Earn Your Yogi Wings Today
SOAR with Tyler
Tyler Kuelbs is such a beautiful soul and we are so pleased to be able to share her story with our readers. She has overcome many obstacles and has blossomed into an incredible yoga teacher. Tyler is a proponent and teacher of the Y12SR yoga for those in recovery from alcohol and other addictions. You will be able to take one of her classes at the Cosmic Yogi Festival on June 2, 2018 at Addison Conference Centre. Check out the schedule to find her class.
DYM: Where are you originally from?
Tyler: I was born in Enid, Oklahoma. My father was in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot. When asked, I say I’m from San Antonio because that’s where I went to high school.
DYM: How do people react when you tell them you are a yoga instructor?
Tyler: What a great question! When I tell people I teach yoga, the typical response is, “Oh, that’s why you’re so skinny!” Which, by the way, bugs the shit out of me! Why is it OK to tell someone their skinny and not tell them they’re fat? Other responses include, “I tried yoga once, I’m just not flexible” or “Oh……(uncomfortable pause)…”that’s nice.” There are so many varied stigmas attached to yoga teachers!
DYM: Tell us a little about your background.
Tyler: I was a full-time Mom for 18 years. I also have a degree in Interior Design and a minor in Architectural Engineering from The University of North Texas.
DYM: You are not only beautiful, but intelligent too! (Smiling) How did you first get involved in yoga?
Tyler: My first yoga class was in rehab. I was being treated for alcohol addiction and yoga was part of our program. I knew immediately that yoga would be part of my recovery and therefore, part of the rest of my life. For the first time in my life, I felt like I could really breathe!
DYM: That’s so fascinating you had yoga classes there. In the 70s and 80s, yoga was used in many addiction rehab centers and they found it very successful to incorporate it with recovery. It’s incredible you were able to experience yoga at the beginning of your recovery. Is this when you started to get interested in becoming a teacher?
Tyler: Well, after leaving treatment, I enrolled in yoga teacher training. I wanted to learn as much as I could about yoga. I had not intended on teaching. I had a few girlfriends who were interested in trying yoga, so I began to teach in my backyard. (Smiling)
DYM: We all start somewhere! That’s what friends are for…they are our yoga guinea pigs when we first start. (Laughing) Tell us more about your training.
Tyler: I have a 200 RYT certificate and am a certified Y12SR instructor. I’m also currently enrolled in Yoga Therapy school and about 2/3 of my way through.
DYM: Do you have a preferred style of yoga?
Tyler: I enjoy several styles of yoga but the one I like teaching is a combination of Gentle/Hatha and Vinyasa. I’m very focused on breathing and alignment and sticking to the basics of traditional yoga. My passion is leading Y12SR classes. Founded by Nikki Meyers, Y12SR is a class combining the ancient wisdom of yoga and the practical tools of 12 step recovery.
DYM: We love the idea of the 12 steps of recovery weaved into a yoga program. What do your family and friends think about you teaching yoga?
Tyler: My girlfriends support everything I do!!! I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through my life without them! I would describe my family’s support as indifferent.
DYM: What could a beginner yoga student expect from your class?
Tyler: I love working with new students. It’s such an honor and a privilege to introduce someone to yoga! My classes are typically very beginner friendly and I encourage modification and doing only as much as is comfortable. I always make myself available after class for any questions or help I can offer.
DYM: What do you desire your students to “take away” from your yoga class?
Tyler: My only goal is for the student to feel better than when they arrived. (Smiling) Also, how to practice Ujjayi breathing.
DYM: Will you explain the Ujjayi breathing process?
Tyler: Ujjayi Pranayama is a technique that calms the mind and warms the body. When practicing you completely fill your lungs, while slightly contracting your throat, and breathe through your nose. It helps us to synchronize breath with movements during yoga, making the entire yoga practice more rhythmic.
DYM: Tell us more about the other benefits of the Ujjayi breathing.
Tyler: It increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, relieves tension, helps regulate blood pressure, builds energy and assists in detoxifying the mind and body.
11) I think teaching yoga is about understanding the history of yoga and it’s heath benefits (mental, emotional and spiritual) and having a passion for sharing that with others.
DYM: Have you experienced any hurdles in your personal practice?
Tyler: I’ve had several hurdles in my personal practice: quieting my mind, building up my upper body strength and being cautious with my hyper-flexibility.
DYM: What have been your biggest obstacle teaching yoga?
Tyler: As a teacher, my biggest hurdle has been self confidence! I think there is a big responsibly in teaching and I’m sometimes insecure about my knowledge and ability.
DYM: What changes have you seen in yourself since you started to practice yoga?
Tyler: Oh WOW!!! The changes are too many to list, but the biggest has been Peace! My mind, Body and Spirit are finally at peace: with themselves and with each other!
DYM: There’s always some humorous stories about yoga class. Do you have any you would like to share with us?
Tyler: There have been so many hilarious moments in my classes; I’m usually laughing at myself! But, one that I hold especially dear was during one of my Senior Chair Yoga classes in Hurst. We were practicing chair pose behind our chairs, using the backs for support, and one of my students commented that anyone walking by and seeing us would think we were all senile! Commenting, “if you all wanna sit down, there’s a perfectly fine chair right in front of you!” We all died laughing!
DYM: Do you use any Mantras in class or have a favorite you use?
Tyler: I don’t typically use mantras in class because I feel like they are very personal. My favorite is a simple “Om.”
DYM: Do you use any “extras” during you class or your personal practice?
Tyler: Like I said, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to yoga! I think there are situations and classes where using “extras” are appropriate. I don’t think it’s necessary to fix or improve something that doesn’t need it! I’m “straight-up yoga!”
DYM: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Tyler: Just one word to describe myself would be, Blessed! It is a miracle I have survived my crazy life! It is only by the Grace and Mercy of God that I’m alive and well.
DYM: If you were on the cover of Time magazine, what would it be for and why?
Tyler: If I got to be on the cover of Time magazine, the headline would read, “God is real! (I know because I’ve met Him.)”
DYM: What advice would you give to a new student after class?
Tyler: One thing I always tell new students after their first class is this, “If you feel the effects of your practice tomorrow, don’t think of yourself as being sore, think of yourself as beginning to “SOAR”! You earned your yogi-wings today!” Also,”there are no two yoga journeys alike! Make it your own and own it!”
DYM: Tell everyone where they can find you teaching.
Tyler: I’ve recently down-sized my class load so I can focus on my project for Y12SR and finish my Yoga Therapy training. I currently teach at 24 Hour Fitness at their Keller, Valley Ranch and Southlake locations. I hold two Y12SR meetings a week and private yoga classes for couples, individuals and small groups in my home studio. I also teach at Sante’ Center for Healing in Argyle.
DYM: Do you have anything else you would like to share?
Tyler: I’m truly grateful for the life I have today! Every breath is a gift, my two sons are my greatest joy, my friends mean the world to me and I give all the glory of my life to God!
You can reach Tyler Kuelbs by email: firstname.lastname@example.org