Karolina Erdmann, a beautiful, perfectly built blonde. She impresses not only with her beauty, but also with her passion and her disposition. She smiles radiantly throughout our conversation. It is even infectious with its joy. She says of herself that she is a volcano of energy and optimism. Many years ago, she gave up her boring corporate job and opened her dream yoga studio, Yoga Beat Studio. He tells us about his school and what it’s like to practice away from home. Enjoy ballet on the mat with Karolina Erdmann.
Used to be: a corporate employee, sitting 12 hours at a desk. Today: owner of Yoga Beat Studio school. How did it happen that you started practicing yoga?
I worked in a corporation for 10 years. In my free time I moved a lot, danced. In the meantime, I started watching Tara Stiles on YouTube, which fascinated me. Thanks to Tara, I fell in love with yoga. I realized that everyone can express their true self through yoga. Some prefer calm movements, in silence – others dynamic, to loud crazy music. I liked the fact that I can be myself, that I don’t have to follow any rules – I just do what I feel, what my body needs at the moment. So I left my husband in Poland, quit my job and moved to the States. When I met Tara in person – I fell in love with her and her philosophy, that in yoga one can find freedom in movement. I found. I have a lot of energy in me, and at Strala Yoga it turned out to be worth tapping into that energy, because it’s not only calming, but also an expression of energy based on yoga. I decided that the corporation was not for me and it was time to take care of what made me happy – so I started teaching yoga. The combination of fitness, dance, music and yoga is a mix that I fell in love with from the first workout and that I hope to infect as many people as possible.
What do you think is the essence of yoga?
Yoga was initially just a new sports adventure for me, but over time it turned my whole life around 180 degrees and became a way of life. Yoga makes us feel light, crisp and radiant. Personally, I see a huge difference in my appearance. Besides, all yoga positions massage our internal organs, yoga is also injury-free, it doesn’t put stress on the joints, although we do really demanding positions, but without lifting weights – the only weight is ourselves. So it’s not such a burnout of the body, we don’t finish it off and we don’t use our reserves. We cooperate with him, we do what we feel and what we feel like.
What does yoga give to modern man? Is there a remedy for our daily woes?
Yoga is magical. Through exercise we massage the internal organs, relax every last muscle, through head-down positions we perfectly oxygenate it, which makes the complexion radiant. I have met with many people in the classes and they all react similarly. Everyone has their own problems, their own stresses and responsibilities, but few people find moments just for themselves and their bodies. The classes are attended by all sorts of people – young girls, important businessmen, mothers with their daughters – everyone has a similar expression on their face after the class, expressing blissful peace and happiness. I can’t explain what it’s all about, and I don’t know how I managed to do it – maybe it’s because I’m real from start to finish and don’t pretend anything. I wouldn’t share with others something I don’t feel myself – and I feel the magic of yoga very strongly. We enter the room, lay out the mats and all problems disappear immediately. I try to make music of the highest level, to arouse strong emotions and induce chills to forget about the whole world around us at least for a moment. Just me and my body. The combination of yoga and beautiful music has a truly healing effect on everyone – without exception.
You are a popularizer of Strala Yoga, which you learned from Tara Stiles herself. What distinguishes this technique?
The Yoga Beat method is based on the Strala Yoga method. Specifically, it means combining classical yoga postures with elements of dance and fitness. The whole thing is framed by very good music. To better illustrate, I would say that it is a bit like that… ballet on the mat.
I didn’t want to limit myself to the traditional varieties of yoga, because for me yoga is a set of postures that are a form of expression and for our well-being. The beautiful thing about yoga is that we can draw on the tradition of yoga, so we can experiment with our bodies and constantly evolve. This is precisely the philosophy I follow. I am energetic, curious about the world and looking for novelty, so I build on the tradition of yoga, but give it in its own form… and there are many people who think alike and want to try new forms of activity. I know it’s not traditional yoga, but there are already a lot of schools using Indian traditions, I decided to give yoga a new form and popularize it among people who don’t know it, maybe some of them will go further towards the classical schools, but I hope they will also come back to Yoga Beat.
Do you have proven ways to practice yoga outside the home? What activities are yogic for you?
It is very often the case that an excess of responsibilities overwhelms me. Again, I’m running somewhere, calling out, rushing through Warsaw, squeezing through the crowds, stressed out, adding more items to my list of duties, and suddenly one of the songs from my training comes on in my headphones. Immediately my body reacts in a magical way – a huge smile appears on my face, my muscles relax, and I feel warmth and peace in my heart. Problems disappear.
Your school is located in the Koszyki Hall. How is Yoga Beat Studio different from other schools?
Yoga Beat Studio is a modern approach to classic yoga but not only – it is a place where you will find innovative forms of training from different corners of the fitness world. Located in Hala Koszyki, a unique place, previously unheard of in Poland, Yoga Beat Studio is also like that – surprising with new forms of training, inspired by New York fitness clubs. The place where the Studio was established is sensational. The atmosphere in Hala Koszyki is very cozy. Downstairs there are plenty of great pubs, people sitting at tables, laughing, talking, others sitting on the ground in a circle and serving themselves chilled wine. This is all happening on the second floor. If you go to our place you will see what I am talking about. You run up with your mat under your arm, squeeze through the groups of people and the various smells that tempt you, and reach the stairs that take you to the second floor – the floor of our yoga. Here it is looser. People sit at tables, some talking quietly, others writing something down on a laptop, others sitting with tea and a book. Behind them is our Studio. It’s a really cool place. After class, it is very common for our clients to leave the mat and run to eat something delicious. This place is very positive, every day I run into the Hall with a smile – I wish this for everyone!
How to start the adventure with yoga?
Right away and at full heat. Sign up, jump on the mat and laugh as much as possible. Even do the Strong program, as much as our muscles and condition will allow, because everyone is able to do it. This is the advantage of this method. Certainly in the beginning we may have trouble balancing on one leg, because we are not used to balancing. But in time, we will start to get away with that, too. One thing is certain – after the first meeting with Yoga Beat, everyone leaves in love and hungry for new workouts.