Aaron Kron

Based in Placencia, in sunny Belize, Aaron Krohn is one of the popular teachers on the Global Collective You online yoga platform

What’s the one thing OM readers need to know about you?

I had never planned to teach yoga when I  started practicing, but at some point that  idea began to sprout in my mind and take  root. Toward the end of 2015 I decided to  sign up for an Ashtanga teacher training with  Tim Miller. Three days before that training  was scheduled to start I was riding my  bicycle back to work, lost balance and took  a pretty serious tumble. I heard a loud crack  as I hit the pavement, felt rushing fluids  going to my lower right leg, and the first  thing I thought was “hmmmm…I wonder if  this will be okay in the next couple days..” I  spent three months in a full leg cast, and the  number months or so after the cast came off  regaining strength and mobility in that leg. It  was a very challenging and humbling time.  I was, however, determined not to abandon  my Sadhana, and I maintained an upper body  based and seated asana practice, and also  began to explore meditation. Later that year  I attended my first yoga workshops, both  with powerful Ashtanga women, namely  Alexandra Santos and Chandana Bhowmick.  2017 was my yoga year! Not willing to give  up on my teacher training with Tim Miller, I  signed up for the exact same course again.  This time I managed to avoid breaking any  bones and got a solid dose of Timji’s tough  love! Immediately on the heels of that trip I  began a two month 200 hour YTT with Agnes  Balawejder Busch in Placencia, Belize. And  in the midst of that training I flew to Dallas  for a weekend workshop with the one and  only Mark Robberds. I did not realise then  the profound influence he would have on  the way I now approach asana practice.  Later that same year I hosted Jani Jaatinen  (Gokulacandra Das) for a weekend of  workshops, and I also met for the first time  Yogi Charu. Yogi Charu has been my guru  since that time, and I have learned almost  everything I know about kriyas, meditation  and subtle practices through him

What first inspired you to get into yoga?

It was a persistently cranky lower back  which set me up on my first date with yoga.  I vividly remember arriving at the home of  a Belgian woman, completely unprepared  for what awaited me. My first experience  with yoga came in the form of the primary  series of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. It kicked  my ass. I was sore in places I did not know  it was possible to be sore. And I loved it,  not only for the physicality of it (at the age  of 23 I thought yoga was only for girls), but  also for the deep sense of calm that comes  with performing ujjayi pranayama for an  hour and a half while moving from one  posture to the next.

How would you describe your teaching style?

The way I teach these days is to meet people  where they’re at. In classes with people  of various levels I offer modifications that  either increase challenge or make postures  more accessible. My style tends to be  slower, more traditional Hatha, though my  Ashtanga roots are pretty plain in some  of my sequencing. Rather than speed  through postures I focus on alignment and  breath. I also make time for pranayama and  meditation toward the end of class.

How have you navigated the challenges of the last year?

2020 was the year of subtle practice. I  had the good fortune of doing multiple  meditation teacher trainings with my  teacher, Yogi Charu, and more importantly,  to make meditation a part of my everyday  life and practice. Lockdown presented its  challenges, but consistent practice and the  ability to maintain a strong connection to  nature helped immensely.

What does yoga mean to you personally?

Here at the start of 2021 I would be  misleading anyone who has read this far  if I said that yoga has magically made  all of my physical, mental and spiritual  maladies vanish. It has not. However, it  has been one of the greatest supports, or  alambana, during challenging times, and has been a crucial part of a slow process  of introspection and removal of aspects  of myself that prevent me being the best  version of me possible. Today my practice is  more about consistency and sustainability  rather than chasing new asanas. Not that  I don’t push, but I am very practical about  my goals. I meditate in the early morning,  practice asana after spending a little time  with my son, then head off for my day job  at a nearby hotel. Several times a week I  have the good fortune to teach via the now  ubiquitous Zoom, primarily right here on the  GCY. I do plan to step up my online presence  (and lose my social media shyness!) and  share what I know with a wider audience in  the coming year.

Any good life hacks for the rest of us?

Here’s some advice for yoga practitioners  looking for depth and longevity in  their practice:
1. Learn about your body — YOUR body.  Adapt your practice accordingly. (Sidenote:  functional range conditioning and building  up your active range of motion will make  your asana practice much more enjoyable  and injury free.)
2. Move beyond asana and make friends  with your breath. At some point I would  recommend to anyone who is on this yoga  path to explore the world beyond physical  practice. Avoid teachers that say ‘my way  is the only correct way!’ and find a teacher  you really connect with and that you can  respect not only as a teacher but as a  human being. Books are nice, but a sincere  and knowledgeable teacher is an invaluable  treasure.
3. Connect with nature. Go for a hike, go for  a swim, look at the stars on a dark night,  go kayaking, go for a walk, do whatever  is available to you to remind you of the  wonder that is nature. Allow yourself to be  awestruck by her beauty.
4. Strengthen your feet. Try this: in Warrior  I press down your big toe mound while  simultaneously lifting your inner arches.  You’ll know if you’re doing this right if the  inner part of your upper leg/quad (vastus  medialis) starts to work a little harder.

Find Aaron Krohn on the Global Yoga Collective You at: theglobalcollectiveyou.com @globalcollectiveyou

Quick Q & A

Favourite yoga book?

Cosmos, by Carl Sagan (not technically a yoga or spiritual book, but it inspires such wonder in me that I count it among their number).

Favourite yoga quote?

We acquire asanas as we go through life, and one day we have to give them back. Remember that the process is more important than the visible end result.

Go-to health food?

Cacao, either as nibs or dark chocolate. Can’t get enough of the stuff!

If you had to take a yoga class, as a student, with any teacher ever, from any time or place, , who would it be with and why?

I would have to go with Krishnamacharya. I would be intrigued to see how the man who has arguably had the greatest influence on yoga in the West actually went about transmitting that knowledge.

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.