My friend and fellow yoga teacher at Yoga Mechanics, Matt Korn (or as we affectionately call him, Matty) is cool. He's cool in a way that only those authentic, candid and laugh-out-loud kind of people can be and he does it all while teaching a killer yoga class. What I love most about him is the way he makes advanced poses seem so approachable and always pushes you just a little further past your edge than you had planned...whatever, Matty, we still love you.
I'm obviously very happy to have him as the first guest on The Exhale not just because he's my friend and an excellent teacher but because we have an exciting collaboration in the works as well (stay tuned!). Enjoy, folks!
KO: How and when did you discover yoga? What made you stay?
MK: Of course I had heard of yoga for years, but it was of no interest to me. My best friend MADE me go to yoga when I was 28. She tried for about a year to get me to go to a hot class, and I protested with a resounding "oh hell no" each time. I reluctantly went after month of the aforesaid verbal abuse.
I gave it a go and I hated it. It was so hard and I was unequivocally terrible. Just awful. But when complexity calls, when something is challenging, there has always been a little voice inside of me saying "Rise, Matt! You can do it!" So I kept going. It took a good month before I built up the endurance to make it through an entire yoga class. It worked. Soon I was able to take 2-3 hot classes in a row. Excessive, yes, but I needed a laboratory to just be in my own skin.
The power I feel--that hit of my own strength--is what keeps me in the practice. The harder the pose, the harder I can go at it, or maybe back off. The crazier life gets, I know I can push right back up against it and make meaning and relationship to all modes of my experience. Yoga has taught me that.
KO: Describe your class in three words or less.
MK: Bound and Limitless!
KO: What is your most ridiculous yoga story? Or the funniest thing you've ever said in class?
MK: After teaching a power vinyasa class and demonstrating my apparent "amazing flexibility" in a split, I was asked to be part of a threesome with a married couple. No big deal!
KO: We all love YM—the people, the space, the energy—what about the studio is special to you?
MK: At YM, we inspire creativity and contemplation. The space holds a warm, authentic vibe. And, it is also heaping dose of reality as well. We as a group do not paint life in one color, but rather with the vivacity of it all. We invite one another into the rich highlights and deep shadows of our bodies and minds. YM offers us a reflection of our lives here and now, in its simultaneous horror and beauty. No need to fight over what it should be. We are here as one to practice life!
KO: If you could teach a yoga class to anybody who would it be?
MK: If I could teach a yoga class to anybody, it would be the goddess Kali. I bet her practice is wild. However, in terms of real people, I would teach the late B.K.S. Iyengar. I would love to hear his perspective on me as a teacher. Imagine the feedback he could offer? That conversation might be endless, but sign me up.
Matty's Class Schedule:
7:30pm, Mixed Level
Tuesdays + Thursdays at Yoga Mechanics
11:15am, Mixed Level
Saturdays at Yoga Mechanics