When did yoga enter your life?
Around 1994 reading a book by Deepak Chopra “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind” – He mentioned Yoga often as a healthy solution. My mom was losing her battle with cancer and I was seeking tools to help me cope with stress and keep me healthy. Prior to the I worked in the entertainment industry (music, radio, tv, film, – Emmy award winner)
When did you decide to teach?
I took Teacher Training in 1995 (Center For Yoga in Los Angeles, now a part of Yoga works) to gain an intensive understanding for myself. To get certified I need to practice with students. My students didn’t let me stop. When I ran in to my old friend, Russell Simmons, he hired me for a private and I become Yoga instructor to the stars.
Why do you teach the kind of yoga that you teach?
Yoga Flava is the brand name that I work under because the Yoga classes that I went to in the 90’s felt very bland – I added contemporary music and my entertainment sensibility “flava” and love inspiring people of color to practice Yoga.
What do you love most about teaching yoga?
Helping people to relax deeply. A lot of people have forgotten how to relax.
What does your personal practice look like? Who were/are your yoga inspirations?
Judith Lasiter – Restorative Yoga Flava
Jivamukti – Their passion for the spiritual connection
Krishna Khar – Her afrocentric interpretation of Kundalini Yoga
Do you think the face of yoga has become more inclusive?
Is yoga physical for you? Or spiritual? Or both?
Both – My first love is the spiritual and love to balance the physical.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to someone just starting yoga?
Pace yourself and enjoy the journey.
Do you think there is something political about yoga?
Yes, in certain circles.
Do you follow the 8-fold path of yoga?
Yes, sometimes more intensely than other times.
Robin Downes is certified Hatha Yoga instructor since 1996. She is also an Emmy(R) Award winner for “Outstanding Individual Achievement in News and Documentary” for ABC News magazine show 20/20 (1981). Her roots include East Indian, West Indian and Eurasian by way of the Boogie Down Bronx, New York. Because of her diverse background, Robin is sensitive to our multicultural society. Growing up in the Boogie Down allowed her to be an active participant in the Hip-Hop Generation. Robin’s professional journey from the media arts to the healing arts makes her the perfect guide into today’s rapidly expanding Yoga community.