As the creator of Radiant Body Yoga, Kia Miller is a devoted yogini and teacher. She is certified in the Ashtanga / Vinyasa Flow tradition, as well as Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Radiant Body Yoga (RBY) is a potent combination of breathing, movement, stretching, meditation, chanting, and relaxation. It combines elements of Kundalini, Ashtanga, and Iyengar Yoga with the power of prayer and meditation. Kia will be teaching at the 2018 Hanuman Festival in Boulder, CO, in June.
How did you find yoga? What inspired you to dive deep into the practice and become a yoga teacher?
My first introduction to yoga was through reading Raquel Welch’s book on beauty when I was 15. There was a sequence of 26 yoga postures in the book that inspired me. I practiced on my own for a few years, then took my first yoga class at the Life Centre in South Kensington, London when I was 18. It was here that I was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga, which I instantly loved. I came into yoga quite disconnected from my body and very stiff. The sequence of postures with the breath helped me to start to breathe correctly and unwind years of tension and tightness.
I have been passionate about the practice since the very first day. It has been a huge path of healing for me. First getting comfortable in my body, then learning how to access my energy and move through emotional and mental blocks. Nowadays the asana practice serves as a way to keep my body healthy, and the breathwork and meditation keep my mind stable and focused. There was a moment that defines my passion for me, it was when a yoga teacher said to me, “When life gets in the way of yoga, make yoga your life.” I heard that, and it resonated so deeply that I committed to making yoga my life.
What yogic disciplines and sources inform your teaching style?
I feel like I was sleepwalking through the first quarter of my life. Once I discovered the deeper practices of yoga, like Kriya (specific sequences of movement, breath, and sound), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation, I got tuned into a new way of experiencing life. I started to feel the power and potential within me and experienced a huge increase in creativity and prosperity. This is the driving force behind my teaching.
I created Radiant Body Yoga as I saw that there is a need for a certain kind of practice that can serve the modern practitioner, most of whom have busy lives and many demands on their time and energy. The Radiant Body Yoga practice keeps your body strong and flexible, moves stuck-ness physically and emotionally, and enables you to calm and focus your mind. All in 30-90 minutes! The key to lasting transformation is to practice regularly; therefore, the practices are designed to meet you where you at depending on how much time you have and the level you want to practice.
The practice is based on Kundalini Yoga and infused with my love of the modern vinyasa approach. It consists of a thorough body warm-up through asana with breath, followed by a Kriya, a pranayama (breath technique), meditation, and relaxation. There are many different practices so whatever your body type, experience, or challenge you are facing, there is a practice for you.
How do you approach difficulty and challenge? What gives you strength to persevere or surrender?
My practice has allowed me to access a certain neutrality that I call upon when challenged. I do my best to stay centered and to not take whatever the situation is personally. My faith in the underlying intelligence of the universe, the guiding force within is where I draw strength from. I also tune into when I recognize I need to surrender and let go of whatever I may have been grasping for. As long as we keep our inner world in balance, our energy high, and mind centered, then we can surrender in the knowledge that we have done what it necessary. Surrender is a lot different than giving up. Surrender to me means I have done the necessary work, now I let go of the outcome.
What sources of inspiration/motivation/enthusiasm do you draw upon to fuel your personal practice and teaching?
I stay connected to my teachers. I take time out for myself. My practice is consistent and ever deepening.