“Yoga: Giving Back” – Yoga with Kira Fox

Dr. Fox interviews his daughter, Kira Fox, who has been a certified yoga instructor since age 15. In this episode, they discuss how she started yoga, what it’s like to be an instructor from such a young age, and using her skills to volunteer and give back.  

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Kira Fox, host Dr. Fox’s daughter, joins Healthful Woman to talk about her experience becoming a yoga instructor at a young age and using her skills to give back. Now a student at Barnard College, Kira became a certified yoga instructor at age 15.  

Yoga Teacher Training as a Teen 

Kira explains that she was a competitive gymnast as a kid, but decided she was done with gymnastics as she started high school and was ready to start something new, so she decided to try yoga. After about a year of practicing, Kira signed up for a 200 hour teacher training the summer before her sophomore year of high school.  

As a fifteen-year-old, Kira says “I was by far the youngest” in her teacher training program. She explains that of the 20 or so students, the closest to her age were about 18 or 19. However, Kira says “I met a lot of interesting people, people I never would have met or hung out with in the summer, and it was a really great experience.”  

Kira explains that when starting teacher training, skill level isn’t a barrier. “Anyone could hop into teacher training, they don’t test you based on your skills,” Kira says. What matters most is that the student is dedicated to the practice and the training.  

Teaching Yoga and Giving Back 

Once she completed certification, Kira began teaching community classes, or free, open-level classes, and some private lessons. While at a yoga retreat, she met someone who worked for Lululemon, and later spent a month teaching community classes at a Lululemon store in New York City. She says she loves teaching community classes because “there’s so many different types of people and they’re so happy to be there.”  

In addition to teaching these classes, Kira has volunteered her time with various organizations. These include Kula for Karma, where she has taught classes to kids at public schools in low-income areas. In addition, Kira taught free private lessons through Friendship Circle, where she visits families who have children with disabilities who wouldn’t otherwise have time to take a yoga class. Kira has also travelled to Israel to volunteer as a counselor at a children’s home, where she offered to teach her yoga classes as well as her regular volunteer work. She says “I wasn’t asking [the children] questions about their families or invading their space, I was offering them an activity that they liked.” She adds that a lot of kids starting yoga worry that they’re “not good,” but she’s sure to remind them that yoga “isn’t about being good or bad” and says “when you get them to feel good about themselves, it’s so worth it.”  

Teaching Yoga and Starting College 

Kira is now a student at Barnard College, and while she wrote about yoga for her admissions essay, she says “I think I was lucky that I did it before people ‘did things for college.’” She says “I always knew that yoga was not going to be my only career, but it was always something I wanted to continue.” As a student, Kira teaches at a yoga club and at the Barnard gym, and continues to seek ways to combine yoga and volunteering.