Q: Hi there! Tell me a bit about yourself.
Hi! Well, I always tend to start with where I’m from. I’ve lived in NYC for 8 years now but I’m originally from Sweden. I’m a mix of a city person and a country person! I love living in NYC and I also love the stillness of nature. I have a background as a dance teacher and teaching has always been my passion. Will I get through this interview without mentioning cats? Probably not, haha! I’m a huge animal lover and a proud cat mom. My cat’s name is Leia since my husband and I are Star Wars fans.
Q: Yes, I love all your cat photos on Instagram! Haha. What brings you life and what do you feel called to do through yoga and wellness?
Connecting with people! I think that’s why I love being a teacher. A few weeks ago we started our Bread & Yoga After School classes that are taking place outdoors. Teaching kids in the park has really brought me life and joy!
I feel called to support others to connect, for example an important part of my pre/postnatal class is supporting pregnant people and new parents to build connections. And then of course the connection with ourselves, if I can support someone becoming more aware of themselves and more compassionate towards themselves, then that’s beautiful!
Q: That’s so lovely. How did you come to yoga, and by extension, Bread and Yoga?
I came to yoga mostly from a dancer’s point of view. After practicing on and off for a couple of years I started to notice how the practice could be more than a physical practice. I decided to take my first Teacher Training in 2013 and after continuing my studies in 2015 I was eager to teach. I remember so well walking through the doors to the Inwood studio hoping someone was there. I had my resume in hand and there was Meghan greeting me warmly and told me that they would audition new teachers in a few weeks. I felt at home straight away and Bread and Yoga became my yoga home. It’s where I truly grew as a teacher and made beautiful connections!
Q: How has yoga impacted you both physically and mentally, especially during this time?
The practice has helped my body stay strong and healthy and I have a greater awareness in my body. But most of the impact has been on my mental health. It comes back to awareness again, being aware of how I respond to certain situations and understanding myself and my mental habits. I’ve always been prone to anxiety and there’s many aspects of yoga that can be a great tool for handling anxiety, like mindfulness, breathing practices and using restorative yoga to activate our parasympathetic nervous system – the rest and digest system. I’m very grateful for this practice.
Q: You’re hosting a workshop this month! Why do you feel this work is important right now and what do you hope students will take away from it?
Yes, I’m so excited! It’s a series of 4 classes, one each week. I’m calling it Earth, Air, Fire, Water – A Movement Exploration. And the idea came from my love of nature and the joy I feel when I move my body. Each class will be inspired by one element meaning the classes will be pretty different from each other. It’s always important, but especially right now to listen to what our needs are. Learning different ways to move and practicing can encourage us to really tune in to what will be the most beneficial practice for us. And I also want us to celebrate ourselves and our bodies, to find joy in moving!
With still being in the midst of the pandemic and moving towards the darker months caring for ourselves is key to stay grounded. I hope the students will take away inspiration to continue practice in a way that feels in tune with what they need. Both when they step on the mat for their own home practice and also having that awareness when signing up for class and taking class. Do you need a grounding restorative practice or an energizing Vinyasa?
Q: So you’re Swedish! How does that impact your approach to yoga?
One pretty Swedish thing is the “everybody on board” mentality. We think about the group rather than the individual and when it comes to yoga I feel that the accessibility in yoga and in my classes is very important to me. I want everyone to feel like they can practice yoga – because everybody can!
Q: I’ve read about the Danish term “hygge”. Is there a word for that or something similar in Sweden? I feel like this is a concept we need to embrace more in the US!
The Danish idea of hygge is really great, to practice coziness and being comfortable with the benefits of deeper well being and contentment. I feel that people have a similar lifestyle in Sweden even though we don’t have a specific word for it. It’s an antidote to grind culture and hustling. And I’ve really been thinking about that a lot in these last 6 months, that people here are urged to keep on grinding even though we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. Oops, I guess I’m about to get in to political territory here and that wasn’t the meaning of the question… But the Scandinavian countries all have a strong welfare system so people are also able to more easily find space for hygge in their life. So go out and vote folks! And in the meantime we can look at what brings more hygge into our lives. Think about what activities, food, music, movies, who’s company brings you comfort? Perhaps making a ritual of sitting down with a cup of tea every day (without doing anything else!) will feel cozy for you, I know it does for me!
Q: What’s your favorite pose or posture? Why?
My favorite active asana is Half Moon Pose/ Ardha Chandrasana. It just makes me feel expansive and it’s fun to balance! Then I really love a Restorative twist. I feel held and rest comes easy for me in that pose.
Q: Amazing! And where can we find you on social?
My personal IG is @carolinalindoff, that’s where I post cat pictures but also some yoga stuff. I also have a @yogaplusfika account where I try to post pictures and content about yoga and the art of pausing with a fika. Fika is the Swedish practice of sitting down with a cup of tea or coffee, often a sweet treat and a friend to connect with.
Thank you so much, Carolina! Find and register for her upcoming class series here.