Interview with Mady Morrison: The best tips for yoga beginners
Sympathetic, sporty, open. The Berlin yoga teacher Mady Morrsion has lived and loved her sport for 17 years.
She shares this passion with her around 837,000 subscribers on YouTube and regularly posts yoga and workout videos.
Mady spoke to FIT FOR FUN about the importance of yoga, her favorite asanas and the effects of Corona .
In addition, she gives three tips for anyone standing on the mat for the first time.
FIT FOR FUN : During the first Corona months, the number of your YouTube subscribers rose by around 200,000 to 837,000. Are you one of the few who benefit from Corona?
Mady Morrison : I find it difficult to put corona and profit into context. In the end, we are all affected by this pandemic and we have to struggle with it. Each in his own way.
The number of subscribers and views has grown, that’s correct. However, I did not make any profit from this situation! I’m just very happy that with the yoga videos I was able to help many people get through a difficult time.
Yoga helps us focus on ourselves and supports us in cultivating gratitude and caring …
FIT FOR FUN : Have you changed the frequency of your video uploads?
Morrison : The quality of my videos is my top priority. Visually, sound-wise and didactically, I am absolutely in love with details and rarely make compromises.
My goal is to create the best possible yoga experience for my students. That’s why I couldn’t produce more videos than usual even during Corona times.
FIT FOR FUN : I have to admit that I’m one of the newer followers. So far I have trained in studios, but have been rolling out my yoga mat at home since Corona. Is my reaction typical?
Morrison : Well, first of all, welcome – nice to have you with us! With all yoga and fitness studios closed, many simply had no choice but to look for online alternatives.
So new viewers landed on my YouTube channel. Basically, the feedback from my community hasn’t changed, but I’ve received an even greater expression of gratitude and appreciation.
FIT FOR FUN : What effects could the crisis have on gym concepts?
Morrison : I think a lot of them will be returning to the studios little by little. A smaller portion will likely stick with online training, and many now appreciate the combination of the two.
From the point of view of the studio owners, I could imagine that online courses will also continue to be offered if they are well received by the members. As a user, I also think it’s nice that I can take part in classes in Hamburg or Bali thanks to the online offer .
FIT FOR FUN : Does that mean that you train yourself as a student with others?
Morrison : Of course, as a yoga teacher you always stay a student. And as is well known, you never stop learning.
FIT FOR FUN : Yoga was originally more of a kind of “worldview”, almost religious. Today it is part of the sporty lifestyle and is offered in every hotel. What does yoga mean to you?
Morrison : One could probably fill entire books on this question. But to keep it short: for me yoga means above all acceptance, self-care and freedom! The yoga practice has taught me to give space to my feelings and emotions and to accept them exactly as they are. To accept me for who I am.
For me, yoga also means empathy, understanding and openness towards others. That I do not judge others, that I show compassion, that I am helpful and that I always act with a peaceful intention.
FIT FOR FUN : Why did you start yoga?
Morrison : When I was 13, I was totally inspired and motivated by my PE teacher. My grandma also taught yoga for a while. Totally crazy. She also gave me books from the 1960s, which was really fun.
FIT FOR FUN : At the time it was still more of a niche sport.
Morrison : At least it wasn’t as common as it is today. During my studies I started with Bikram yoga, i.e. yoga at 40 degrees room temperature.
Back then I was looking for something strenuous to burn off calories and sweat. But if you have been doing yoga for a few years, at some point the step to the “why” comes naturally.
FIT FOR FUN : What are your favorite asanas?
Morrison : When I want to relax, it’s the “Half Dove”, an incredibly liberating hip opener.
When I want something powerful, I turn the world upside down and do the handstand. This releases endorphins and gives you a good boost of energy.
FIT FOR FUN : What are your tips for people to whom these terms do not mean much, but who would like to start with yoga?
Morrison : 1. Start small! Ten or 15 minutes on the yoga mat are enough to get started. It doesn’t always have to be a whole hour.
2. Keep it simple! It doesn’t always have to be the fancy headstand pose from the Instagram feed. The sun salutation in its numerous variations is particularly suitable for the beginning. You already learn a lot of the basics here.
3. Positive mindset! I find it very important to come with an open mind and free yourself from the expectations of others. It’s not about being incredibly flexible or getting a certain shape. No! It’s about doing something good for yourself, your body and your mind.
FIT FOR FUN : Yoga is booming anyway – but why should everyone discover this sport for themselves?
Morrison : I believe that people who practice yoga regularly are more relaxed in their everyday lives – they can deal with stress and difficult situations more calmly. Yoga doesn’t just take place on the mat.
FIT FOR FUN : So it’s about the mental …?
Morrison : Yoga brings both mental and physical benefits. For example, back pain is one of the many reasons people end up practicing yoga. Because it helps.
Because yoga exercises strengthen, mobilize, stretch and relax at the same time. You just feel healthier and more agile.
Yoga can also contribute to a more upright posture, for example. I always notice this as a reaction to my free “30-day yoga challenge” that I offer on YouTube .
About halfway through I often get feedback from participants that they are being approached by colleagues about their demeanor and their radiance. That is probably the “yoga glow”.
FIT FOR FUN : Yoga has improved my flexibility and strengthened my shoulder and arm muscles.
Morrison : Yes, you keep yourself healthy and young. If you look at yogis who are 60 or 70 years old, they often have a very young charisma. That fascinated me from the start.