William Jude Kranyak. Born 1971. Interior designer, actor & voiceover actor.
When and how did you start yoga?
I started practicing about 6 years ago. I was just starting my own business and was feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed out. My girlfriend at the time invited me to join her and do a drop-in Vinyasa class here in Brooklyn. We broke up shortly after, but I stayed committed to yoga...
What style of yoga do you practice?
Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Hatha. Pretty much in that order.
How has it changed your life?
Practicing yoga has taught me how to listen to the information my body is trying to tell me. Pranayama has expanded my awareness and energy - internally and externally. Exercising patience and resilience while in a pose has helped me navigate challenging situations in life off the mat. More responsive, less reactive. Compassion for others has always been a part of my programming, but the more I practice, the more it teaches me to be more compassionate toward myself, for which I'm cruel to a fault. I've recently realised they're the same thing.
What is your most memorable yoga moment?
I'd love to paint an image of a pivotal breakthrough moment whilst immersed in meditation, or describe the realisation of sticking a master pose - but it was neither. I was in a class that was literally mat to mat, Caligula crowded. The woman in front of me had dried, cracked heels that resembled an alkali flat or sacred geometry gone rogue. Just inches from my face while in plank, her heels taunted me. It was imperative to perfectly sync our "jump back to chaturanga", in order to avoid collision. I made it half way through class before we made impact. Her heel full force into my left eyeball. The black eye looked cool, but the pink eye to follow was unfortunate.
What makes a great yoga teacher?
For me it's a cocktail of attributes and abilities. Trust, energy, having a presence, the way they're able to feel and work a room, their voice, physical ability, intuitive adjustments, and they make it fun... Whilst kicking my ass! The natural ability to connect with their students. When they're speaking to the class but it feels like it's a one on one dialogue.
What is your favourite pose and why?
Savasana. It's rest that you've truly earned. It's typically the most peaceful 5-10 minutes of my day, and on a good day it gets a bit trippy.
What do you do when not doing yoga?
I have an interior design business here in NYC. I bike everywhere all year round. Summer months; beach volleyball, surf, get to the beach or the woods upstate. Generally staying outdoors as much as possible. Winter months; Yin living. Read more, write short stories and travel.
What are you listening to?
What are you reading?
City on Fire - Garth Risk Hallberg
What do you want to be when you grow up?
If you could be any animal in the world, what would you choose?
I feel like a wolf, kinda look like a wolf... But I'll go with dolphin. They show signs of self awareness earlier in life than humans. They're brilliant and complex vocalists. They seem like they're having the most fun. I've seen them smile and have heard them laugh. They swim with sharks without fear, and they're the best surfers.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Paul Newman in his 40's, but since he's not currently available... John Krasinksi. Only for the reason that I had a casting director accuse me of using his headshot during an audition. We debated its authenticity for several minutes. I didn't book the job.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I have this thing with brick oven pizza. I typically remember enjoying the first slice, then I lose time, only to find myself relishing the last bites of the 8th slice. All the time inbetween goes black.
When are you happiest?
When I'm in the ocean looking back at the beach of some deserted tropical landscape. Or when I'm walking barefoot on soft moss.
What is your greatest fear?
Not realising my true purpose.
Where would you go if you could time travel?
Although I'm curious about the future, I'd rather live in world without technology. Ancient Mesopotamia. I'd like to see their Gods and the Annunaki.
Why should people do yoga?
It's not for everybody, but I think everyone should try it and decide for themselves. A yoga practice including Asana and meditation will ultimately provide an improved quality of life from my account. Enhancing oneself energetically, mentally and physically. The practice can act as a clear mirror of the mind body connection. There's so much information to be discovered about yourself through the practice. The inner narrative I became aware of has been profound, sometimes beautiful, sometimes grotesque.
Tell us something we don’t know.
The brain cannot create a new face. It only remembers faces you've seen somewhere before. This includes in your dreams.