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Breathe with Ko Im, Editor at NY Life + Yoga, Yoga Instructor, and Storyteller

By: Stephanie Jade Wong

Ko Im Breathe In Breathe Out Racerback Crop Tank by Alexis Mera

5% of all sales go to Xavier Mission
 

If you talk to people on the streets of NYC, I bet you’ll find at least one who moved to NY for “something more,” or to make their dreams come true. Ko Im, who now calls NY her home, left her hometown on Guam for something bigger.

I can have my feet in many worlds in one great city,” Ko says. “From the actual jungle to the concrete one has been an amazing journey.”

Ko is the deputy editor of NY Yoga + Life, a volunteer-based magazine.

“We host events, workshops, and retreats such as SOULfestNYC or at Kripalu and the Rubin Museum,” Ko says. “I like stories and find great joy in helping others find insights.”

She teaches yoga at Crunch Gym, Xavier church, in some corporate offices, and occasionally at Modrn Sanctuary. She’s also teaches on FaceTime with private clients.

Ko also started the #WellnessWednesdays meditation series at the Redbury Hotel.

In an era where we sometimes struggle about whether or not we want to share personal life experiences online, Ko takes pride in being bold and vulnerable enough to share her egg-freezing journey with her social media followers.

We partnered with Ko to create this “breathe in, breathe out” top.

The “breathe in, breathe out” top is screen printed by hand at a print shop in Brooklyn, NY, and 5% of the sales will be donated to Xavier Mission. This organization provides assistance to children, veterans, and seniors in need.

Ko Im Breathe In Breathe Out Racerback Crop Tank by Alexis Mera

5% of all sales go to Xavier Mission
 

AM: What does the phrase “breathe in, breathe out” mean to you?

KI: Sometimes a breath can do wonders. I hope to encourage others to live consciously and in the moment with gratitude and ease.

I remember my first panic attack and learning about belly breathing. In New York, we tend to run out of energetic breath, so it's that much more important to stay centered.

AM: Tell us about Xavier Mission, and why you chose it as your charity.

KI: Xavier Mission is an arm of my church which helps children, veterans and seniors with food, mentoring, bills, and other assistance.

I'm a practicing Catholic but more importantly, a citizen of this community that can serve others with heart.

Ko Im Breathe In Breathe Out Racerback Crop Tank by Alexis Mera

5% of all sales go to Xavier Mission
 

AM: Could you describe how you felt initially when you left Guam?

KI: starry eyes twinkling

off island into the world

growth beyond measure

AM: Do you have any side hustles?

KI: I’m working on a fiction book!

AM: If you could invite one woman to take your yoga class, who would it be?

KI: Oprah! I’d love to meditate with her, and be in each other’s presence. I think it’d be a very grounding and uplifting experience. I admire her breadth of work. I hope to exhibit her kind of centered, glowing energy.

Ko Im Breathe In Breathe Out Racerback Crop Tank by Alexis Mera

5% of all sales go to Xavier Mission
 

AM: What are 3 adjectives that describe you?

KI: Bold, spiritual, colorful. 

 

AM: What prompted you to freeze your eggs?

KI: Cryopreservation piqued my curiosity, so I started exploring that option. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and the end of a relationship was kind of the last reminder (not a trigger per se). I could wait, but I did it for me. Timing is everything. 

AM: We love and admire that you share your egg-freezing journey on Instagram @theeggdiary. Was it hard to be public about it? Were you surprised with the response?

KI: Thank you! I pride myself on inspiring others and get people to connect. It was still a little nerve wracking to start something a little less curated.

Sometimes the most human thing is to be imperfect in your journey. There’s the true beauty.

I was so thrilled with the warmth in responses, although some people might’ve been uncomfortable with my openness, which is fine.

Ko Im Breathe In Breathe Out Racerback Crop Tank by Alexis Mera

5% of all sales go to Xavier Mission
 

AM: Who did you tell first, and was there anyone you didn't feel comfortable telling?

KI: I was surprised my mom was so supportive! I thought she might not understand because it’s not something she grew up with, or would think it was weird, but she was like, “Go for it!”

AM: What inspires you, and how do you stay inspired? 

KI: I have big dreams, and I do a lot that keeps life interesting. I'm also naturally a curious, creative individual who loves people.

I look at other artists and role models in the writing and wellness worlds. I read a lot, I go to museums, I just walk and look around at what’s in front of me. Also, I surround myself with people who are doing such a variety of things. It’s astounding!

AM: What motivates you?

KI: The good: Goodness in people, hope, and faith.

The bad: Ego.

AM: What does "balance" mean to you and how do you achieve it?

KI: Balance is always changing. It’s just when you feel even and at ease.

I’ve always been doing a lot, but I keep learning it’s not about dividing and conquering. It’s an act of patience and hopefully fun.

AM: How do you measure success?

KI: There’s so much talk about scale, but to me — if I made a difference in one person’s life and caused a lightbulb to go off or the heart to soften or spark an idea, it is totally worth why I am here on this earth. I am content.

AM What’s your proudest accomplishment of the year?

KI: I am really proud of the entire year, but one of my highlights was putting together a beautiful "Dream Retreat" weekend getaway in upstate NY while I was going through my own heart-healing process – getting to shape a memorable experience for a great group of women.

AM: Can you share something we wouldn't know from looking at your social media profiles?

KI: I am just like everyone else. We all struggle with something, and mine is mental health. Also, all the time that goes into posting something! #thestruggleisreal

AM: What are a few uplifting phrases you use often?

KI: Light on.

Just breathe.

Think deep.

Love and light.

Be bold.

AM: How do you usually celebrate your wins?

KI: I raise my hands and smile! 😃 Joy is infectious, even if I'm the only one to feel it in the moment.

Ko Im Breathe In Breathe Out Tank by Alexis Mera

5% of all sales go to Xavier Mission
 

AM: What are you celebrating in life today?

KI: I love full-circle kind of moments, and soul-driven conversations. I'm super grateful for everything I have.

I have collected so many fantastic experiences and have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people.I’m celebrating me and life.

I also am cheering on my friends’ endeavors, and also joyfully acknowledging my resilience and resolve, as I’ve been through a lot too.

Ko’s mindfulness reminds us to be present, and be aware of our bodies and our breath.

Follow Ko on Instagram @konakafe, give her a “like” on Facebook here, and check out her website here.

*All photos are taken by Alexis Mera unless otherwise noted.* 

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About the Author

Stephanie Jade Wong is a NY-based freelance writer. If her phone isn’t glued to her hand because she’s on social media, she’s at the nearest yoga studio. Stephanie hoards beauty products, loves kittens, and likes stepping away from screens to piece together puzzles.

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