Korinne McNeill: Senior Yoga teacher/Green Room Director
With an Advanced Diploma in Yoga Teaching, loads of formal training, certificate in ayurveda and over 9000 hours of yoga teaching Korinne is just as passionate about the power of yoga as her first class. She left the corporate world chasing a dream of sharing the life changing power of yoga with others.
What brought you to yoga? Before I was diagnosed with Lyme disease I suffered from horrendous back and neck pain (along with a multitude of other symptoms of lyme disease). I had a few friends who were part taking in the Bikram Yoga fad at the time so I went along to a few classes with them. It was love at first class. I loved that it was stupidly hard, yet not dangerous, no competition, no impact, and I felt my body change after one class.
What made you stay? Yoga is life for me. Downdog is like my house. Yoga is my world. I truly believe it is my reason for existence. It helped me make sense of this crazy world.
Every day Yoga (every element of it - the poses, the breath, the philosophy, the meditation, the ultimate intention) inspires and reminds me to attempt to be a better version of myself. It has morphed me into a person I love being. It has taught me absurd amounts of mental strength, but also balanced it with equal amounts of acceptance of where I am at. It has taught me that everyday is different, physically, mentally and emotionally. It has taught me how to be content with exactly where I am. And that where I am is not always moving forward, is not always getting stronger or ticking off new poses or new things… but where I am, simply is that... Where I am. And it is perfect. It is where I need to be. It has taught me to be at peace regardless of all of the fluctuations around me. Don't get me wrong. I am no master of this. But yoga is my constant reminder and teacher whenever I get caught up in my self created drama. And to share these lessons is a blessing.
What is the best part of being in the Green Room community? The best part of the Green Room community is that. The sense of community. Over the years I have seen many people create life long friendships and bonds with people they have met on the mat beside them. I am constantly blown away by the sincere care that all of the students have for each other and also their teachers. It is a safe place filled with love.
On top of this, seeing the evolution of people is my favourite part of my work. Whether it's that moment on peoples face when they finally get 'yoga', the fact they no longer have any headaches or back pain, they are off their anti-depressants, they are happier, they have lost 35kg, they are sleeping through the night, they are no longer angry at life, they are starting to accept themselves, they surprise themselves with their strength, they are starting to love themselves, they are starting to move outside of their comfort zone and embrace their life long dream…. love it. That is the sweet stuff. Seeing people build the mental/emotional/physical strength to believe and love themselves enough to follow their dreams. Yoga is physical, mental, emotional and energetic therapy. It will change your life if you give it the chance.
When you are not bending and sweating what do you like to do??? Haha pretend I am on 'So you think you can dance' breaking out contemporary dance moves at the Green Room... sleep, drink coffee, eat at vegan cafes or hang with my bestie... my puppy dog Benji. I love being in nature. Sitting in a paddock with a herd of cows, bush walking, being on the beach….
What is your favourite word? Santosha - It means contentment. I like the way that it rolls off the tongue. And also to achieve santosha means that you have dropped expectations, are practicing gratitude, and simply surrendering… Its a fabulous mantra.
My most inspirational learning experience? Volunteer work in Ghana, Africa. Living in a very small and poor town in Africa gave me so much time for reflection. It gave me time to drop the layers of conditioning society had placed on me. I saw first hand that some of the poorest people I had met were the happiest. That many 'stresses' and 'problems' we perceive ourselves to have are things these people would count themselves lucky to have. It let me see the real value in life, reassess the direction I was headed in but most importunity instilled an attitude of gratitude. I saw what true wealth and true success were. And it wasn't in your possessions, your job title, or your salary - its your family and being content - living in each moment and finding happiness in each moment.
What has been the major turning point in your life? This would come as no surprise but having lyme disease was definitely a turning point. Becoming so unwell that I had to do a complete 180 on the direction my life was going in. Working as a Product Manager in the corporate world, living in Melbourne - to having to STOP, completely for 9 months, move to the country, and create a life around my illness. Best turning point ever.
What is your hidden secret or skill? I can play the bagpipes (albeit not well), and own a set. Helps the ujjai breath :) Also... can play table tennis!