A Rocket trip to self-discovery – An Interview with Nina Adams

Photo credit: Nina Adams

Scrolling down through the BYC 2017 program, looking for inspiration, I came across Nina Adams’ profile, and I knew I hit the jackpot. Contacting her was easy: she replied quickly, accepting my friend request right away. This girl is friendly and professional, and intuitively I knew she is a very special human being. I’m privileged to present my second interview for the BYC official blog with Nina Adams, and I’m sure you will be inspired by her too!

First, some background information: Nina Adams is a yoga teacher based in Barcelona. Her first contact with yoga took place in Thailand as she bought her very first book on yoga – “Light on Yoga” by B.K.S Iyengar. When Nina lived in Puerto Rico, she began practicing Ashtanga Yoga with David Kyle and Elizabeth Sallaberry, whose teacher Larry Schultz happened to develop Rocket Yoga. Nina fell in love with the sequence and has been practicing it alongside Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga systems ever since. Nina is also an entrepreneur and owns a yoga bag company that you can check out here.

A: What is Rocket Yoga?

N: Rocket Yoga, lovingly referred to as ‘The Rocket’, is a style of yoga developed by Larry Schultz in San Francisco during the 1980s. Rocket Yoga is rooted in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga method. It is a combination of the Primary and Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, as well as some of the key postures from the 3rd and 4th advanced series. Schultz’s yoga was first called “Rocket Yoga” by. Larry’s system was informed by over nine years of dedicated Ashtanga practice with his teacher Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

A: What do you like most about the method and why?

N: What I love most about the Rocket Yoga is its philosophy of freedom. Freedom to play and creatively express yourself. I think Larry was ahead of his time and many people [from the Ashtanga tradition] point at him and call him a cheater or a scam. In reality, what he did was a great service: he adapted a very Eastern practice to the Westerners needs. I love Larry for that and for being so truthful to himself and for being free. This does not mean at all that the tradition should be erased or avoided, but the Earth and the humanity are continuously evolving and we have to be aware of that and move accordingly. That’s why I love the Rocket.

A: How long have you been practicing and teaching?

N: I started practicing Yoga in 2002, like many others I bought “Light on Yoga” by Mr. Iyengar. I practiced for a month on my own and then I moved to Puerto Rico where David Kyle, at the moment the right hand of Larry Schultz, opened his own studio there. Larry came in 2004 then in 2006 and I did my teacher training with him in Ashtanga Vinyasa first, and then afterwards twice the Rocket TT here in Barcelona. I will be assisting David in his fourth RTT in Las Palmas this June.

A: What, in your opinion, is the purpose of yoga, regardless of the method?

N: The purpose of yoga, traditionally in Patanjali words is “to cease the fluctuations of the mind”, meaning, to calm the mind, to transcend the ego and to get to know the ultimate Truth of who you really are. For me, yoga is a tool to come closer to the inner expression of who I am, I can do this by practicing the asanas, doing the pranayamas or just sitting in meditation. There are other tools too to this, but yoga is a very powerful one.

Photo credit: Nina Adams

A: What do you find the most challenging aspect of the yoga journey?

N: I think the most challenging aspect for me was to learn to communicate with my body  effectively, meaning that I don’t force it to do things that it is not ready or not able to do, I had to learn to truly LISTEN to it. The Breath is the key here: when you are truly connected to your Breath, your practice changes and your body opens up to the new dimensions of experience. Effortlessly.

A: How did you learn to work through these challenges?

N: Breath: I had to learn how to use my breath as a tool to help me see where I am physically, mentally, and spiritually.

A: What words of wisdom would you give to anyone on the yoga path, no matter how new or experienced?

N: Yoga is a path of self-discovery, it is a method to ignite your own wisdom, as you can’t just have somebody else’s wisdom, the only way of becoming wise it by walking on this the path. One very useful practice for me was to acknowledge the deep meaning of the Breath and to dive deep into that, in each pose and each moment. Let the Breath and the body guide you, learn to control your breath in order to control the mind, your ego, and allow the true self to come forward and be the guide in your life.

Photo credit: Nina Adams

Here’s a beautiful video to present Nina Adam’s yoga, work, and philosophy.

Nina Adams will be teaching the following classes at the BYC 2017:

Friday, July 21, 13:30 – Blindfold Yoga

Saturday, July 22, 8:00 – Rocket Yoga

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