or offer encouragement during practice. There's a reason we come to the studio rather than practicing at home alone - COMMUNITY!

When I’m not teaching yoga, you can find me: After almost a decade in Boston, I moved back to Minnesota to be near my two big sisters and my soulmate friends. I have a strong passion for travel and try to embark on at least one international trip per year. In addition to teaching, I am the Executive Director of Firefly Yoga International and work full-time in public health. So when I'm not teaching, I am likely balancing some form of work with some form of FUN. My interests include: seeing live music (as of 2019 I am a First Ave member!), working out at the gym, gathering at book club, exploring Minnesota breweries, hiking/camping, kayaking, and cross country skiing.

Annie Teaches on:

  • Wednesdays 6pm Align and Flow Plus

  • Thursdays 4:30pm Align and Flow

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