Name: Kurt Matthys, Yoga Instructor, It’s Yoga, Clifton; Yoga Bar, Newport
Training: Registered with the Yoga Alliance, E-RYT 500 (500 hours of training, their highest level)
Teaches: 3 classes per week (Tuesday and Friday, It’s Yoga; Saturday, Yoga Bar)
Why yoga? I used to do more aerobic exercise. One day I found a yoga tape, and it just made sense to me. From my perspective, it’s a carryover from a previous lifetime; it made sense that I did it in a previous life and I’m just picking up where I left off. I’ve been practicing for 21 years.
What’s your favorite pose? Parivirtta parshda upavishthakonasana. It’s an intense side stretch done from a seated position. It just feels so good. I also like Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana, or upward facing western stretch.
Are those poses as hard to hold as they are to spell? An asana should be steady and comfortable. You’ve mastered it when it becomes relaxing and contemplative. The purpose of yoga is to give you a strong, healthy, flexible body so you can sit and meditate. It’s the meditation that allows you to relax and rest your mind. Most of my students come to class just for exercise, which is OK, but if you want to get past that, you get into the whole philosophy of yoga.
Your day job involves computer work at Fifth Third Bank. Outside of that 9-to-5, when you’re not practicing you’re…Studying yoga and anatomy. Three Sundays a month I spend a couple of hours meditating at the Hindu temple near Dayton and attend philosophy classes on Hinduism and the Bhagavad Gita. I also do woodworking.
Sugoi MidZero tights, $75, Bob Roncker’s; Gaiam dynaMat yoga mat, $39.99, Dick’s Sporting Goods; shirt his own
Photograph by Aaron M. Conway / Hair & make-up by Phillip Nathaniel Saunders