Khaleesi Gaither’s exudes that genuine confidence and grace that is sorely lacking in the yoga community these days. She is a seasoned yogi and has been practising yoga for a very long time which shows in her asanas.
How did you start your yoga journey Khaleesi?
I started yoga when I was teaching TRX at a yoga studio and had the opportunity to take free classes while I was not teaching. Initially I was just curious about what the instructors were teaching, since many of the students participated in both types of classes, but soon I craved yoga and learned to practice it for movement and meditation.
Did you ever have an inspirational figure in your life like a teacher/mentor that had a great impact on you as an individual?
My greatest teacher was @starflyyogi - she introduced me to essential oils, manipulation and jivamukti yoga. She, more than anyone, taught me to be mindful of the small movements within my practice and to pay attention to my breath and alignment.
Tell us about your yoga methodology and if you have preference for a certain genre?
As a primarily self-taught yogi I don’t believe in following one yoga method. Yoga for me is based on how I feel and what my body or my mind needs on any given day. I practice a mix of jivamukti, ashtanga and vinyasa. I also believe strongly in the use of props.
Yoga is a life-changing experience for so many people. How has yoga helped you overcome any obstacles in your daily life?
Yoga has helped give me the tools and the space to overcome a number of obstacles. Yoga helped me deal with my skin cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. It has also helped me recover from the vestiges of my past eating disorder.
I have always come across people telling me different emotions they experience on their mats. What is your mind set when you step onto the mat?
It depends on the day- sometimes I am on the mat to be kind to myself and to recover through movement. Sometimes I step on the mat as a meditative break to stop thinking about the daily to-dos and job requirements.
When did you understand you wanted to be a yoga teacher?
I was already a fitness instructor when I came to yoga, but I noticed how much more accessible yoga is. It’s not just about modifications, but the mental empowerment that makes it so different.
What is the most rewarding part of being a yoga teacher?
The most rewarding part of being a yoga teacher and fitness instructor is seeing the mental and physical changes in my students. There is nothing better than celebrating small and big breakthroughs and seeing the hard work and dedication pay off.
I always ask teachers as to why is yoga so important especially in the times we’re living in?
I think yoga is important today because we live in a world of such information overload. There are so many demands on our time. Yoga is the easiest and most accessible way to move, be healthy, and learn to practice mindfulness on and off the mat.
Is there a phrase that Sharon lives by or is there a particular quote or mantra that’s your compass?
“What if I fall? Oh but my darling what if you fly?”- Peter Pan
Please visit Khaleesi Gaither’s instagram for more inspiration on her work!