Swedish Pilot, Instagram Star Strikes a (Yoga) PoseJanuary 3, 2017
With more than 128,000 Instagram followers, Malin Rydqvist is becoming quite the popular yoga enthusiast. Rydqvist, a Swedish pilot based in Croatia who travels internationally for a living, posts photos of herself in difficult yoga poses almost daily to her Instagram account @flymeyoga.
We caught up with the talented Swede – known for posting positive messages with her photos – to learn what inspires her and how she became a yogi and pilot.
What inspired you to be a pilot?
I have been flying for six years now. My mum works in aviation, and when I was a little kid, she took me with her on trips all around the world. I got to sit in the cockpit most of the time, and it got me really fascinated. When I finished high school, I was travelling and working and I tried to figure out what I wanted to do in my life and the idea of becoming a pilot came back to me. My parents gave me a gift at my 21st birthday to fly a single-engine airplane for an hour, and I absolutely loved it. It was the coolest thing I had ever done, and after that day I was 120 percent sure that this was what I want to do.
You’ve stated that you started practicing yoga in 2008 after a snowboarding accident. Can you tell us about your journey to learn yoga and why you love it?
I was in a jump on my snowboard, and I lost balance and hurt my back. After that I had pain all the time. I went to different treatments but nothing worked until I discovered yoga. Yoga slowly took away my pain and now I am painless. I also discovered the amazing benefit yoga has on the mind. It creates a body and mind connection and helps us to be present. I believe that so many people can benefit from yoga, many of us have a pretty hectic life with schedules and checklists that never ends and then yoga is great tool to make us stop for a while, reflect and just be.
How often do you practice yoga each week?
I practice almost every day. Sometimes one hour, some days only 10 minutes and other days three hours. I do what feels good for my body that particular day.
What are your favorite destinations?
I love Croatia. It has the most beautiful nature. Brazil is also a favorite, again the nature is breathtaking. Tokyo was really cool, so different from what I am used to and really friendly people. I guess that I love the change of cultures and nature. I always want to see more. I love to be surprised and amazed. I have never been in Iceland, that is my next dream travel destination.
You provide some great, positive thoughts on your Instagram posts. What inspires you and excites you?
The nature! I love to be outside, and it makes me happy to share the beautiful places that I go to. When I get positive feedback, it makes me even happier and gives me inspiration to continue to share more.
Last question: Any funny anecdotes of what people may have said to you when they see you doing your awesome yoga persons in-person in these exotic locations?
Most people stop, look and give me a smile. I got an applause one time from a lovely couple in Tenerife [an island in Spain].
Follow Malin on Instagram at @flymeyoga.