Featuring Kaily Golba from the US

Monday, 24 August 2020

by Justine of Just Yoga

Twenty-eight year old Kaily Golba is a yoga instructor for Yogis In Service and a Program Assistant for a Community Based Organization in Buffalo city in the state of New York. Kaily completed her 250-hr Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in 2018 with Evolation Yoga in Buffalo. Her YTT experience was very educational, fun, and spiritually awakening. Since training, she feels like she has really grown as a teacher and has had many wonderful opportunities to share yoga and connect with others. She even travelled to Bali in Indonesia for a yoga retreat that was led by one of her YTT teachers. This experience was extremely healing and transformative for her and she is looking forward to the time when she can travel again and experience yoga practices in other countries. 

Kaily's first exposure to yoga was a Bikram Yoga class. She was invited by a friend who spoke highly of it and felt motivated to give it a try. She didn’t know what to expect and did not ask what to expect before hand because she wanted to go with an open mind. She was quickly awakened by what hot yoga was. Recalling the experience, she says it is without a doubt one of the most difficult things she had ever put herself through.
To my surprise it lit up a fire inside of me and I instantly became connected to yoga. I dedicated time to building a strong Bikram practice and then explored Vinyasa flow. I instantly fell in love with the breath work; movement of the flow; the empowering feeling of freedom and control; and the creativity that came with the practice of it.

Kaily continued to build a strong personal Vinyasa practice over the years while still taking Bikram, Yin, Power, and other style of yoga classes as well. After years of building her personal practice she decided to follow her calling and become a certified Vinyasa flow yoga instructor. She then started teaching at the William-Emslie YMCA located in Buffalo’s east side. This location was not offering yoga prior to her starting there so it was an opportunity for her to introduce yoga into the lives of so many different individuals in that area, for the first time. She instantly found a deep connection to her location and its community of members. 

In her earlier years of practicing in yoga studios she often found herself being the only black student in the room. This has changed in the last few years and she is grateful to have the opportunity to teach a diverse group of students; diverse in abilities, race and age. Kaily has found that many people do not feel accepted in what appears to be an exclusive yoga world because of their race, class, gender, or size. She is a strong advocate for creating yoga classes that are much more welcoming and accessible in her city to ANY BODY and EVERY BODY who may be interested in seeking out yoga knowledge and practice.
Finding yoga changed my life for the better and has led me to discover and radiate so much inner power.

In becoming a yoga teacher, Kaily wanted to share the same benefits that she had from her yoga practice, to help the adults and youth in her community to connect and find some inner peace and healing. She finds this is something that will benefit them tremendously. 
I teach from my heart and create a safe space for people to move completely free of judgment and to take time for themselves by doing something so healthy and beneficial both mentally and physically.
Kaily sees how her students are tapping into their inner selves through yoga and meditation and thinks it couldn’t be more beautiful. She has found her voice and created for herself a space as a young black yoga instructor in Buffalo city. She has found her yoga journey an experience of a lifetime and continues to grow and enhance her practice, taking her students along with her. Adapting to the pandemic, Kaily took some of her classes online and is currently trying to grow them to an even more diverse group of students around the world. Currently, she is teaching an outdoor yoga class and a free virtual class through Yogis in Service. Details are in her poster below. 

Yoga has absolutely had a significant and positive impact on my life, especially my health; both mentally and physically.
Yoga has helped Kaily cope with her anxiety and depression, as well improve her ability to focus and find peace in her mind. It also helped her with weight loss; building muscle; improving her flexibility as well as balance. She says building strength has helped her find confidence in herself. After having her son she struggled with severe pain and sensitivity in her wrists. Her background in yoga enabled her to apply wrist exercises to help ease the pain. She is always mindful of this weakness when practicing and makes the appropriate adjustments. It has reminded her to be patient with herself and remember where her body is at, after her pregnancy. She is enjoying the journey of restoring her body and yoga practice to where it was before her pregnancy.
I have found that sometimes the poses that are the hardest, most uncomfortable, or discouraging ones, are actually the ones that we need the most. I try to just remind myself of that and keep at it. 

Kaily used to struggle with inversions like Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand pose) or Pincha Mayurasana (forearm balance) due to the fear of falling. She felt vulnerable and a sense of not being in control, when she performed these asanas. She found that the more core and arm strengthening she did, the more solid she would begin to feel. She also made adjustments to build up to performing those asanas, for example; she would use the wall for support to become more comfortable and confident, then move away from the wall.
Dedicating time to my practice helped me find a deep self-acceptance and I found self-confidence that I did not have before. Yoga showed me that I was worth the effort and capable of things I never imagined.

Kaily believes yoga changed her life for the better and has truly become an outlet which has led her to discover and radiate so much confidence and peace within herself. She has continued to see the benefits in her life, especially, during the pandemic. When New York went into lockdown soon after Kaily gave birth in February this year; she was in postpartum; recovering from the C-section surgery; taking care of a new born baby boy and dealing with the state of the world.
It was a lot to take in this year. Things felt heavy and even when I could not yet physically practice yoga, I was able to turn to my breath and meditation when I needed a safe space for myself. 
Kaily Golba's final message to anyone keen on trying yoga is that yoga is for ANY BODY and EVERY BODY. Listen to your body and never force anything. Take the opportunity to explore within yourself and your practice. Let your breath lead the movements. She encourages you to look beyond the asanas as well. The physical practice of the asanas is just one component. Practicing breathing, meditation and asanas is an opportunity to have a personal shift in yourself by connecting your mind, body, and soul.

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