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Yogis know where to go for an intense and motivating practice – Kim McMurray’s GottaFlow Hot classes Monday and Tuesday evenings at GottaYoga University.  Kim is a fitness professional who fell in love with yoga in 2002 and never looked back.  Her students will tell you that her energy is contagious and that she teaches unique flows.  Read on to get to know more about Kim!

What was your first yoga class as a student like?  I was introduced to yoga in a fitness facility. Students went from an intense cardio class to yoga!  It was the perfect combination in my opinion, workout hard and stretch intense afterwards to bring it all home. It took some time for me to embrace the slowing down of my body, but soon I was in love with Yoga!

Describe what it was like to teach your first class:  My first yoga class was 13 years ago, around 12-14 students. I was nervous because this was out of my element. I was taking my voice down a few notches and hoping to sound calm and in control. I prepared a lesson kept it and referred to it if needed. The students knew I was new but were so welcoming and wanted me to succeed and feel accomplished. I knew all I could do was to be me! I have learned over the years that most students just want to connect with their body and their inner self. Let go and be who you are.

What posture do you enjoy the most/least?  Why? I love Downward Facing Dog. I feel grounded and in control when in this pose. It calms me. I am very much connected to the Dog! Crow has been my nemesis since day one. Still is and always an ongoing journey with that pose! Good days and well… you know.What posture(s) are you currently working on? Currently working on keeping myself up in forearm balance.

What advice would you give to new students? Let go of your ego on the mat. Don’t look around at other yogis. They are feeling the same way you do. Be yourself even if you are a beginner. We all start from the beginning. Yoga is a journey not a destination.

What is your life like off the mat?  I have been married for 32 years and still love my amazing husband. I have a  daughter, 28, almost finished with her PHD, and a son, 24, who loves to play guitar and compose electronic music. I love my yellow Lab and love to travel, hike, and work in my garden and yard.

Do you follow a specific diet or eating regimen? I have been more focused the past four years on Paleo.  It focuses on protein (lots of meat), lots of fresh vegetables, fruits. No processed foods, just real food. I cook almost everyday. The only way to be.

How has your practice changed since becoming a teacher?  My practice has changed and I think for most instructors it does. You look at the long term and see you are in this for the duration, I now teach a  more mindful practice. My first love is still power Vinyasa! I try to practice this once a week.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? Bringing yogis to their mat where they make that connection that finally sets them free from outside influences such as what is a real yogi! They are a real yogi! They walk out less stressed and have more clarity and more energy. They are taking the lessons they learn in class to their outside life.

What are you currently reading? The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz I have read it and continue to reference it. Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar  – I have read it and continue to reference it too.

Come and experience Kim in person Mondays at 6:45pm and Tuesdays at 5:30pm at our University studio.  You will leave feeling stronger, empowered, and with a smile on your face!